Philippe Gilbert (BMC) kicked off his Ardennes Classics campaign in style when he won the Brabantse Pijl earlier today. Gilbert took the win in a real strongman’s sprint when he managed to pip Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) to the line. As expected, the real racing of the day commenced as the riders entered the 24km finishing circuit that had to be completed 3 times. There was a break of 6 riders that lead the race for most of the day and they hit the circuit with a 3’30” lead over the peloton. The pace of the peloton went up considerably on.