Complete Live Report
Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne.
As the CN blimp rises in the Belgian sky, the riders are in the neutral section of the 200.3km race.
The skies are grey in Belgium but it is dry as the riders get ready to race.
- 200km remaining from 200.3km
They're off! The flag has dropped for the start of the 200km of racing.
There are 166 riders in the race. Only Alex Edmondson of Michelton-Scott didn't start.
As Sporza highlights, there are a lot of 'toppers' - big names, in action today.
These include Viviani, Ackermann, Kittel, Groenewegen, Gaviria and Bouhanni, with a high-speed sprint the most likely conclusion.
However before then the riders face a ride through southwest Flanders on the often exposed roads that could spark echelons. The race ends with two laps of a large circuit around De Panne.
Jasha Sütterlin of Movistar was the first to attack but he was soon brought to heel.
The speed is high in the opening kilometres.
Sütterlin stayed out front and is joined by Stan Dewulf, Jimmy Janssens, Senne Leysen, Adrien Garel and Mathijs Paasschens.
The six riders have got away, with many in the peloton stopping for a natural break and so letting them go.
The gap is up to 2:30.
The six are Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar), Stan Dewulf (Lotto Soudal), Jimmy Janssens (Corendon Circus), Senne Leysen (Roompot Charles), Adrien Garel (Vital Concept - B&B Hotels) and Mathijs Paasschens (Wallonie-Bruxelles).
- 175km remaining from 200.3km
Jordi Warlop (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise) is trying to get across but the Flemish team appears to have missed the early break today. He is two minutes behind the six.
Katusha-Alpecin is leading the chase, perhaps in the hope that Marcel Kittel can win the sprint later in De Panne.
The German sprinter has not raced since quitting Paris-Nice on stage 4.
He won the Trofeo Palma race in the Challenge Mallorca but has struggled since then.
A race in Flanders wouldn't be complete without some cobbles.
Our man in Flanders Brecht Decauwler set in this photo of the peloton soon after the start.
That first taste of the cobbles was in Lookhuisstraat. It was 1000m long.
The riders will face five cobbled sectors today and five climbs, including the Kemmelberg that is used in Sundays' Gent-Wevelgem.
- 168km remaining from 200.3km
Jordi WarlopJordi (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise) has been caught after giving up hope of joining the break.
The six riders lead by 4:00 now.
As you are probably aware, the organisers of Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne reduced the race from its traditional three-day event to a one-day UCI 1.HC race last year.
It has now been elevated to WorldTour status for 2019 and so has attracted a quality start list as riders and teams begin their Cobbled Classics spring.
During last year's 'new-look' edition of the one-day Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, Quick-Step Floors continued their winning streak with Elia Viviani taking victory by a clear margin ahead of Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was second and Jasper Philipsen (Hagens Berman Axeon) took the final place on the podium.
It was the team’s sixth win of the month and Viviani's fifth of the early season.
If all that sounds familiar, it's because Viviani's 2019 Deceuninck-QuickStep squad have once again proved dominant this spring, only this time they have secured a whopping 19 victories so far.
Viviani is riding Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne wearing the Italian champion's kit and bib no. 1, with high hopes of defending his win.
Fortunately for the riders there is only a slight breeze blowing from the north today.
It's a cross wind on the ride towards the Kemmelberg and then will become a headwind on the road to De Panne but is unlikely to cause any real problems.
- 150km remaining from 200.3km
The breakaway group traveled 47.5km during the first hour. That's fast!
The 21.km section of 'Kasseistrook' or cobbles in Worken proved on problem for the break or peloton and neither did the train level crossing.
It's full steam ahead to the Kemmelberg now.
- 125km remaining from 200.3km
The next riders are heading to the mid-race climbs now. The Monteberg and the Kemmelberg will be the first key points of the race today.
As the Monteberg nears the peloton has started to pull back the six attackers. The gap is down to 4:30.
As we expected, the Kemmelberg has caused some splits in the peloton.
5 riders got away: Gaviria, Theuns, Haller, Danny van Poppel and Pöstlberger.
They have a 50-second lead but will they push on?
- 120km remaining from 200.3km
Not surprisingly, the Deceuninck-Quick Step team is leading the chase.
Theuns, Gaviria, Van Poppel, Pöstlberger and Haller have decided to push on.
They are about to hit the Rodeberg, Vidaigneberg and Sulferberg trio of climbs.
- 95km remaining from 200.3km
Theuns, Gaviria, Van Poppel, Pöstlberger and Haller lead by 1:00 now.
The peloton appears ready to let them hang out front, perhaps in hope they fade before the finish in De Panne.
- 88km remaining from 200.3km
Lars Boom (Rompoot Charles) has abandoned. It is not yet clear why but the pace is high now as the peloton chases the early break and the Theuns, Gaviria, Van Poppel, Pöstlberger and Haller attack.
The chase by Deceuninck-QuickStep and the trio of climbs has hurt the break and the Gaviria move but the peloton has still to catch them as riders pass through the feed zone.
The riders were relaxed at the start in Brugge but the racing is on now, with some riders already spat out of the back of the peloton.
The European spring has been mild so far with temperatures of 8-11C today.
With no rain expected, its a great day for a fast race.
- 72km remaining from 200.3km
The break hits the latest section of cobbles but the riders are able to ride on the asphalt strip along the roadside.
The peloton has chased down the Gaviria counter-attack, with Mitchelton-Scott leading onto the cobbled section.
It's a sprint and a squeeze before the right turn onto the cobbles but everyone makes it through okay.
- 68km remaining from 200.3km
Now Katusha hits the front at speed to protect Kittel.
Behind Mareczko ha flatted. He needs a rear wheel change.
- 64km remaining from 200.3km
Katusha was perhaps hoping for some echelon action but there is little wind today. But the riders are on edge as the kilometres tick down.
It's going to be a high-speed finale.
The breakaway is holding their gap at just below four minutes. There is still a way to go and there is no rush from the peloton to try and bring them back just yet.
Jakub Mareczko has a teammate with him as he makes his way back to the peloton. He's in the race convoy and can see the peloton just up the road.
Don't forget, it's also stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya today. If you want to follow that as well, then click here.
Speaking of Catalunya, Chris Froome is racing there this week. It's his first race since he made his season debut at the Tour Colombia 2.1 and it hasn't gone too well so far. He crashed yesterday and lost quite a bit of skin, but he's continuing and says that he will ride for Egan Bernal for the remainder of the week. He also said that he may ride the Tour of the Alps next month, in order to up his race days this year. Read more about it here.
Bora-Hansgrohe report that their rider Oscar Gatto has been forced to abandon the race following a crash.
- 50km remaining from 200.3km
The leaders cross the line and we have two more laps remaining. The gap has fallen to 2:37 over the peloton.
It seems that most of the key teams have one rider up the front of the peloton. Juraj Sagan leads the bunch over the line. Meanwhile, there are representatives from Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck-QuickStep, Katusha, EF Education First and Dimension Data.
Of course, all of those teams have a sprinter in their line-up today. Bora-Hansgrohe have Ackermann, QuickStep have Viviani, EF have Dan McLay, Dimension Data have Giacomo Nizzolo, Katusha have Marcel Kittel and Jumbo-Visma have Dylan Groenwegen.
- 40km remaining from 200.3km
With so many teams working up front, the gap to the leaders has started coming down quite quickly. With 40k to go, the group has 2:12.
Trek-Segafredo also moving up towards the front. They have a few options today with Matteo Moschetti, Kiel Reijnen and Edward Theuns.
A big crash for Laengen on a roundabout. He suffered a puncture earlier and was making his way back to the peloton. His bike slipped out from under him as he went around a roundabout. That's a blow for Gaviria, who would have been relying on him today.
- 32km remaining from 200.3km
The peloton is lined out as it heads back to De Panne to finish the first 25km circuit.
- 30km remaining from 200.3km
Mads Pedersen suffers a front flat.
Despite John Degenkolb's mechanical during Milan-San Remo, the young Danish rider is still using a 1x crankset.
Here he is! Gianni Moscon is back racing today and is on the front working for Team Sky.
Moscon quit Tirreno-Adriatico after struggling due to his injuries he picked up after two crashes at the UAE Tour.
It is now unclear if he can find his best form for the Classics.
- 25km remaining from 200.3km
As the break hears the bell for the final lap, the peloton is just 1:10 behind.
Team Sky are doing a lot of the work at the moment.
They are probably riding for their young sprinter Kristoffer Halvorsen.
He finished second in Friday's Bredene Koksijde Classic race on the same roads as today's race.
- 23km remaining from 200.3km
Luke Durbridge goes down at speed. He's being checked by the race doctor. He's moving but is clearly in pain.
The whole Team Sky is on the front on the twisting narrow roads.
It's a wise move as there are more crashes and mechanicals.
- 18km remaining from 200.3km
The break leads by just 30 seconds now.
Team Sky are tying to smash and split the peloton. Ian Stannard does a big turn and then flicks his elbow to wave through a teammate.
- 15km remaining from 200.3km
Flat for Serge Pauwels (CCC Team). Other riders have been dropped.
The other teams are trying to take on Team Sky now.
- 15km remaining from 200.3km
The rider squeeze through the city streets of Veurne and will soon be on the open roads back to De Panne.
- 13km remaining from 200.3km
Sky and Deceuninck-QuickStep are on the front as the break is swept up.
Together they line-out the peloton on the wide road.
The road narrowed and a touch of wheels saw several riders go down hard. Others too to the field to find a way up the road.
Pedersen was also delayed by the crash.
So too was Britain's Chris Lawless of Team Sky.
German champion Pascal Ackermann went down hard. He has lost any chance of victory today.
- 9km remaining from 200.3km
The six breakaways riders are finally caught. But there is only 40 or so riders in the front peloton after the crash.
- 7km remaining from 200.3km
The race is on and so there is no suggesting of waiting for the riders who crashed.
Deceuninck-QuickStep has several riders on the front, they're riding for Viviani, who is there too.
It would be incredible if the Belgian team wins yet again.
- 6km remaining from 200.3km
Kittel is also there with two Katusha teammates.
Mareczko is also there, with lots of support from CCC Team.
The yellow jersey of Jumbo are there too. Is that Dylan Groenewegen on their wheel?
- 4km remaining from 200.3km
This is going to be a fast and technical final four kilometres. Hold onto your hats!
Nacer Bouhanni is there too, as is Fernando Gaviria.
Everyone is fighting for a better position on the straight road that takes the riders to the right turn with 2km to go.
Bob Jungels takes up the pace setting for Deceuninck and Viviani.
Sky try to match Jungels, with Ganna leading the line.
- 1km remaining from 200.3km
Gaviria is on Viviani's wheel!
Here we go!
Sky lead it out.
Groenewegen takes it !
Viviani got a good lead out by Morkov but Groenewegen came on the left and was clearly faster and stronger than Viviani.
Groenewegen was caught behind but was not afraid to go past Gaviria along the barriers and had time to check on his rials and celebrate.
This is the top ten:
1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
2 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
5 Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie Bruxelles
6 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky
7 Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel
8 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
9 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
10 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
The Dutch sprinter won the sprint with apparent ease but plays down his chances for Sunday's hillier Ghent-Wevelgem.
"I think this race is actually a little bit easier than Gent-Wevelgem, Gent-Wevelgem is a really hard race for me and maybe we can go for that in the coming years. We have a strong team for Sunday and we will do our best," he said.
The likes of Ackermann, who was in the crash, could only watch the replay of the sprint as they rode to the finish.
Elia Viviani climbs on stage but only for third place.
That's the first time that Deceuninck-QuickStep did not win a major one-day race.
Gaviria climbs onto the second step of the podium but Dylan Groenewegen takes the top step after his superb sprint victory.
Elia Viviani sportingly admitted defeat.
“The last corner made for a really hard sprint. We did good work with Morkov, who went with 350, then I saw 170 metres to go and I went. But Groenewegen was faster, that's it. I was third."
“I went at the right time, not too early or too late. I did what I could."
This is the first shot of the sprint. Groenewegen won it with apparent ease, with Gaviria banging his bars in frustration.
Gaviria made the mistake of leaving a gap along the barriers and Groenewegen dived through the gap.
However he can be happy with his ride after also going on the attack over the Kemmelberg. He is clearly testing his form Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem.
This is a TV shot of Gaviria, Groenewgen and Viviani on the podium.
Today's Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne was the first taste of the cobbled Classics for the WorldTour peloton.
Thursday sees the women in action on the same roads, with the E3-BinckBank Classic contested on Friday and then Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday.
Click here for our special Cobbled Classics 2019 Preview.
For our full race report and photo gallery on Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, click here.
It's a busy day of racing but as always, we've got all the action covered.
Click here for the live coverage from the mountain stage of the Volta a Catalunya.
We'll also have exclusive news and interviews from all the racing.
Join is tomorrow for more live coverage of the races.