Gilbert wins Belgian national road race title

BMC rider beats Wellens in two-man break

Five years after his first national road race title, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) rode to his second in Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure. Gilbert beat Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) in a sprint, after the two got away in a late break, with Gilbert’s BMC teammate Greg Van Avermaet taking third.

Gilbert and Wellens jumped away with Etixx-QuickStep’s Laurens de Plus inside the final 50 kilometres, shutting down an earlier attack from Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal). The trio quickly dropped de Gendt, and when Gilbert and Wellens decided to forge on, de Plus was also left behind leaving the two riders to duke it out for the Belgian jersey.

Heading into the final kilometre, Gilbert and Wellens had a comfortable lead of more than a minute over the chasers, which allowed them to ride a very cagey and tactical sprint. Much like a match sprint on the track, they tried to force the other to the front and, at moments, it looked like they might come to a standstill on the drag to the finish line. When Gilbert finally struck out towards the finish line, Wellens had no answer and the elder of the two could throw his arms up in celebration.

There was a delayed start to the day due to a later than expected finish to the women’s race. Around 10 minutes later than planned, the men rolled out under grey skies. There had been some doubts about the participation of Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) after he fell ill earlier in the race but the former champion was on the start line.

After two laps, a strong group including many of the pre-race favourites began to move clear. The full make-up was the group consisted of: Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet, Dylan Teuns, Loïc Vliegen, De Plus, Nikolas Maes, Pieter Serry, Sean De Bie, Bart De Clercq, De Gendt, Jelle Wallays, Wellens, Jens Keukeleire, Jan Bakelants, Dries Devenyns, Wout van Aert, Aimé De Gendt, Floris De Tier and Gijs Van Hoecke.

That would prove to be the crucial split in the bunch as riders struggled to chase across. As the rain began to fall, the effort showed for De Bie, and he dropped back and eventually retired citing a broken rib for his departure. It wasn’t only De Bie that suffered and with 100km to go, only 70 riders remained out on course. Several riders did try to bridge the gap, but most were unsuccessful with Jurgen Roelandts one of the few to make it. With five laps remaining, however, the leading group began to diminish.

It was at this point that De Gendt decided to brave the horrible conditions alone. He built little more than a 20-second gap before he was joined by Gilbert, Wellens and De Plus and subsequently dropped. As the trio out front pushed on, De Gendt found more company in Bakelants, Jelle Wallays, Van Avermaet, Pieter Serry, Roelandts and Jens Keukeleire.

With 40km to go, Du Plus already looked to be struggling to stay in touch with Wellens and Gilbert. He held on for a little longer but finally had to wave goodbye to the leading group with 24 kilometres to the line. Behind them, De Gendt and Van Avermaet stopped assisting the chasing group, which allowed their teammates to build their advantage.

Wellens did the lion’s share of the work in the final 10 kilometres and, knowing Gilbert’s finishing speed, tried to shake him off on several occasions. It wasn’t to be for Wellens, and he had no answer to Gilbert in the run to the line.

Full Results


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team5:46:59 
2Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:28 
4Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:34 
5Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
6Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step0:00:39 
7Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
8Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step0:00:42 
9Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team0:00:51 
10Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:01:44 
11Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:50 
12Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
13Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step  
14Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team  
15Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
16Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo  
17Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
18Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step  
19Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
20Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge  
21Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
22Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:02:56 
23Laurent Evrard (Bel) Team 3M0:02:57 
24Gijs Van Hoeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
25Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data0:03:05 
26Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:13 
27Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek - Segafredo0:03:17 
28Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:28 
29Laurens De Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step0:03:47 
30Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling  
DNSKlaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team  
DNFKevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFAmaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFAimé Degendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFMoreno De Pauw (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFMaxime Farazijn (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFRuben Pols (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFThomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFStijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFDries Van Gestel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFBert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFPieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFOtto Vergaerde (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJens Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFTom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step  
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step  
DNFGianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step  
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step  
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick Step  
DNFTiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFJasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFBart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFFrederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFJelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFLoic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
DNFVictor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo  
DNFTom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo  
DNFSep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Lotto NL - Jumbo  
DNFJasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFEdward Theuns (Bel) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant - Alpecin  
DNFJurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha  
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) IAMCycling  
DNFJonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling  
DNFFrederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFGaetan Bille (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFDimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFThomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFKenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFBoris Dron (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFRoy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFLander Seynaeve (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFRobin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFOlivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFTom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFThomas Deruette (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFJonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFJimmy Duquennoy (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFGregory Habeaux (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFKevin Ista (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFGaëtan Pons (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFAntoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Group Protect  
DNFJens Adams (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team  
DNFTim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team  
DNFRob Peeters (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team  
DNFEli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team  
DNFKevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team  
DNFDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team  
DNFMichael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team  
DNFGianni Vermeersch (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team  
DNFJoeri Calleeuw (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team  
DNFStef Van Zummeren (Bel) Veranda's Willems Cycling Team  
DNFJim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team  
DNFToon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team  
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team  
DNFNicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post - Chain Reaction  
DNFEmiel Wastyn (Bel) An Post - Chain Reaction  
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Beobank - Corendon  
DNFDiether Sweeck (Bel) Era - Murprotec  
DNFLaurens Sweeck (Bel) Era - Murprotec  
DNFJens Vandekinderen (Bel) Kalas - H Essers - Noff Cycling Team  
DNFLaurent Vanden Bak (Bel) Leopard Pro Cycling  
DNFDieter Bouvry (Bel) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
DNFMaxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille  
DNFMichael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFKenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFBoris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  

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