After a brutal day of racing on the relentless climbs, the race came down to a three-rider sprint between cyclocross rivals Pidcock and Van Aert, and formidable one-day racer Matteo Trentin.
But as Jumbo-Visma’s Van Aert launched an early sprint and Trentin slipped back, Pidcock was the rider able to dig the deepest, taking his first pro victory after joining Ineos Grenadiers at the start of the season.
Pidcock, 21, posted his ride on Strava along with Van Aert.
Although sadly the pair removed their power data from their efforts, Strava still offers some fascinating insights into the race.
Pidcock averaged 43.1km for his 204km ride, which lasted four hours and 44 minutes, and covered 2,305m of altitude gain.
Van Aert actually held a higher average speed over the duration of the day, holding 43.5km/h.
Along the way, both Pidcock and Van Aert topped the leaderboard on the Hertstraat climb, a 720 metre segment with an average gradient of 4.9 per cent, which was the spot where Pidcock launched his decisive attacks out on the course.
Both riders crested the climb in 1-06, with an average speed of 39.3km/h.
While we don’t know their power on the climb, the third place rider on Strava Amaury Capiot (Arkea-Samsic) averaged 652 watts when he climbed in 1-08 last August.
On the full segment for the 2021 Brabantse Pijl finishing circuit in Overijse, Van Aert and Pidcock were only the second and third fastest riders on Strava.
Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix) was the fastest rider on Strava on the lap, completing it with an average speed of 45km/h in a time of 29-04.
Van Aert completed the lap in 29-12, while Pidcock was just behind on Strava with a time of 29-13.