Dylan van Baarle’s first day with the Jumbo was unbeatable. The 30-year-old Dutchman signed a huge season of classics in 2022, highlighting his second place in the Tour of Flanders and his victory in Paris-Roubaix. Big words for the former Ineos runner. For this 2023, the Jumbo was reinforced with the services of a knowledgeable Van Baarle who came to a team with great riders for tests of this type, but aware of its possibilities. In the opening of the classics, with the Omloop on Belgian soil, the Dutchman achieved a huge solo victory, taking over from Van Aert, his current teammate, in the list of winners. Second was Arnaud de Lie, who had a difficult day and won the group sprint ahead of Frenchman Laportealso from the Jumbo.
The 207 kilometers between Ghent and Ninove, on a Saturday with classic Belgian weather (low temperatures, a few drops…) they had twelve heights and nine cobbled sections in their profile. Shortly after starting, a breakaway of seven was formed, with Norsgaard, from Movistar, among them. They came to have five minutes of rent before their adventure ended 45 km from Ninove. It was then that the group of favorites broke with a predominance of the yellow color in the lead: Benoot, Laporte, Tratnik… the Jumbo had control of the race, but the most difficult part was missing, which is nothing more than finishing off. With 36 km to go, it was when Van Baarle launched his attack, and the last rider who could hold his wheel was the Frenchman Le Berre, who was coming from the breakaway.
Behind, a chasing group was formed with runners like Wellens and De Lie. The latter had a severe fall and, with a bloody leg and with the help of his companions, he was able to come back and reach this select group behind Van Baarle. However, the Dutchman controlled the rents and once the Bosberg had been overcome, the last difficulty of the day, the man in the Jumbo had enough margin to to be able to close his first day in an unbeatable way with his new jersey.
1st Dylan van Baarle (PBA/Jumbo) 4h 54:49
2nd Arnau de Lie (BÉL/Lotto) at 20
3rd Christophe Laporte (FRA/Jumbo) mt
4th Alexander Kristoff (NOR/One-X) mt
5th Thomas Pidcock (GBR/Ineos) mt