The 101st running of La Ronde delivered on the promised hype Sunday when Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) launched an audacious solo move with 55km to go, sticking his attack with a smooth effort over the famed cobbles and numerous bergs on the fabled route.
Gilbert primed his form with an overall win at the Three Days of de Panne and came into the Tour of Flanders as heavy favourite after having skipped the race since his first year on BMC Racing in 2012. The 34-year-old's move to the Belgian super team this year has paid off with his best results since his dominant 2011 season.
Although Gilbert's move was daring and ultimately successful, he benefited from a mishap on the Kwaremont that took down top rivals and fellow favourites Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Oliver Naesen (AG2r La Mondiale). All three remounted, but only Van Avermaet would figure into the finale as he beat Quick-Step's Niki Terpstra and Cannondale-Drapac's Dylan Van Baarle to take second.
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