Niki Terpstra has with impressive display of power, the E3 Harelbeke won. The Dutchman is a Quick Step Floors went together with team mate Yves Lampaert – on 90 kilometers from the finish off in the hunt for an early flight, mound his comrade simply and loved in the last 30 (!) kilometres on his own a hunting elite group with, among others, Greg Van Avermaet, Tiesj Benoot, Jasper Stuyven, Sep Vanmarcke, Jürgen Roelandts, and Gianni Moscon behind.
206,1 km course from Harelbeke to the Flemish Ardennes and back to Harelbeke: that got the riders today for the wheels pushed in the E3 Harelbeke. On the first koersuren we can be brief: exactly 200 kilometers before the finish if a breakaway group of eight riders with the spacious, flew choose. The most notable names: our fellow countryman Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), and Dutchman Pim Ligthart (Roompot – Dutch Lottery).
The eight drove quickly to a lead of 6 minutes, then hours and hours remained constant. Only a crash (without the very) top favourite Peter Sagan, and a brief stopover for a closed handle for the escapees did just wake up scare…
On 108 kilometers from the finish, went the heart rate in the peloton, however, with a jerk of the height: if you have a serious crash went the riders as dominosteentjes. The main victim: Sep Vanmarcke (Team Education First-Drapac) who, albeit with the help of some teammates – long had to chase.
The crash was the platoon after all, in countless pieces torn. Were not surprised: favourites peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Van Avermaet (BMC), who is thoughtful the front koersten.
The quantity explodes
On the Knokteberg (88 km before the finish) exploded the rate: vluchter Damien Gaudin (Direct Energy) put out the fire on the wick, but hardrijder Ligthart did not commit, and slipped away. And then had the big guns yet to come: on the Hill were pushing Niki Terpstra and Yves Lampaert of the first platoon, and then the Quick-Step Floors-duo quickly leidersduo was picking up.
Behind them was impressive trio Sagan, Van Avermaet, and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal), aware of the danger, but with the Quick Step-watchdogs Zdenek Stybar and Philippe Gilbert in their wake. The blauwbloezen the front shined so hard that the five pursuers were left hanging on a half-minute behind, there could also be a swipe of Van Avermaet on the cobblestones of the Mariaborrestraat nothing to change. The only result of that process: the premature end of the race for Stybar and… Sagan, which is painful by the basket dropped down and not play such an important role would play.
On the Paterberg (45 km before the finish) had Lampaert toil, for the pounding of team mate Terpstra to survive, while behind him, Vanmarcke finally the connection with the melee combat could make. With meebrenging of Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), also victims of the big crash.