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Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) tried to anticipate the sprint, but Bennett turned on the after-burners in the closing meters to win. Philipsen crossed the line second, while Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) could only muster third. Giacomo Nizzolo and Timothy Dupont rounded out the top-5 in the midweek one-day race.
“I could feel there was a bit of a headwind, and I decided to wait longer. I don’t focus on anybody else and I just did my own sprint,” Bennett said. “It’s a big and important race, and everyone wants to be there, everyone has pressure, and everyone wants to get a result. It was a great day and a great race today.”
Also read: Sam Bennett still chasing monument dream
The Irishman made easy work of his rivals to claim his first WorldTour one-day race of his career.
“For me, it’s super important to get this win, especially being a Belgian team and racing on home soil,” Bennett said. “For myself, it’s my first one-day WorldTour race, and it’s something I’ve been chasing for many years and I am so happy to finally get it.”
Despite worries from an uptick of COVID-19 cases, the race was contested without disruption Wednesday.
The women line up Thursday to race 158.8km in the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne race, with the same name and same start and finishing towns.