Niki Terpstra (Quick Step Floors) won the 263km Tour of Flanders, which finished in Oudenaard, Belgium, today.
The Dutchman completed the race in 6:21:25, beating Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step Floors) into second and third respectively.
An 11-man leading bunch – which included South African Ryan Gibbons (DiData) – led the race for large parts of the race, before they were caught with approximately 80km to go. The peloton then began breaking into different groups for the remainder of the race.
With about 65km left, the peloton assembled, but with just over 50km to go, gaps between the peloton began widening. All of the riders were forced to go deep atop the Kopenberg cobbled climb.
Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky), Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) and Pedersen took a 30-second lead at the Kruisberg climb with 28km to go.
Attacks in the chasing bunch ensued after the cobbles ended, which saw Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain–Merida) solo ahead. Terpstra joined Nibali shortly after, before the Dutchman took over and broke away in an attempt to catch the leading trio.
With about 20km to go, on the Oude Kwaremont, the three riders in front extended their lead to 40 seconds, before Terpstra powered past them over the top of the climb. Terpstra managed to build a 40-second lead with 15km left, with Pedersen chasing in second.
Peter Sagan (Bora–Hansgrohe), just after the Paterberg climb, gave a lone chase in third. With about 8km left Pedersen was 35 seconds behind Terpstra, with Sagan a further 10 seconds back. Terpstra held his lead to solo to victory. Pedersen held on for second place, while Terpstra’s teammate Philippe Gilbert completed the podium in a sprint finish.
It was a “dream come true” for Terpstra, he said. “Winning Paris-Roubaix and now the Tour of Flanders – two races that were always a big dream for me,” Terpstra said after the race.
“When I was young kid, I was already crazy about those two races. Now they’re both on my palmares. I can’t describe how happy I am,”
View more results below.
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors 6:21:25
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo +0:12
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors +0:17
4. Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team +0:20
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team +0:25
6. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda’s Willems Crelan
10. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors