Israeli sprinter Oded Kogut capped off an impressive team performance by the Israel – Premier Tech Academy at today’s Antwerp Port Epic to sprint to third place and continue his run of top-ten results this month.

Behind winner Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) and runner up Emilie Jeannière (TotalEnergies), a photo finish was needed to determine the final spot on the podium and thanks to a perfect bike throw, Kogut just edged Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Dstny) off the podium.

It was an epic race with a lot of gravel and cobbles,” said Kogut. “The guys really did a great job during the race and the staff of the conti team are working around the clock so we can be focused on the race, so it’s much appreciated! I really enjoyed getting my first pro podium with them and I’m really happy with the result, especially against the sprinters that were up there in the finale.”

Kogut’s podium place comes at the end of the demanding race where IPT Academy raced aggressively throughout the day, with Pier-André Côté launching a huge attack with 50 kilometers remaining, leading the race in a two-man move until the final 20 kilometers.

The move was not planned per se, but we always wanted to be aggressive in that stage of the race,” adds Côté. “Especially with the team performance we had. We had numbers in that select group, so I was convinced being on the front early would be a good opportunity for me as well as offering a “free” ride to the guys.”

With 42 gravel and cobbled sectors, crashes and mechanical problems were a common occurrence and unfortunately, a badly time wheel change on the final sector ruled Côté out of the finale, while Joe Blackmore was involved in a crash with 30 kilometers remaining.

I had been nursing the flat for a little bit, with the race being in pieces you had to be patient with getting service,” explains Côté. “It looked like it sealed at first, but unfortunately, like you could see, I lost all pressure by the end. I rode both the last gravel and cobble sector, hoping for a miracle, but ultimately had to stop with 12km to go. Obviously, I’m guttered it had to end this way, but I’m still very pleased I could be at the front of such a race. This one and Tro Bro Leon are just so epic that it is extra special to be able to do well in them.”

A strong ride from Floris Van Tricht saw the Belgian in his element on home soil and ready to contest the sprint but was pushed out of contention and forced to brake with 100 meters to go.