Britain’s Tom Pidcock won his first race for Ineos Grenadiers at the Brabantse Pijl one-day classic.
The 21-year-old overpowered one of the world’s best one-day racers, Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert, on the uphill sprint to the line.
Mark Cavendish sprinted to his third straight Tour of Turkey stage win.
Cavendish, 35, beat Alpecin-Fenix’s Jasper Philipsen, while behind him there was a huge crash involving a number of riders falling heavily.
Pidcock’s victory was as significant as Cavendish’s, as two generations of British cycling talent lit up the sport on the same day.
Ineos’ new young hope was part of a breakaway group of three riders – alongside Team Jumbo-Visma’s Van Aert and the highly rated Italian Matteo Trentin of UAE-Team Emirates – which formed with about 38km of the 202km race from Leuven to Overijse remaining after Pidcock attacked.
The three worked together to stay in front of the rest of the splintered peloton, before slowing up and playing a tense cat-and-mouse game with a kilometre to go.
After showing his ability in cyclocross during the winter, Pidcock recently told BBC Sport he believed he could beat the world’s best one-day riders, saying: “They were stronger in cyclocross, but in some of the [road] races I should have an advantage on power-to-weight [ratio].”
And so it proved when the trio finally accelerated.
Trentin immediately cracked and Pidcock powered his way around Belgian Van Aert, 26, who has three stage wins at the Tour de France and the one-day ‘monument’ classic Milan-San Remo on his palmares, to win in style.
Pidcock’s next race will see him up against Van Aert again in Sunday’s Amstel Gold one-day classic in Holland.
Britain’s Joscelin Lowden, 33, of Drops-Le Col finished fifth in the women’s Brabantse Pijl to secure one of the best results of her career.
The race was won by the USA’s Ruth Winder of Trek-Segafredo in a photo finish after Dutchwoman Demi Vollering of SD Worx celebrated too early crossing the line.
In the Tour of Turkey, the huge accident occurred with 200m to go, leaving about 15 riders at the front of the race competing for victory.
The incident saw riders crash through the barriers, knocking over some fans – it is not yet known if there were any major injuries.
Cavendish, wearing the leader’s turquoise jersey having broken a three-year drought by winning the two preceding stages, unleashed his full sprint just after Philipsen accelerated from a position a few metres in front of him, and had time to celebrate just before crossing the line.
The Manx rider, who now leads the race overall by 12 seconds, said: “It’s special that the team believe in me.
“It was a drag-strip and headwind finish – slightly uphill. More of a grind, I guess.”
The accident at the end of Wednesday’s 184km fourth stage into Kemer was reminiscent of last August’s high-speed crash at the Tour of Poland in which Fabio Jakobsen sustained serious head injuries after being put into the barriers by Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen.
Jakobsen, 24, is competing in Turkey in his first race since the crash and Cavendish said: “Winning three is irrelevant. I was pleased to see how far Fabio [who was part of Cavendish’s lead-out train] got – [but it’s] not nice for him to see a crash.”
In other news, cycling’s world governing body the UCI has tweaked the rules that came into operation on 1 April penalising riders who discard litter and drinks bottles outside designated areas along a race route.
Riders will face more lenient fines and time penalties across one-day and stage races, but still face disqualification for persistent offences in the same event.
The new rules, brought in to prevent accidents from loose bottles being thrown to the crowd, were recently branded “ridiculous” by four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome because they prevent fans taking souvenirs from the roadside.