BMC’s Philippe Gilbert was third, crossing the line in a group of six that finished two seconds behind the lead duo. Gerts took his win in his home region in the Netherlands.
"For me it feels like my home ride and I train a lot in this area," he said. "Although I haven't trained here in the last six months, I know all of the road and exactly where and what was coming. I was actually looking forward to this race all year and this week I said to myself that I have to give it everything. I didn't want any regrets after the race. It was really a team effort."
The race was Gerts’ first time competing in Holland this season, and the 23-year-old neo-pro made the most of his opportunity.
"My grandfather was there to see me race, which was really special because he is getting old," Gerts said. "I don't know if he saw everything but it was really special that my two brothers and my parents came with my grandfather to watch the race. For them it is also home as my grandfather comes from here and my mother also."
Gerts slipped away from a select lead group that included a handful of BMC teammates, including fourth-placed Rick Zabel.
"In the last kilometer Philippe pushed me a little so I attacked again," he said. "The other guys behind me weren't really chasing but I don't really know what happened behind me. I kept going and I got to the finish line. It felt like all of the other riders deserved the win just as much, so it really was a team effort. I cannot describe it better than that."
The win gives Gerts a confidence boost after a hard crash earlier this season at Le Samyn.
"I just wanted to give the race today everything I had," he said. "Winning is unbelievable, but I also got a lot of confidence out of some other races like E3 Harelbeke, so I'm looking forward to the next races."