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Wellens wins Brabantse Pijl

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Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) wins De Brabantse Pijl

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) wins De Brabantse Pijl
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) on the attack

Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) on the attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Veranda's Willems team car remembers Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems team car remembers Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fans remember Michael Goolaerts at Brabantse Pijl

Fans remember Michael Goolaerts at Brabantse Pijl
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Eddie Dunbar (Aqua Blue Sport) narrowly avoided crashing

Eddie Dunbar (Aqua Blue Sport) narrowly avoided crashing
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) on the attack

Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) on the attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) leads an attack

Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) leads an attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk) heads back out of the breakaway

Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk) heads back out of the breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bahrain-Merida tried to set up Sonny Colbrelli for a repeat win but fell short

Bahrain-Merida tried to set up Sonny Colbrelli for a repeat win but fell short
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A crash disrupted the peloton

A crash disrupted the peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) wins De Brabantse Pijl

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) wins De Brabantse Pijl
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) wins De Brabantse Pijl

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) wins De Brabantse Pijl
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lotto Soudal was active at the front

Lotto Soudal was active at the front
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) on his solo move

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) on his solo move
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) makes the winning move in de Brabantse Pijl

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) makes the winning move in de Brabantse Pijl
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fans remembered Michael Goolaerts

Fans remembered Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Veranda's Willems-Crelan team mourns the loss of their teammate Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems-Crelan team mourns the loss of their teammate Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Veranda's Willems-Crelan team mourns the loss of their teammate Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems-Crelan team mourns the loss of their teammate Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Veranda's Willems-Crelan team mourns the loss of their teammate Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems-Crelan team mourns the loss of their teammate Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wout Van Aert

Wout Van Aert
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stijn Devolder is comforted by Serge Pauwels

Stijn Devolder is comforted by Serge Pauwels
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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It was a sad day for Veranda's Willems-Crelan, who chose to race Brabantse Pijl three days after the death of their teammate Michael Goolaerts

It was a sad day for Veranda's Willems-Crelan, who chose to race Brabantse Pijl three days after the death of their teammate Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked to bridge to the breakaway

Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked to bridge to the breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stijn Devolder was there to help comfort his teammates Mathias De Witte and Elias Van Breussegem

Stijn Devolder was there to help comfort his teammates Mathias De Witte and Elias Van Breussegem
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dries de Bondt and Elmar Reinders

Dries de Bondt and Elmar Reinders
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Robbert De Greef (Roompot) had a crash

Robbert De Greef (Roompot) had a crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A black ribbon for Michael Goolaerts

A black ribbon for Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Brabantse Pijl

The Brabantse Pijl
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Wout Van Aert was at the start to remember Michael Goolaerts

Wout Van Aert was at the start to remember Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Dries De Bondt (Veranda's Willems-Crelan)

Dries De Bondt (Veranda's Willems-Crelan)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Wout van Aert

Wout van Aert
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Eduard Grosu and Tyler Williams at the head of the breakaway

Eduard Grosu and Tyler Williams at the head of the breakaway
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy) leads the breakaway

Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy) leads the breakaway
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) in the bunch

Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) in the bunch
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Veranda's Willems team

The Veranda's Willems team
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Eduard Grosu leads the breakaway

Eduard Grosu leads the breakaway
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts

The Veranda's Willems team gathered for a remembrance of Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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DS Nick Nuyens comforts a rider mourning Michael Goolaerts

DS Nick Nuyens comforts a rider mourning Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Huub Duijn wears a black arm band remembering Michael Goolaerts

Huub Duijn wears a black arm band remembering Michael Goolaerts
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens on top step of the Brabantse Pijl podium

Tim Wellens on top step of the Brabantse Pijl podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) capped off an excellent performance from his team to win De Brabantse Pijl-La Flèche Brabançonne on Wednesday.

The Belgian attacked with just over 7.5km to go and held off the remnants of the peloton to win alone and ahead of last year’s winner Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal).

As Wellens crossed the line he pointed one finger to the sky in memory of Michael Goolaerts, who tragically died at Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. A minute's silence was observed at the start of the race in Leuven, with all of Goolaets' teammates in attendance.

Lotto Soudal had been active throughout the second half of the race, and turned on the heat inside of the final 80 kilometres. First veteran rider Maxime Monfort laid down a rapid pace in order to bring back the early break, before Tosh Van der Sande linked up with Mitchelton-Scott's Jack Haig to create a dangerous move.

The pair remained out front until 12 kilometres remaining, with Jelle Vanendert picked up the baton for Lotto Soudal. The Belgian's acceleration helped forge the winning break, with Wellens attacking on a flat-stretch of road. Bahrain Merida tried to catch the Ruta del Sol winner but the 26-year-old's time trial skills flourished in their element as he quickly built up a 20-second lead.

The remaining riders from the break were caught on the final climb but Wellens remained clear and had plenty of time to compose himself before his muted, and respectful victory salute.

"There are four chances [in the Ardennes] and today was the first of the four, so I'm happy to win here. It's not the same level as the others, but it's a race in Belgium, it's very important for our team, and it's never easy to win, so I'm very happy," Wellens said at the finish.

"It was for Michael," he said with regard to his victory salute.

"I didn't want to celebrate, because everyone is thinking about him. I didn't know him personally, but it's very bad what happened."

Colbrelli crossed the line in second, narrowly edging out Benoot.

How it unfolded

Three days after Paris-Roubaix, the professional peloton gathered in Leuven for the 2018 edition of De Brabantse Pijl-La Flèche Brabançonne. The mood was sombre and still with the Veranda's Willems Crelan team leading the peloton in a minute of silence in memory of Michael Goolaerts, who had sadly died last weekend.

The Belgian team announced that they would race after consulting Goolaert's family. The jersey was present when the early break moved clear with Dries De Bondt (Veranda's Willems Crelan), joined by Calvin Watson (Aqua Blue Sport), Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy), Michael Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Elmar Reinders (Roompot), Antoine Warnier (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), and Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk).

The break enjoyed an advantage of over eight minutes before the bunch began to lead a chase, and with 80km remaining the gap had been reduced to just under three minutes.

Ahead of the peloton were three 23-kilometre laps with five climbs - Hagaard, Hertstraat, Holstheide, Ijskelderlaan, and Schavei – crammed into the parcours.

On the final climb of the first lap, Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) accelerated from the peloton, before catching and passing the early break. Several riders attempted to make the juncture but the leading pair established a 30-second lead and held the majority of that advantage until the final circuit.

On the final charge up the Holstheide, and with van der Sande and Haig back in the bunch, Monfort raised the pace. This laid the groundwork for Vanendert and a group to move clear.

Wellens, who had been in the bunch for most of the race, was in the group, and with 7.8km to go the Belgian accelerated. There was a moment of hesitation, and despite a late chase, Wellens had more than enough of a lead to take the win.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal4:42:48
2Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:09
3Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
5Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
6Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:00:12
9Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:00:14
10Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
11Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo
12Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
13Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
14Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
15Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
16Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
17Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
18Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida
19Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:00:19
20Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
21Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
22Justin Jules (Fra) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
23Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:23
24Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport
25Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:29
26Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
27Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
28Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension Data
29Rob Power (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:36
30Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
31Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo
32Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
33Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:00:47
34Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy0:00:51
35Mathias De Witte (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
36Kevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept Club
37Frantisek Sisr (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
38Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
39Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
40Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:55
41Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:15
42Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij0:01:17
43Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida0:01:18
44Patrick Müller (Swi) Vital Concept Club
45Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
46Julien Mortier (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
47Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
48Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
49Floris Gerts (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
50Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport
51Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
52Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
53Simone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
54Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data
55Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
56Edward Dunbar (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport0:01:25
57Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott
58Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
59Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:01:37
60Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:01:49
61Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:00
62Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:02:01
63Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
64Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic0:02:05
65Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:02:26
66Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:35
67Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:02:40
68Jhonatan Narvaez (Ecu) Quick-Step Floors
69Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
70Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team
71Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
72Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
73Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic0:03:17
74Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:28
75Zico Waeytens (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:03:44
76Davide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:04:22
77Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:04:35
78Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
79Pawel Bernas (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
80Marco Tizza (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini0:06:26
81Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
82Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport0:07:57
83Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
84Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
85Arjen Livyns (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
86Tyler Williams (USA) Israel Cycling Academy
87August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
88Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
89Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:09:18
90Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data
91Casper Phillip Pedersen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport
92Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
93Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:16:12
94Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:17:15
95Daan Olivier (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:17:44
96Marino Kobayashi (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
97Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk
98Christophe Masson (Fra) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
99Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team
100David Lozano (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFOdd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
DNFReid McClure (Can) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFRemy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFHendrikus van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFElias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFBrian Kamstra (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFRein Taaramäe (Est) Direct Energie
DNFYoann Bagot (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFJohann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFTanguy Turgis (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFKilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
DNFLudovic Robeet (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFBorut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
DNFAntoine Warnier (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFMichael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFSvein Tuft (Can) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFJustin Mottier (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFJeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
DNFAngelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFKamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFImerio Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
DNFCalvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFEduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFJuan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
DNFRobbert de Greef (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
DNFAndrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
DNFRobert Wagner (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFFabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
DNFAime De Gendt (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFPascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFFloris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFEdward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFFranck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFKevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFStéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFDennis van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFRoy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFMark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
DNSRamunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Bahrain-Merida

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