February 25, 2017, Gent, Belgium , Road - WorldTour

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BMC's Greg Van Avermaet followed up his 2016 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad win with a successful title defense in 2017. The 30-year-old Belgian showed both strong early-season form and a savvy racing sense en route to his second victory in the 197-km semi-Classic, upgraded to the WorldTour this year. Making his way safely through the early goings and a hectic few kilometres midway through the race, he found himself in a select trio with world champ Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac) and outsprinted both to take the win in Ghent.

A crash on the Donderij cobbles knocked several contenders, including Quick-Step's Tom Boonen, out of the race. Those who escaped the carnage had little time to take a breath, however, with a flurry of attacks breaking up the bunch in the following kilometres.

Van Avermaet stayed near the front of the action with every big move, riding in Sagan's wheel as the Slovakian put in multiple digs and shed several riders from the second group on the road, which began to close down the day's main breakaway.

After the catch was made, Van Avermaet, Sagan and Vanmarcke jumped clear to form a new lead selection. A group of pursuers formed in their wake, but after building an advantage of half a minute, the trio barely yielded a second of their advantage despite the best efforts of the chasers. When it became clear the three out front would fight for the win amongst themselves, the pursuit allowed the gap to grow to nearly a minute.

All three riders decided to bet on a sprint into Ghent. Vanmarcke launched first, but Van Avermaet jumped around his compatriot and held off Sagan to nab the win.

Click here for the full report and results from the 2017 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

2017 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team4:55:06 
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe  
3Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac  
4Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:00:45 
5Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:52 
6Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
7Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
8Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo  
9Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:00:56 
10Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:58 

2016 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad | 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad | 2014 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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