Classic Brugge-De Panne 2022

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DE PANNE BELGIUM MARCH 23 A general view of Tim Merlier of Belgium and Team AlpecinFenix Max Walscheid of Germany and Team Cofidis Dylan Groenewegen of Netherlands and Team Bikeexchange Jayco Nacer Bouhanni of France and Team Arka Samsic and Arnaud Demare of France and Team Groupama FDJ sprints to win during the 46th Minerva Classic Brugge De Panne 2022 a 2079km stage from Brugge to De Panne MinervaClassic on March 23 2022 in De Panne Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) and Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) separated on the line by the narrowest of margins at Classic Brugge-De Panne 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Merlier beats Groenewegen in Classic Brugge-De Panne photo finish

Classic Brugge-De Panne - How it unfolded

The Classic Brugge-De Panne delivered for the sprinters in 2022, coming down to a breathtakingly close competition on the line, with Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) claiming victory at the end of the 207.9km race across the flat roads of Belgium.

Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) launched the sprint with 250 metres left to run but it proved too early a start for the 20-year-old, with Merlier emerging alongside the barriers and BikeExchange-Jayco’s Dylan Groenewegen in the middle of the road and quickly charging past.

Merlier and Groenewegen then matched each other to the line, with the Belgian ultimately taking a victory that could be measured in millimetres. The photo finish was absolutely essential to deliver clarity.

Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) darted out from behind Groenewegen to take third, just a wheel back from the leading duo. Then it was Maximilian Walscheid (Cofidis) and Kooij held on for fifth place.

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Results - Top 10
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 4:45:41
2Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
3Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
4Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Cofidis
5Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
8Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious

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What happened in 2021?

DE PANNE BELGIUM MARCH 24 Arrival Sam Bennett of Ireland and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Celebration Jasper Philipsen of Belgium and Team AlpecinFenix during the 45th Oxyclean Brugge De Panne 2021 Men Classic a 2039km race from Brugge to De Panne OxycleanClassic on March 24 2021 in De Panne Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Sam Bennett takes victory at Classic Brugge de Panne in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Sam Bennett claimed the first one-day WorldTour victory of his career in the Classic Brugge-De Panne in 2021.

The Irishman who was then racing for Deceuninck-QuickStep topped Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) who hit out first, with Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) settling for third. 

Bennett's win was Deceuninck-QuickStep's second Classic of the season after Davide Ballerini won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

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