Well-known names already ensured separation early on
With cyclists such as Degenkolb, Sagan and Gaviria in the leading group, it was all hands on deck for CCC Team, Deceuninck - Quick-Step and AG2R LA Mondiale, amongst others. The leaders flirted for a long time with a 1-minute lead, but at 70 kilometres from the finishing line, the composition seemed to be a fact.
Theuns, Teunissen, Trentin and Sagan did not have time for this and opted for a new adventure in the summit of the race. An impressive solo by Luke Rowe ensured that 5 leaders tackled the Kemmelberg for the second time. From the chasing group, Kristoff took a small lead so that he could reach the peak of the Kemmelberg together with the group, which would prove a smart move later on.
Many attempts, but yet a sprint
On the way between Ypres and Menen, we received many dropouts after the amalgamation, but no fully-fledged breakaways. At four kilometres from the finishing line, four cyclist seemed to have succeeded: Jasper Stuyven, Sebastian Langeveld, Amund Jansen and Jack Bauer took a 15-second lead, but they took a little too much of a gamble in the final kilometre.
In a winding sprint, Kristoff took the lead at 100 meters from the finishing line, to finally beat Degenkolb and Naesen with a bicycle’s length. Congratulations Alexander!