This year’s Tour of Flanders was a tense, tactical, race, with only the strongest riders making it into the final selection that fought for victory after the 19 climbs and 264km of racing.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) confirmed his status as the new king of the Classics by going away with Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep) on the Kruisberg and then by crushing him in the final sprint. The Norwegian led out the sprint but rode it perfectly, jumping when Terpstra jumped and then using his superior power to push a bigger gear. Terpstra could only suffer in Kristoff’s slipstream and follow him home, head bowed in disappointment.
Victory gave Kristoff his second monument Classic of his career and his fifth win of the week after his three stage wins and overall victory at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde. He is the man of the moment.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) deserved the final spot on the podium but was left wondering what could have been if he’d been able to go with Kristoff and Terpstra or if his BMC teammates and the other riders in the chase group had managed to keep the attack under control.
Sadly this year’s 99th edition of the Tour of Flanders was also marked by two rider-car incidents, sparked by Shimano neutral service vehicles. First Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) was hit while in the break of the day, and then Sebastien Chavanel (FDJ) was hurt when a Shimano vehicle shunted the FDJ team car into Chavanel.
Watch how Kristoff won the Tour of Flanders below and the two incidents below in the official highlight video.
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