30th Grand-prix OST
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Ivan Centrone has started the 2017 road season on home soil in the most beautiful way: with a victory. After the flowers for his brother Vincenzo at the same Grand Prix OST-Manufaktur in 2005, the younger of the Centrone brothers has successfully concluded the collective work of his once more dominant team of Differdange. They were three at the front in the final, and that was well needed to overcome the tenacious German Simon Nuber, quite on his own against the riders in blue but who abdicated only in the very last moments after a superb race.

With the absence of the WPG Amsterdam riders, who were not in Bech despite having announced themselves as early as January, they were only 66 to start for the Grand Prix OST-Manufaktur, among them no less than thirty riders under the age of 23. Following roadworks in the locality of Bech, the course had to be changed in 2017 for an even more selective loop than before, with a bit more change in altitude, but most of all very little time to recover, with sharp turns alternating incessantly with small climbs or false flats. Of course, it was a must to be in front of the race as of the start in order to be sure not to miss the good move and that was naturally the tactics adopted by the riders of the continental team of Differdange, the big favourites in a race that they have won no less than 5 times in the last 7 editions. As of the first lap, Ivan Centrone worked hard at the front to stretch the peloton and it did not take long to see a group break away.

They were seventeen at the head of the race in the third of 13 laps, including four riders from Team Differdange (Ivan Centrone, Joshua Teasdale, Krisztian Lovassy and Cedric Raymackers, the defending champion), three members of UC Dippach (Sandro Dostert, Luc Wirtgen and Michel Ries), two riders respectively from Spider King EFC Trek (Laurens Cavey, Lennert Van de Voorde), Macadam Cowboys (Antoine Guyot, Lucas Moder) and Team Möbel Ehrmann (Simon Nuber, Andreas Fliessgarten) as well as the other Germans Sascha Starker (Radsport 360 Racing Team) and Florian Obersteiner (RV Sossenheim), Luxembourger Philipp Herman from LC Tétange and Julien Laidoun, who has already finished twice in ninth position in Bech. The main peloton was not far away, but nobody had any interest there in working hard for the chase. There were many people at the front of the race, too many for Julien Laidoun who accelerated shortly after, taking with him Sascha Starker and the two from Differdange, Raymackers and Teasdale. Simon Nuber and Ivan Centrone rode just a few seconds behind them and bridged up soon to form a group of 6 leaders. The gaps were still very small and the race was full of movements. Joshua Teasdale lost momentarily contact with the first group, leaving 5 riders in front, but he managed to come back a little later with Michel Ries, who had accelerated out of the next chasing group.

At about 40 kilometers from the finish line, these seven riders still opened the road (Centrone, Raymackers, Teasdale, Laidoun, Nuber, Starker and Ries), while a group of about 30 units had formed in pursuit, a good minute behind and most of the time led by the young riders of Spider King EFC Trek. With three laps to go, Germany's Simon Nuber launched an attack and for a moment found himself alone at the front, ahead of Sascha Starker and the rest of the group with the three riders from Differdange. They soon had the situation in control again: Centrone and Raymackers bridged up to Nuber, joined a little bit later by Joshua Teasdale. Meanwhile, Krisztian Lovassy had attacked in the chasing group and was closing the gap to the leaders. With two to go, Centrone, Raymackers, Teasdale and Nuber had a minute lead over Starker and Lovassy and a few seconds more on a group with Michel Ries, Julien Laidoun, Andreas Fliessgarten, Laurens Cavey, David Büschler and Gero Waldbrül. A third group with Charly Petelin, Fabien Schmitt, Stephen Boterel, Larry Valvasori and Maxime Collot was also less than 2 minutes behind the opening car.

The decision was to fall in the last two laps and Simon Nuber was quite alone against his three opponents from the same team. However, the German showed a superb race and alway had an answer to the accelerations and intimidations of the riders from Differdange. It was only after an attack by Ivan Centrone in the last climb of Geyershof that he was not able to close the gap immediately. With Raymackers in his wheel, Nuber lost a few seconds and that was enough: the Luxembourger was away and even had enough time to celebrate his victory at ease in the final straight. 12 years after his brother Vincenzo, Ivan Centrone wins the 30th Grand Prix OST-Manufaktur solo, 6 seconds ahead of his teammate and defending champion Cedric Raymackers, who was faster than Nuber in the sprint for second place. Moreover, the winner has won all the prizes since he also finished first U23 rider and first Luxemburger, being awarded therefore with the Marcel Niederweis trophy.

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