Events

E3 Harelbeke: Terpstra wins as Quick-Step flexes classics muscles

Belgian team Quick-Step Floors blitzed E3 Harelbeke Friday with Niki Terpstra taking a convincing solo win.

Belgian team Quick-Step Floors blitzed E3 Harelbeke Friday with Niki Terpstra taking a convincing solo win, followed by teammate Philippe Gilbert winning the sprint for second. Only BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet could break up the Quick-Step sweep, third in Harelbeke, Belgium.

“The whole race is a gamble,” Terpstra said. “When I waited on the Kwaremont [for teammate Yves Lampaert], we already lost a lot of time. Luckily, he came back on and did a few good pulls. I would rather be alone than to have a rival who is taking no pulls at all, and sitting on your wheel.”

Top-10 results

  • 1. Niki Terpstra, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 05:03:34
  • 2. Philippe Gilbert, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:00:20
  • 3. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00:20
  • 4. Oliver Naesen, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:00:20
  • 5. Tiesj Benoot, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:00:20
  • 6. Jasper Stuyven, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:00:20
  • 7. Sep Vanmarcke, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:00:20
  • 8. Gianni Moscon, TEAM SKY, at 0:00:20
  • 9. Zdenek Štybar, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:00:20
  • 10. Stefan KÜng, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00:20

Quick-Step Floors had the upper hand with about 100km to go when a crash split the peloton. The entire team made the select front group of 30 riders.

Riders took to the hay fields to get around a big pile up in the roadway. Photo: Tim De Waele/Getty Images

Then, Terpstra escaped the peloton with about 70 kilometers to go, after the Taaienberg climb. Joined by his Quick-Step teammate Yves Lampaert, they soon caught the remainder of the day’s early breakaway and left them behind.

Behind, the main group of favorites began to whittle down as the 206.5km route reached some of the hardest cobbled climbs on the menu.

“It was a fast and nervous E3 Harelbeke and until the Taaienberg, everything was going exactly according to the way we had planned,” said world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). “Then when Quick-Step attacked, Daniel [Oss] and I took the responsibility to go across and close the gaps, bringing the chasing groups together. That required a big effort and when you do that so far from the finish, it’s difficult.”

Having also crashed early in the race, Sagan was eventually dropped from the group and finished well behind in 26th.

Peter Sagan
Peter Sagan’s every move was marked by his rivals in E3 Harelbeke. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty Images

At one point, Olympic champion Van Avermaet tried to escape the bunch with Strade Bianche winner Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal), Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale), and Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac). They were following an attack by Gilbert on the Karnemelkbeekstraat and soon caught the Tour of Flanders champion with about 30km remaining.

Van Avermaet’s move was eventually brought back by the bunch. Gilbert briefly tried a solo attack to bridge up to his two teammates in the lead, but that was also neutralized.

Up the road, Terpstra had left Lampaert behind and went up the final climb — the Tiegemberg — alone. Inside of the final 15km, the Dutchman clung to a tenuous 30-second lead.

“The toughest moment came on the highway, inside the last ten kilometers, but I didn’t crack and rode my heart out there, managing to finish off the team’s brilliant effort with this win,” Terpstra said.

Niki Terpstra
Niki Terpstra dropped his teammate Yves Lampaert and continued on solo. Photo: Tim De Waele/Getty Images

Into the final kilometers through the town of Harelbeke, the chase group of 10 looked to have Terpstra’s attack under control. His lead dwindled to under 15 seconds at one point. However, with the victory in reach, cooperation disintegrated.

Although BMC had three riders in the group, it didn’t organize a chase, instead opting to send riders off the front one at a time, only to see them covered by other riders.

“It was a pity the plans of BMC weren’t clear because that could have been the key to catching Terpstra at the end,” said Lotto-Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot.”

Quick-Step had Zdenek Stybar and Gilbert in the group, which also discouraged cooperation.

When Terpstra went under the red kite with one kilometer to go, his lead had become insurmountable. The 2014 Paris-Roubaix champion took his first major win of the season with time to celebrate.

Results

  • 1. Niki Terpstra, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 05:03:34
  • 2. Philippe Gilbert, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:00:20
  • 3. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00:20
  • 4. Oliver Naesen, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:00:20
  • 5. Tiesj Benoot, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:00:20
  • 6. Jasper Stuyven, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:00:20
  • 7. Sep Vanmarcke, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:00:20
  • 8. Gianni Moscon, TEAM SKY, at 0:00:20
  • 9. Zdenek Štybar, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:00:20
  • 10. Stefan KÜng, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00:20
  • 11. Matteo Trentin, MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 0:00:20
  • 12. Jurgen Roelandts, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:00:27
  • 13. Michael Matthews, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:02:52
  • 14. Michael Valgren Andersen, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:02:52
  • 15. Frederik Backaert, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 0:02:52
  • 16. Florian Senechal, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:02:57
  • 17. Yves Lampaert, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:03:00
  • 18. Luka Mezgec, MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 0:03:19
  • 19. Heinrich Haussler, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 0:03:19
  • 20. Jean-Pierre Drucker, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:03:19
  • 21. John Degenkolb, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:03:19
  • 22. Viacheslav Kuznetsov, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 0:03:19
  • 23. Luke Durbridge, MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 0:03:19
  • 24. Edvald Boasson Hagen, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 0:03:19
  • 25. Søren Kragh Andersen, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:03:19
  • 26. Peter Sagan, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:03:23
  • 27. Tony Martin, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 0:03:27
  • 28. Justin Jules, WB AQUA PROTECT VERANCLASSIC, at 0:07:03
  • 29. Sylvain Chavanel, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 0:07:03
  • 30. Stijn Vandenbergh, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:07:03
  • 31. Pim Ligthart, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 0:07:03
  • 32. Nelson Oliveira, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:07:03
  • 33. Koen De Kort, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:07:03
  • 34. Magnus Cort Nielsen, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:07:03
  • 35. Tony Gallopin, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:08:09
  • 36. Dries Van Gestel, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 0:08:09
  • 37. Marcel Sieberg, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:08:09
  • 38. Mike Teunissen, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:08:09
  • 39. Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:08:09
  • 40. Alexander Kristoff, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:08:09
  • 41. Michael SchÄr, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:08:09
  • 42. Piet Allegaert, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 0:08:09
  • 43. Owain Doull, TEAM SKY, at 0:08:09
  • 44. Damien Gaudin, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 0:08:09
  • 45. Michal Golas, TEAM SKY, at 0:08:09
  • 46. Huub Duijn, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 0:08:09
  • 47. Mathew Hayman, MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 0:08:09
  • 48. Jack Bauer, MITCHELTON – SCOTT, at 0:08:09
  • 49. Sonny Colbrelli, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 0:08:09
  • 50. Brian Van Goethem, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 0:11:15
  • 51. Dylan Van Baarle, TEAM SKY, at 0:11:15
  • 52. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 0:11:15
  • 53. Julien Duval, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 0:14:05
  • 54. Nils Politt, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 0:14:05
  • 55. Tim Declercq, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:14:05
  • 56. Arnaud Demare, GROUPAMA – FDJ, at 0:14:05
  • 57. Thomas Sprengers, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 0:14:05
  • 58. Olivier Le Gac, GROUPAMA – FDJ, at 0:14:05
  • 59. Jorge Arcas, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:14:05
  • 60. Sjoerd Van Ginneken, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 0:14:05
  • 61. Kevin Van Melsen, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 0:14:05
  • 62. Michal KolÁr, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:14:05
  • 63. Christoph Pfingsten, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:14:05
  • 64. Ivan Garcia Cortina, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 0:14:05
  • 65. Jonas Rickaert, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 0:14:05
  • 66. Sven Erik BystrØm, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:14:05
  • 67. Alexandre Pichot, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 0:14:05
  • 68. Tanguy Turgis, VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB, at 0:14:05
  • 69. Patrick MÜller, VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB, at 0:14:05
  • 70. Stijn Devolder, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN, at 0:14:05
  • 71. Hector Carretero, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:14:05
  • 72. Alex Kirsch, WB AQUA PROTECT VERANCLASSIC, at 0:14:05
  • 73. Ryan Mullen, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 0:14:05
  • 74. Dion Smith, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 0:14:05
  • 75. Andrea Pasqualon, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 0:14:05
  • 76. Adrien Petit, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 0:14:05
  • 77. Julien Vermote, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 0:14:05
  • 78. Nikolas Maes, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:14:05
  • 79. Hugo Houle, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:14:05
  • 80. Gijs Van Hoecke, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 0:14:05
  • 81. Moreno Hofland, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:14:05
  • 82. Martijn Budding, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 0:14:05
  • 83. Carlos Barbero, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:14:05
  • 84. Lukasz Wisniowski, TEAM SKY, at 0:14:05
  • 85. Andrey Amador, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:14:05
  • 86. Mikel Landa Meana, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:14:05
  • 87. Borut Bozic, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 0:14:05
  • 88. Jos Van Emden, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 0:14:05
  • 89. Marco Marcato, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 0:14:05
  • 90. Timo Roosen, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 0:14:05
  • 91. Amund Grøndahl Jansen, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 0:14:05
  • 92. Truls KorsÆth, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:14:05
  • 93. Sebastian Langeveld, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:14:10
  • 94. Sacha Modolo, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:14:10
  • 95. Alexey Lutsenko, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 0:14:10
  • DNF Aime De Gendt, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Laurens De Vreese, ASTANA PRO TEAM
  • DNF Oliviero Troia, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Ben Swift, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Maxime Farazijn, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Alexander Edmondson, MITCHELTON – SCOTT
  • DNF Tom Scully, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE
  • DNF Oscar Gatto, ASTANA PRO TEAM
  • DNF Filippo Ganna, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Lawrence Naesen, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Simone Consonni, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Taylor Phinney, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE
  • DNF Kevin Deltombe, SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
  • DNF Lennard Hofstede, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Robert Thomas Wagner, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Maarten Wynants, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Kristoffer Halvorsen, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Christian Knees, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Rick Zabel, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF David Per, BAHRAIN – MERIDA
  • DNF Luka Pibernik, BAHRAIN – MERIDA
  • DNF Mitchell Docker, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE
  • DNF Roy Curvers, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Kiel Reijnen, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Baptiste Planckaert, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF Tom Stamsnijder, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF José GonÇalves, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF Marco Haller, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
  • DNF Frederik Frison, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Mads Pedersen, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Gregory Rast, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Tom Van Asbroeck, TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE
  • DNF Phil Bauhaus, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Thomas Leezer, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Jasper De Buyst, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Michael Hepburn, MITCHELTON – SCOTT
  • DNF Jan Willem Van Schip, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Wouter Wippert, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Bryan Coquard, VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB
  • DNF Adrien Garel, VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB
  • DNF Julien Morice, VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB
  • DNF Johan Le Bon, VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB
  • DNF Jérémy Lecroq, VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB
  • DNF Floris Gerts, ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Rudy Barbier, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Angelo Tulik, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Jay Robert Thomson, TEAM DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Ryan Gibbons, TEAM DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Nicolas Dougall, TEAM DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Daniel Oss, BORA – HANSGROHE
  • DNF Nico Denz, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Gediminas Bagdonas, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Pascal Ackermann, BORA – HANSGROHE
  • DNF Michael Schwarzmann, BORA – HANSGROHE
  • DNF Rüdiger Selig, BORA – HANSGROHE
  • DNF Iljo Keisse, QUICK – STEP FLOORS
  • DNF Julien Stassen, WB AQUA PROTECT VERANCLASSIC
  • DNF Simone Antonini, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Yohann Gene, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Marc Sarreau, GROUPAMA – FDJ
  • DNF Jasha SÜtterlin, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Dries De Bondt, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN
  • DNF Sean De Bie, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN
  • DNF Ramon Sinkeldam, GROUPAMA – FDJ
  • DNF Aidis Kruopis, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN
  • DNF Stijn Steels, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN
  • DNF Benjamin King, TEAM DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Jimmy Duquennoy, WB AQUA PROTECT VERANCLASSIC
  • DNF Yoann Offredo, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Ignatas Konovalovas, GROUPAMA – FDJ
  • DNF Christophe Masson, WB AQUA PROTECT VERANCLASSIC
  • DNF Lukas Spengler, WB AQUA PROTECT VERANCLASSIC
  • DNF Kenny Dehaes, WB AQUA PROTECT VERANCLASSIC
  • DNF Romain Cardis, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Jacopo Guarnieri, GROUPAMA – FDJ
  • DNF Alberto Bettiol, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Mickael Delage, GROUPAMA – FDJ
  • DNF Kristijan Koren, BAHRAIN – MERIDA
  • DNF Elias Van Breussegem, VERANDA’S WILLEMS – CRELAN