Elite men: Anzegem - Anzegem
De Bondt attacked over the top of the penultimate climb with 10km to go and never looked back, opening 20 seconds over the 18-rider chasing group that could never agree to cooperate in chasing him down.
Deceuninck-Quickstep's Iljo Keisse and Pieter Serry led the group home to complete the podium.
Robbe Ghys (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Franklin Six (Bingoal WB) and Jordy Bouts (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex were the first attackers and quickly gained a large margin, holding 3:30 ahead of the Muur van Geraardsbergen, but the steep, cobbled climb shattered their lead and broke the peloton in two, leaving them with less than a minute not long after the climb.
Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) and Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-Quickstep) bridged across to the trio but served more as an anchor and the race was back together after only 61km.
Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) sparked a large attack as the race entered the seven local laps with 131.6km to go, drawing out 20 riders: Dries De Bondt and Otto Vergaerde (Alpecin-Fenix), Tosh Van der Sande and Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Iljo Keisse and Pieter Serry (Deceuninck-Quickstep), Nathan Van Hooydonck (CCC Team), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Jan Bakelants, Alfdan De Decker and Xandro Meurisse (Circus-Wanty Gobert), Lindsay De Vylder and Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Dimitri Peyskens and Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal WB), Gianni Marchand and Michaël Van Staeyen (Tarteletto-Isorex), Eli Iserbyt and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), and Mathias De Witte (Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole).
The group managed to keep a two-minute gap over a decreasing chasing peloton until the final lap when they would battle for the tricolor jersey.
De Bondt tried to fracture the lead group with 13km to go before the climb of the Schernaai but couldn't make a dent. However, when Serry tried an attack over the top and crashed in a turn De Bondt seized the chance and launched a solo move. Bakelants led a furious chase on the Tiegemberg but De Bondt still had a dozen seconds in hand on the descent.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix|
|2||Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|3||Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|4||Jan Bakelants (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert|
|5||Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
|6||Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex|
|7||Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) CCC Team|
|8||Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal WB|
|9||Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert|
|10||Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix|
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news.
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