Binche-Chimay-Binche 2021: Danny van Poppel signs off from Intermarche-Wanty Gobert with superb solo victory in Wallonia
Van Poppel is leaving the Belgian team to join Bora-Hansgrohe next season but said farewell in perfect fashion with victory at their home race. The Dutchman also won this race in 2018 and timed his attack perfectly inside the final, kilometre, powering up a cobbled incline and holding off the chase to secure his second crown at the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke.
Binay-Chimay-Binche Highlights: Van Poppel storms to brilliant solo victory
After a group of limited number had come back together inside the final two kilometres, van Poppel launched his attack up a cobbled incline inside the final 900 metres.
Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X) and Lionel Taminiaux (Alpecin-Fenix) led the chase but were unable to haul back a powerful last surge from Van Poppel, who took victory to the delight of the race and team sponsors on the streets of Binche.
The race's final 30 kilometres had been peppered with attacks but no rider was able to make a telling move.
Young Frenchman Kevin Vauquelin (Arkea-Samsic) had produced the most prominent of these, but was reeled in as the peloton picked up the pace as they re-entered the outskirts of the start and finish town.
With less than four kilometres to go, a group of three launched away from the peloton, propelled by a cross tailwind.
Included amongst the trio was Mark Cavendish, a winner at the Munsterland Giro on Sunday, who followed the attack of Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate Josef Cerny and Alpecin-Fenix's Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.
However a by-then reduced peloton tugged them back, allowing Van Poppel to produce his winning move.
Deceuninck-QuickStep had earlier lost Fabio Jakobsen to an apparent illness with the Dutchman pulling off the road with 30 kilometres to go, with Cavendish eventually failing to figure in the top ten.
The Binche-Chimay-Binche was contested over 198.6km, leaving and departing the home city of Wanty-Gobert.
It is also known as the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke after the controversial Belgian rider, who died in 2009.
DE MARCHI WINS TRE VALLI VARESINE
Elsewhere, Alessandro De Marchi tuned up for Il Lombardia with victory in the Italian region at the 100th edition of Tre Valli Varesine.
The second of the three Trittico Lombardo races to be held either side of the season's final monument, a strong field contested the race to Varese.
However it was De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Davide Formolo (UAE-Team Emirates) who were able to get away from a group of some of the peloton's finest climbers, including Formolo's teammate Tadej Pogacar.
Alessandro De Marchi of Italy and Team Israel Start-Up Nation celebrates winning ahead of Davide Formolo of Italy and UAE Team Emirates during the 100th Tre Valli Varesine a 196,7km race from Busto Arsizio to Varese 377m / @AlfredoBindaVa / on October 05,
Image credit: Getty Images
And De Marchi out-kicked his compatriot to take the win, with Pogacar finishing best of the chasers behind the pair.
The third and final race of the triumvirate, the Coppa Agostoni, is scheduled for Monday 11 October, two days after Il Lombardia.
'It was not the plan to attack so early' - Pogacar after finishing third at Tre Valli Varesine