Last year’s world champion Mads Pedersen won the 82nd Gent-Wevelgem classic from a four-man sprint on a wet and blustery day through the Flanders Fields today.
The Dane (Trek-Segafredo) beat France’s Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) on the line to take his first classics victory after a tough day of racing over 232.5km that featured an assortment of hellingen.
Italy’s Matteo Trentin (CCC) was third with his compatriot and last year’s Tour of Flanders champion, Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling), fourth.
They were part of a leading group of nine riders that went clear inside the final 15km. A series of attacks in the closing kilometres then saw Senechal, Trentin and Bettiol emerge at the front.
As race favourites Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert marked each other behind, Pedersen took the opportunity to bridge the gap to the three leaders within the final kilometre before blitzing them in the sprint.
South Africa’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (NTT) finished 28th, 3:02 of the pace.
|4||Alberto Bettiol||ITA||EF Pro Cycling||+0:01|
|6||John Degenkolb||GER||Lotto Soudal||+0:04|
|8||Wout van Aert||BEL||Jumbo-Visma||+0:07|
|9||Mathieu van der Poel||NED||Alpecin-Fenix||+0:08|
|28||Reinardt Janse van Rensburg||RSA||NTT||+03:02|