Frustrating second for Jakobsen
The 21-year-old neo-pro lost Halle-Ingooigem in a photo-finish after a frantic race.
Fabio Jakobsen came close to his fourth victory of the season, after the one in Nokere Koerse, Scheldeprijs and stage 1 of the Tour des Fjords, only to be denied by Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) from a small bunch who survived the day's thirteen climbs and the plethora of attacks which seriously trimmed down the peloton in the final 60 kilometers, after the original breakaway had been brought back.
A nine-man group bolted clear some 20 kilometers from the finish of the 194.7km Halle-Ingooigem, opening a 26-second gap, but Quick-Step Floors and Verandas Willems-Crelan led the chase and reeled them in before the 10km-to-go banner. Soon, a new attack came, which was closed down on the Tiegemberg, the famous hill tackled six times on Tuesday, where a new trio powered ahead and put eight seconds between them and the chasers, who made the catch only inside the last two kilometers.
In the sprint, Van Poppel was the first to kick out, with Fabio Jakobsen responding immediately as he came off the wheel of experienced lead-out man Michael Mørkøv with 150 meters to go before pushing ahead and throwing his bike over the line, narrowly missing out on the win for a matter of millimeters.
"I felt good and the entire team did a great job. Dries, who's been out for three months, chased hard the escapees, Pieter took over on the circuit – which was really demanding – while the other guys tried to be in the various moves and protect me throughout the day. Michael provided a good lead-out, but I jumped a second too late from the field and that was that", Fabio said after Tuesday's race. "I am disappointed to finish second, as I had strong legs and felt I could have won, but this result is already history now and I will move my focus to next Sunday's National Championships."
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