Yves Lampaert gave Quick-Step Floors its 20th win by ten different riders, winning his second consecutive Dwars door Vlaanderen with a late solo attack from a five-man breakway.
Lampaert caught his companions by surprise with an attack inside the final kilometer, and they left it too late for a response.
Mike Teunissen (Sunweb) won the sprint for second over Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac), who sparked the winning move on the cobbled sector in Varent with 24km to go.
A new place ahead of 'holy week'
Formerly a relatively minor race outside the Flemish 'holy week' of racing, Dwars door Vlaanderen scored a major victory for 2018 in being moved from a position mid-week after Milan-San Remo to the Wednesday before Tour of Flanders.
The new position elevates the race to a higher status, while at the same time watering down the course a bit so as to not sap too much power from the legs of the riders before Sunday's De Ronde.
Formerly over 200km in length, the 2018 edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen is reduced to 180.1 and loses the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg climbs, where last year the winning selection was made. The climbs will instead be saved as the main selection point for Sunday.
The race still heads from Roselare to Ronse via a circuitous route that includes a trip through the finish line in Waregem before heading toward the hellingen and pavé sectors that pepper the Flemish Ardennes. The riders will have a short loop with two trips up the Kluisberg and Knokteberg and then the steeper Kortekeer before heading toward Oudenaarde.
Rather than hit the Leberg, Berendries and Valkenburg, the 2018 route gets clipped, heading instead straight to the back-to-back Steenbeekdries and Taaienberg with 52km to go.
If the Taaienberg hasn't already created a selection, the third trip over the Knokteberg with 33km to go will certainly be the spot to go. The Nokereberg with 9km remaining is the last hill to attack before the flat finish into Waregem, although in 2017 Yves Lampaert made his winning move just after the ascent, countering an attack from teammate Philippe Gilbert.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors||4:09:40|
|2||Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb||0:00:02|
|3||Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale|
|4||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data|
|5||Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo|
|6||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors||0:00:29|
|7||Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:00:30|
|8||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team||0:00:59|
|9||Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors|
|10||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
- Dwars door Vlaanderen Start list
- Dwars door Vlaanderen overview, highlights, winners and previous editions