Elia Viviani has the new Three-day Bruges-De Panne won. The Italian of Quick Step Floors was after 202,4 km the fastest in a sprint of a thinned peloton, that a lot of men was kwijtgespeeld during three spectacular passages in the dreaded Nuts. The name was retained, the Three-day (1.BC) was for the first time, no three-day stage race more: today, the men of their race, tomorrow/Thursday are the women’s turn.
Since Dwars door Vlaanderen the date of the Three days of De Panne got situations in the calendar, were the organizers of the race are forced to move to a different place on the cycling calendar. If starting location Bruges was chosen, the finish line, remained in De Panne.
From the Large Market of Bruges went through Aartrijke, Ichtegem to Boezinge, where after 59 km course with the Steenstraat, a first solid kasseizone followed. Six riders opted for the attack, David Boucher ( Tarteletto) was the only compatriot at the front. The leading group consisted also from his team mate Ylber Sefa, Brian van Goethem for Roompot, Conor Dunne for Aqua Blue Sports, Sean Bennett for Hagens and Tanner Putt for United HealthCare. Their lead climbed to nine minutes, to Quick Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe enough of it. The two top teams were from then on lead under control.
Slopes size for nothing
Via Poperinge was set course for the Monteberg, the first slope of the day after 85 km, immediately followed by the ascent of the Kemmelberg. There tried Nikolas Maes and Luke Durbridge as the leap forward, but the two had no support and were soon back to the order called. Also on the last slopes of the day (Rodeberg, Vidaigneberg and Sulferberg) kept everything together.
War in The Nuts
Then followed, however, the first (dreaded) passage to the poldervlakte of The Nuts, where the winds are always good for nervousness. In the open plain tried Lotto-Soudal was the first to expand their horizons and behind it was immediately to open the door. Also Wout van Aert turned the throttle open: the pace was seriously the height and the peloton fell apart in several pieces.
Albanian takes 1,000 euros
After 151 kilometers came in two attractive, local laps of each 25,7 flat kilometers. At the first passage at the finish, had the escapees have a bonus of 1.5 minute on the first peloton, that later would be picked up by the second platoon. The Albanian Sefa picked up the final intermediate sprint and in the region, the 1,000 euro prize money.
War in The Nuts (bis)
Also in the second passage in The Nuts we got to the fragmentation in the large group, this time performed a Quick Step Floors and Lotto-Soudal’s the forcing. The pack would come together again but the slijtageslag went by and the group got more and more thinned out.
Under the impulse of a very Boucher held the lead group for longer than expected: at the last passage on the finish, the lead had already shrunk to half a minute but, despite a hunting pack they would lead even what to explore… to Van Goethem and Bennett as the last escapees still were caught at 4 km from the finish, after the third and last time The Nuts.
Final sorting in The Nuts
In which Nuts, it was again Lotto-Soudal to 60 km/h (!) a few men overboard threw. When Quick Step and Bora-Hansgrohe were working, broke the pack in fans. In the last five kilometres were still a few males coming back, but the number of contenders in a sprint was still bright shrunk.
Sprint from the back of the group
Bora-Hansgrohe (without Peter Sagan) took over the reins in the last kilometers. At the start of the final kilometer took Of Aert, but Quick Step was sitting ready in his wheel. Elia Viviani won for Pascal Ackerman: the Italian of Quick Step came out perfect from the wheel of the German. Jasper philipsen is admitted was the best Belgian on a handsome third place.
It is already the 16th win for Patrick Lefevere, the sixth victory, all of Viviani, but the first in Europe.
1. Elia Viviani
2. Pascal Ackerman
3. Jasper Philipsen Is Admitted
4. Baptiste Planckaert
5. Jens Debusschere
6. Amaury Capiot
7. Roy Jans
8. Hugo Hofstetter
9. Adam Blythe
10. Eduard Grosu