Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who won two stages in a similar fashion at last month’s Tour de France, beat Germany’s Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Italy’s Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) to the line in the 173km race that started and finished in Schoten in Belgium.
Ackermann was however disqualified for an infringement in the sprint that looked like it caused the crash, meaning Bonifazio and France’s Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) were promoted to second and third by the judges.
Three riders hit the deck as Ackermann’s back wheel moved in front of another’s front wheel when he launched his sprint, with Norway’s August Jensen (Riwal Securitas) needing medical attention on the scene.
Flanders’ oldest race, which usually traverses the Netherlands before ending in Belgium, took place entirely in Belgium due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The course, around Schoten just north of Antwerp, consisted of a 17km circuit which the riders had to complete 10 times.
Gent-Wevelgem champion Mads Pederson withdrew early on after experiencing some discomfort in his hamstring. He decided it would be better to rest and recover before Flanders.
Rumours that Mark Cavendish‘s career was over after Gent-Wevelgem was squashed when he was named in Bahrain-McLaren’s team for the classic that is a traditional tune-up event for the Tour of Flanders.
The Manx Missile, who rode aggressively to feature in the breakaway before falling back, will not contest the Tour of Flanders or Vuelta and therefore it was likely his last outing of the 2020 season.
|1||Caleb Ewan||AUS||Lotto Soudal|
|2||Niccolo Bonifazio||ITA||Total Direct Energie|
|3||Bryan Coquard||FRA||B&B Hotels-Vital Concept|
|5||Jasper Philipsen||BEL||UAE Team Emirates|
|6||Amaury Capiot||BEL||Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise|
|7||Arvid De Kleijn||NED||Riwal Readynez|
|9||Itamar Einhorn||ISR||Israel Start-Up Nation|
|10||Romain Cardis||FRA||Total Direct Energie|