Despite the good weather we had a wonderful Gent-Wevelgem. Two times, the kemmel and the ‘plugstreets’ ensured that an elite group in Wevelgem dashed off for the victory. In that spurt shook Peter Sagan all doubts off by a convincing win for Elia Viviani and Arnaud Démare.
Sunny and almost no wind: fine weather conditions for the numerous audiences, but for the race, this was initially not a good thing. A fast start ensured that it properly took a long time before the early flight stand could come in, but eventually fell still six riders ahead: our compatriots Frederik Frison and Jimmy Duquennoy, the Portuguese Gonçalves, the Italian Ganna and the Dutch Van Goethem and Ship. The six were given a safe-conduct, their maximum lead was a little more than ten minutes.
The passage through The Nuts, the polderzone where the wind often for waaiervorming, proved in the absence of wind, a measure for nothing. The peloton drew grouped in the direction of hill section, and was cut in half in the meantime, the lead of the leaders. It was waiting for, the double ascent of the Kemmelberg to any mood. Once again it was the Quick-Step that debate with a very attentive Viviani in the front ranks. Also Wout van Aert went very smoothly the first time Kemmel.
Yet all went along and pulled the pack in a tight trot in the direction of ” plugstreets’, the unpaved stretches of road that for additional selection in the direction of second climb Kemmel had to take care. BMC took command of the unpaved roads leading to multiple fractures in the platoon made. Especially the Swiss Kung made an impression, but really great was the damage.
In the run-up to the second climb of the Kemmel, it’s raining attacks from riders with the lead on the second climb wanted to start. For a moment it seemed a nice group, with Sagan, to drive away but AG2R brought everything back together.
Second time Kemmel
The six front runners took just ahead on the second climb of the Kemmel, where the depleted peloton completely exploded. However, four riders for the Kemmel in order to get away from the peloton: Julien Vermote, Jelle Wallays, Alex Kirsch and the Russian Kuznetzov. It locks just before the village green on to the six leaders so that we ten man first got it.
The second climb of the Kemmel brought a lot of showmanship on: Vanmarcke impressed, Van Aert went smoothly, but also the most spurters would survive the second climb. Viviani, Stuyven and other Démares went easy, on the 25 kilometers were the final escapees to remind you for the effort and we got a group of about thirty riders on the way to Wevelgem with a lot of fast men on board: Viviani, Stuyven, Mezgec, Modolo, Debusschere, Laporte, Matthews, and other Trentins. Also, the expected leaders Of the Team, Naesen, Vanmarcke and Van Aert lined up at the start.
With all the sprinters at the front was that the front attack would follow. Quick-Step, however, held the pace high in the service of Viviani. With Lampaert, Gilbert and Stybar, he had only about an enviable spurttrein. Gilbert drove to the hole to prevent any vluchtpogingen would come. Late failure of Van Avermaet and Vanmarcke were still neutralized, so there was eventually sprints as well. In that spurt, there was no size on Peter Sagan who took out for Viviani, and Démare.