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Van Avermaet wins Gent-Wevelgem

WEVELGEM, Belgium (AFP) – Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet completed a 48-hour cobbled classic double by winning Gent-Wevelgem in Belgium on Sunday.

The 31-year-old edged out Belgian compatriot Jens Keukeleire in a two-up sprint finish to the 249km 79th edition of the race, just two days removed from winning E3 Harelbeke for the second time on Friday.

Top 10 results

  • 1. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING, in 5:39:00
  • 2. Jens KEUKELEIRE, ORICA-SCOTT, at :00
  • 3. Peter SAGAN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :06
  • 4. Niki TERPSTRA, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :06
  • 5. John DEGENKOLB, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :06
  • 6. Tom BOONEN, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :06
  • 7. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :06
  • 8. Michael MATTHEWS, TEAM SUNWEB, at :06
  • 9. Fernando GAVIRIA RENDON, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :06
  • 10. Sacha MODOLO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :06

Van Avermaet’s teammates Stefan Küng, Daniel Oss, Silvan Dillier and Loïc Vliegen put in a huge effort to counter a Quick-Step move and bring the group back for Van Avermaet as the race entered the final 50km.

On the final ascent of the Kemmelberg, Van Avermaet made his own move and a group of 14 riders went clear of the peloton. Approaching 20km to go, Keukeleire attacked and Van Avermaet, Nikki Terpstra (Quickstep-Floors), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) joined.

At 15km before the finish, it was just Van Avermaet and Keukeleire left at the front. The duo put in a solid effort to stay clear and eventually, it was Van Avermaet who took the win on the line as the peloton came storming home just six seconds behind the duo.

“The guys, like Stefan Küng and Loïc Vliegen, did a great job to bring Quickstep-Floors back when they went away on the gravel roads,” explained the winner. “Daniel Oss was strong too the whole day. It was a really hard race for sure and you need a strong team in these races.”

It was Van Avermaet’s third win on the cobbles in the last month having also won February’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

It sets up the BMC rider as clear favourite for next weekend’s Tour of Flanders, the second high-profile ‘Monument’ race of the season where he has already finished second in 2014 and third a year later.

“I can’t hide it any longer, I will without a doubt be the man to beat – the favourite,” admitted Van Avermaet. “I didn’t think I could win this course which is suited to pure sprinters.

“I was audacious and that created an ideal situation for me.”

Van Avermaet has never won a Monument race despite being one of his generation’s best cobbled one-day classics specialists.

But he comes into the two major objectives of his season over the next two weekends – Flanders and then Paris-Roubaix – with brimming confidence and in the form of his life.

Van Avermaet will be eager to make amends for his Flanders disaster last season when he broke his collarbone in a crash with four team-mates, failing to finish the race and then missing Paris-Roubaix.

But since coming back to racing, the former nearly-man has enjoyed the best period of his life, winning Olympic gold in Rio after holding the Tour de France yellow jersey for three days last July.

He will face stiff competition in Flanders from world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who took third place in Wevelgem, a few seconds back after out-sprinting 2014 Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors).

Sagan, who was second to Van Avermaet at Omloop Het Nieuswblad, won both Gent-Wevelgem and Flanders last year.

But he was left angry with Terpstra, whom he felt refused to help chase down the lead duo.

“Terpstra rode more to make me lose the race than to try to win it himself,” complained the Slovakian.

Van Avermaet had opened hostilities with 35km left with an attack on the Mont Kemmel climb that was originally followed only by Sagan.

Several further attacks resulted in a two-man lead group with three chasers – Sagan, Terpstra and Dane Soren Kragh Andersen – but they fail to work together effectively.

Results

  • 1. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING, in 5:39:05
  • 2. Jens KEUKELEIRE, ORICA-SCOTT, at :00
  • 3. Peter SAGAN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :06
  • 4. Niki TERPSTRA, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :06
  • 5. John DEGENKOLB, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :06
  • 6. Tom BOONEN, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :06
  • 7. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :06
  • 8. Michael MATTHEWS, TEAM SUNWEB, at :06
  • 9. Fernando GAVIRIA RENDON, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :06
  • 10. Sacha MODOLO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :06
  • 11. Maxime VANTOMME, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT, at :06
  • 12. Bert VAN LERBERGHE, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :06
  • 13. Sonny COLBRELLI, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at :06
  • 14. Juraj SAGAN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :06
  • 15. Christophe LAPORTE, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :06
  • 16. Søren Kragh ANDERSEN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :06
  • 17. Sam BENNETT, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :06
  • 18. Jos VAN EMDEN, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at :06
  • 19. Edward THEUNS, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :06
  • 20. Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :06
  • 21. Ian STANNARD, TEAM SKY, at :06
  • 22. Oliver NAESEN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :06
  • 23. Coen VERMELTFOORT, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ, at :06
  • 24. Daniele BENNATI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :06
  • 25. Marco MARCATO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at :06
  • 26. Luka MEZGEC, ORICA-SCOTT, at :06
  • 27. Loïc VLIEGEN, BMC RACING, at :06
  • 28. Jasha SÜTTERLIN, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :06
  • 29. Scott THWAITES, DIMENSION DATA, at :06
  • 30. Yoann OFFREDO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :06
  • 31. Nikolas MAES, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :06
  • 32. Alberto BETTIOL, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at :06
  • 33. MICHAEL VALGREN ANDERSEN, ASTANA PRO, at :06
  • 34. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :06
  • 35. Bram TANKINK, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at :06
  • 36. Hugo Hofstetter, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :06
  • 37. NICCOLO BONIFAZIO, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at :06
  • 38. Dries VAN GESTEL, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :06
  • 39. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING, at :06
  • 40. Andrey GRIVKO, ASTANA PRO, at :06
  • 41. Jurgen ROELANDTS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :06
  • 42. Silvan DILLIER, BMC RACING, at :06
  • 43. Mitch DOCKER, ORICA-SCOTT, at :13
  • 44. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, at :13
  • 45. Koen DE KORT, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :13
  • 46. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :13
  • 47. Christopher JUUL JENSEN, ORICA-SCOTT, at :13
  • 48. Julien VERMOTE, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :13
  • 49. Yves LAMPAERT, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :13
  • 50. Fabio FELLINE, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :13
  • 51. Matteo TRENTIN, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :13
  • 52. Zdenek ŠTYBAR, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :13
  • 53. Dimitri CLAEYS, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :13
  • 54. Luka PIBERNIK, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at :30
  • 55. Tom VAN ASBROECK, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 1:20
  • 56. Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:32
  • 57. Robert Thomas WAGNER, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 7:26
  • 58. Pim LIGTHART, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ, at 7:26
  • 59. Julien DUVAL, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 7:26
  • 60. Elmar REINDERS, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ, at 7:26
  • 61. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA PRO, at 7:26
  • 62. Moreno HOFLAND, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 7:26
  • 63. Huub DUYN, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN, at 7:26
  • 64. Iljo KEISSE, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 7:26
  • 65. Francisco Jose VENTOSO ALBERDI, BMC RACING, at 7:26
  • 66. Jay Robert THOMSON, DIMENSION DATA, at 7:26
  • 67. Carlos BARBERO CUESTA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 7:26
  • 68. Rick ZABEL, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 7:26
  • 69. Viacheslav KUZNETSOV, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 7:26
  • 70. Mark MCNALLY, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 7:26
  • 71. Simone CONSONNI, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 7:26
  • 72. Ryan MULLEN, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 7:26
  • 73. Alexander KRISTOFF, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 7:26
  • 74. Andrea PASQUALON, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 7:26
  • 75. Kenneth VAN ROOY, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 7:26
  • 76. Bernhard EISEL, DIMENSION DATA, at 7:26
  • 77. Dennis VAN WINDEN, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 7:26
  • 78. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ, at 7:26
  • 79. Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM SUNWEB, at 7:26
  • 80. Dylan GROENEWEGEN, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 7:26
  • 81. Amund Grondahl JANSEN, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 7:26
  • 82. Stefan KÜNG, BMC RACING, at 7:26
  • 83. Borut BOZIC, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 7:26
  • 84. Jelle WALLAYS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 7:26
  • 85. Baptiste PLANCKAERT, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 7:26
  • 86. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, ASTANA PRO, at 7:26
  • 87. Preben VAN HECKE, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 7:26
  • 88. Raymond KREDER, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ, at 7:26
  • 89. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ, at 7:26
  • 90. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING, at 7:26
  • 91. Gediminas BAGDONAS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 7:26
  • 92. Héctor CARRETERO, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 7:26
  • 93. Marcus BURGHARDT, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 7:26
  • 94. Maciej BODNAR, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 7:26
  • 95. Lars BOOM, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 7:26
  • 96. Tyler FARRAR, DIMENSION DATA, at 7:26
  • 97. Dylan VAN BAARLE, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 7:26
  • 98. Mathew HAYMAN, ORICA-SCOTT, at 7:26
  • 99. Sebastian LANGEVELD, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 7:26
  • 100. Florian SENECHAL, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 7:26
  • 101. Caleb EWAN, ORICA-SCOTT, at 7:26
  • 102. Wesley KREDER, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 7:26
  • 103. Michael MORKOV, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 13:47
  • 104. Ivan GARCIA CORTINA, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 13:47
  • 105. Federico ZURLO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 13:47
  • 106. Olivier LE GAC, FDJ, at 13:47
  • 107. Mickael DELAGE, FDJ at 13:47
  • 108. Loic CHETOUT, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 13:47
  • 109. Lukasz WISNIOWSKI, TEAM SKY, at 13:47
  • 110. Christian KNEES, TEAM SKY, at 13:47
  • 111. Christophe MASSON, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT, at 13:47
  • 112. Gregory RAST, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at 13:47
  • 113. Tony MARTIN, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 13:47
  • 114. Edward PLANCKAERT, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 13:51
  • 115. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at 3:52
  • DNF Stef VAN ZUMMEREN, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING
  • DNF Otto VERGAERDE, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Michaël VAN STAEYEN, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Cyril LEMOINE, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Aidis KRUOPIS, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Stijn VANDENBERGH, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Kenneth VANBILSEN, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Rudy BARBIER, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Alexis GOUGEARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Timothy DUPONT, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Michael GOOLAERTS, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Dries DE BONDT, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Matti BRESCHEL, ASTANA PRO
  • DNF Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Nico DENZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Benjamin PERRY, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
  • DNF Krists NEILANDS, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
  • DNF Christophe PRÉMONT, VERANDAS WILLEMS-CRELAN
  • DNF Marco HALLER, KATUSHA-ALPECIN
  • DNF Michal KOLÁR, BORA-HANSGROHE
  • DNF Taco VAN DER HOORN, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Aleksejs SARAMOTINS, BORA-HANSGROHE
  • DNF Andreas SCHILLINGER, BORA-HANSGROHE
  • DNF Andre LOOIJ, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Jesper ASSELMAN, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Daniel TUREK, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
  • DNF Roy JANS, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT
  • DNF Mihkel RÄIM, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
  • DNF Jimmy DUQUENNOY, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT
  • DNF Zakkari DEMPSTER, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
  • DNF Guillaume BOIVIN, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
  • DNF Ludwig DE WINTER, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT
  • DNF Julien STASSEN, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT
  • DNF Frederik FRISON, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Lawrence NAESEN, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT
  • DNF Alex KIRSCH, WB VERANCLASSIC-AQUA PROTECT
  • DNF Stijn STEELS, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Lars Ytting BAK, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Oscar GATTO, ASTANA PRO
  • DNF Guy SAGIV, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
  • DNF Roger KLUGE, ORICA-SCOTT
  • DNF Jens WALLAYS, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Nuno MATOS, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Ramon SINKELDAM, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Antonio PEDRERO LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Roy CURVERS, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Zico WAEYTENS, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Bert DE BACKER, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Jorge ARCAS PEÑA, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Jonathan DIEBBEN, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Lorrenzo MANZIN, FDJ
  • DNF Magnus Cort NIELSEN, ORICA-SCOTT
  • DNF Nick DOUGALL, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Owain DOULL, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Luke ROWE, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Thomas LEEZER, LOTTONL-JUMBO
  • DNF Gijs VAN HOECKE, LOTTONL-JUMBO
  • DNF Youcef REGUIGUI, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Mark RENSHAW, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Boy VAN POPPEL, TREK-SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Danny VAN POPPEL, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Kristijan KOREN, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC
  • DNF Robin STENUIT, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Alexey LUTSENKO, ASTANA PRO
  • DNF Ruslan TLEUBAYEV, ASTANA PRO
  • DNF Sven erik BYSTRØM, KATUSHA-ALPECIN
  • DNF Chun Kai FENG, BAHRAIN-MERIDA
  • DNF Maxime FARAZIJN, SPORTS VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Ion Ander INSAUSTI IRASTORZA, BAHRAIN-MERIDA
  • DNF David PER, BAHRAIN-MERIDA
  • DNF Nikias ARNDT, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Oliviero TROIA, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Simone ANTONINI, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Tom SCULLY, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC
  • DNF Vegard Stake LAENGEN, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Filippo GANNA, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Wouter WIPPERT, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC
  • DNF Kiel REIJNEN, TREK-SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Jacopo GUARNIERI, FDJ
  • DNF Ignatas KONOVALOVAS, FDJ
  • DNF Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ
  • DNF Marc SARREAU, FDJ
  • DNF Marko KUMP, UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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