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Debusschere wins Dwars door Vlaanderen

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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins the 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins the 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) on his way to tenth

Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) on his way to tenth
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Loïc Vliegen (BMC)

Loïc Vliegen (BMC)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Yohann Gene (Direct Energie)

Yohann Gene (Direct Energie)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rick Zabel (BMC)

Rick Zabel (BMC)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luka Mezgec (Orica-GreenEdge)

Luka Mezgec (Orica-GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling)

Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) asks the rider to come through for a turn at the front

Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) asks the rider to come through for a turn at the front
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bryan Coquard was wearing DMT's 'Converse' shoes today

Bryan Coquard was wearing DMT's 'Converse' shoes today
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andrey Amador (Movistar)

Andrey Amador (Movistar)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nikolas Maes leading the group

Nikolas Maes leading the group
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Wanty-Groupe Gobert's Kevin Van Melsen was the last man standing from the breakaway

Wanty-Groupe Gobert's Kevin Van Melsen was the last man standing from the breakaway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) riding to ninth

Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) riding to ninth
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Belgian champions Preben van Hecke (Topsport)

Belgian champions Preben van Hecke (Topsport)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bryan Coquard, Jens Debusschere and Edward Theuns on the Dwars door Vlaanderen podium

Bryan Coquard, Jens Debusschere and Edward Theuns on the Dwars door Vlaanderen podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge)

Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal)

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal)

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) attacks Dwars door Vlaanderen with 8.7km to go

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) attacks Dwars door Vlaanderen with 8.7km to go
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) celebrates with a teammate after winning Dwars door Vlaanderen

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) celebrates with a teammate after winning Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tinkoff's Oscar Gatto

Tinkoff's Oscar Gatto
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC's Lois Vliegen near the end of the race.

BMC's Lois Vliegen near the end of the race.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Terpstra attacks near the end of Dward door Vlaanderen

Terpstra attacks near the end of Dward door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dries Devenyns and Nikolas Maes at Dward door Vlaanderen

Dries Devenyns and Nikolas Maes at Dward door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dries Devenyns and Nikolas Maes at Dward door Vlaanderen

Dries Devenyns and Nikolas Maes at Dward door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tiesj Bennoot, Luke Durbridge,Giacomo Nizzolo and Nikola Maes

Tiesj Bennoot, Luke Durbridge,Giacomo Nizzolo and Nikola Maes
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-QuickStep's Fernando Gaviria

Etixx-QuickStep's Fernando Gaviria
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nils Politt

Nils Politt
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Filippo Pozzato and Niki Terpstra

Filippo Pozzato and Niki Terpstra
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet

Greg Van Avermaet
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fernando Gaviria was in with a chance at the finish of Dwars door Vlaanderen

Fernando Gaviria was in with a chance at the finish of Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lotto Soudal attacks again near the end of the race.

Lotto Soudal attacks again near the end of the race.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) and Bryan Coquard bear down on the finish line at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) and Bryan Coquard bear down on the finish line at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins Dward door Vlaanderen by a bike throw over Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Greg van Avermaet's attack held until 300 metres to go at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Greg van Avermaet's attack held until 300 metres to go at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC rode agrresively through the entire race

BMC rode agrresively through the entire race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra attacks near the end of Dwars door Vlaanderen

Niki Terpstra attacks near the end of Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jens Keukeleire leads a select group near the finale.

Jens Keukeleire leads a select group near the finale.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nils Politt powers a late move at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Nils Politt powers a late move at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge) leads a select group near the finale.

Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge) leads a select group near the finale.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC's Loic Vliegen attacks

BMC's Loic Vliegen attacks
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins the 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) wins the 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) celebrates with a teammate after winning Dwars door Vlaanderen

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) celebrates with a teammate after winning Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport)

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) leads Mike Teunissen and Jonas Rickaert in the attack

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) leads Mike Teunissen and Jonas Rickaert in the attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Florian Senechal (Cofidis) pushes the pace

Florian Senechal (Cofidis) pushes the pace
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek) crashed in a corner

Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek) crashed in a corner
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Florian Senechal (Cofidis)

Florian Senechal (Cofidis)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha) looks for a smooth path through the cobbles

Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha) looks for a smooth path through the cobbles
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport) try to bridge to the leaders

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport) try to bridge to the leaders
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) in the attack

Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) in the attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-Greenedge)

Luke Durbridge (Orica-Greenedge)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport)

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tony Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) driving the chase

Tony Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) driving the chase
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport)

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Jonas Rickaert (Topsport)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen)

Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen

The 2016 Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders take a moment of silence for the mourning of the terrorist attacks in Brussels before the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen

Riders take a moment of silence for the mourning of the terrorist attacks in Brussels before the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders ready to start the Dwars door Vlaanderen

Riders ready to start the Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Belgium flag with black ribbon pinned to it to mourn the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday

Belgium flag with black ribbon pinned to it to mourn the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katusha wearing black ribbons to mourn the bombings in Brussels the day earlier

Katusha wearing black ribbons to mourn the bombings in Brussels the day earlier
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R La Mondiale rider wearing black ribbon to mourn the terrorist attack in Brussels

AG2R La Mondiale rider wearing black ribbon to mourn the terrorist attack in Brussels
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dwars door Vlaanderen start line - riders ready to race

Dwars door Vlaanderen start line - riders ready to race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dwars door Vlaanderen started in Roeselare City

Dwars door Vlaanderen started in Roeselare City
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-QuickStep's Niki Terpstra at Dwars door Vlaanderen has a black ribbon symbolizing mourning for the bombings in Brussels

Etixx-QuickStep's Niki Terpstra at Dwars door Vlaanderen has a black ribbon symbolizing mourning for the bombings in Brussels
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC at Dwars door Vlaanderen

BMC at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek-Segafredo

Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek-Segafredo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The breakaway at Dwars door Vlaanderen

The breakaway at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal)

Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders were working well together in the move at Dwars door Vlaanderen

The riders were working well together in the move at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A breakaway during Dwars door Vlaanderen

A breakaway during Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A breakaway sets off at Dwars door Vlaanderen

A breakaway sets off at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Preben Van Hecke in the field at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Preben Van Hecke in the field at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse (Etixx-QuickStep) on the start line at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Iljo Keisse (Etixx-QuickStep) on the start line at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders' signatures after signing in to Dwars door Vlaanderen in Roeselare City

Riders' signatures after signing in to Dwars door Vlaanderen in Roeselare City
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A moment of silence in mourning the terrorist attacks in Brussels

A moment of silence in mourning the terrorist attacks in Brussels
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roeselare City and the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen

Roeselare City and the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The small four-rider Movistar team makes it way to the start line

The small four-rider Movistar team makes it way to the start line
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roeselare City and the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen

Roeselare City and the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders prepare to start the Dwars door Vlaanderen

Riders prepare to start the Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roeselare City start line for Dwars door Vlaanderen

Roeselare City start line for Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roeselare City, flags are at half mass in mourning for the bombings in Brussels the day before

Roeselare City, flags are at half mass in mourning for the bombings in Brussels the day before
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roeselare City hosts spectators for the Dwars door Vlaanderen

Roeselare City hosts spectators for the Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders line up at the start line in Roeselare City for Dwars door Vlaanderen

Riders line up at the start line in Roeselare City for Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise's Pieter Vanspreybrouk

Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise's Pieter Vanspreybrouk
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The start of Dwars door Vlaanderen was wet and overcast

The start of Dwars door Vlaanderen was wet and overcast
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R La Mondiale's Quentin Jauregui

AG2R La Mondiale's Quentin Jauregui
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R La Mondiale's Quentin Jauregui speaks with his team director

AG2R La Mondiale's Quentin Jauregui speaks with his team director
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Team Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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BMC Racing on the sign-in stage in Roeselare City

BMC Racing on the sign-in stage in Roeselare City
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lotto's Pim Ligthart at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Lotto's Pim Ligthart at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) made his first win of 2016 a big one, taking out a hectic bunch sprint in a photo finish ahead of Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie). Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) was third.

On a day marked by mourning for the victims of the Brussels bombings, the Belgians could celebrate their resilience with Debuscchere's success. The Lotto Soudal rider rode a cagey finale, biding his time as the peloton caught late attacker Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in sight of the line.

Fernando Gaviria started the sprint perhaps too early, and after his Etixx-Quickstep team did much of the chasing he finished a distant 10th. Debusschere blasted up the left side, carrying a huge turn of speed to pass Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), Filippo Pozzato (Southeast) and finally Theuns and Coquard, all in the final 100 metres.

It was an uncomfortable experience for the peloton to race in light of the serious nature of the attacks on the country by terrorists, and Debusschere reflected on the feeling of grief that afflicted the country.

"I'm really satisfied with this victory, but you cannot be deeply happy at the moment. I think everyone in Belgium is shocked and don't feel 100 percent in these times. I'm satisfied I could take the victory because I've worked hard for this. I hope everyone can pick up our lives again, and get back to their jobs like they used to do, I hope they get through this really quick."

Debusschere seemed an unlikely winner as the peloton rounded the final corner with Trek-Segafredo leading out last year's runner-up Edward Theuns ahead. The former Belgian champion was outside of the top 10 as they closed in on Van Avermaet and he had to come from a long way back. The sprint seemed to go on forever, as Gaviria hit the front with 200m to go but quickly faded. Coquard hit out with 100m to go and started to prepare his victory salute only to see the red blur of Debusschere flying past on his left.

"I didn't expect to pass everyone. I was hoping for a podium coming out of the last corner because I was so far away. I could manage to go to the front and win, so that's super nice."

How it unfolded

The peloton was not in full force for the start of the 199.7km route from Roeselare to Waregem, as a number of riders were waylaid by travel difficulties resulting from the bombing of the Zaventem airport in Brussels. The entire Giant-Alpecin team withdrew because only three of their riders were available to start, and Movistar were down to four.

Two riders didn't start: Gerald Ciolek (Stolting) due to illness and Yves Lampaert (Etixx-Quickstep) due to an injury to his Achilles tendon. A total of 161 riders rolled off the line after a moment of silence, most of them wearing black armbands for the bombing victims.

A rapid start to the race meant the breakaway took some kilometres to form, but after half an hour of flat-out riding the peloton was ready for a rest and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale), Jesper Asselman (Roompot - Oranje Peloton), Alex Kirsch (Stölting Service Group), Phil Bauhaus (Bora-Argon 18), Igor Boev (Gazprom-Rusvelo), and Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) were allowed to go free.

The six quickly built up a lead of almost eight minutes, but as they entered the second half of the race, filled with cobbled climbs and sections of pave, the leaders began to suffer.

The back-to-back Kattenberg and Holleweg with 90km to go halved the advantage of the leaders, while unsuccessful attacks from the peloton by Preben van Hecke and Kevin Van Bilsen started to drive wedges into the peloton behind.

Etixx-Quickstep worked diligently to control the pace, bringing back the attackers and steadily reeling in the leaders down to just over three minutes at the Haaghoek section of cobbles.

But an attack from Mike Teunissen (LottoNl-Jumbo) put a spanner in the works, and though he nearly crashed in a sharp left turn, he pulled out enough of a gap to be tempting to those wishing to form a second move.

Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen) came across, and soon after former u23 time trial world champion Luke Durbridge flew across, making it three chasers gaining steadily on the six leaders between the Berendries and the Valkenberg climbs.

The chasing peloton was in tatters, but the gaps between the leaders and the next group were both shrinking, though the trio with Durbridge was slowly clawing its way toward the leaders.

The Eikenberg and Taaienberg with 60km to go began to crack the lead group, with Gougeard losing contact first, and Boev joining soon after. Up over the Oude Kwaremont with 35km to go, Van Melsen left his previous companions behind and forged ahead alone with four climbs still remaining.

On the Paterburg, the long line of riders in the third group started to make contact with the chasers in the second group, and new attacks formed including Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff) with Durbridge, Teunissen and Rickaert sweeping up Kirsch along the way.

But a group led by Van Avermaet was not giving up, and worked to claw back a gap of less than a minute to the larger group ahead. At the Holstraat with 15km to go the leaders were Nikolas Maes (Etixx-Quickstep), Durbridge, Scott Thwaites (Bora-Argon 18), Giacomo Nizzolo, Loic Vliegen (BMC), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and a tenacious Van Melsen, who had been swept up by the chasers.

A lack of cooperation in the leading group led to all of the groups within shouting distance coming together with 10km to go. With just the Nokereberg standing between them and the finish line, there was little impetus to attack until Van Avermaet launched his move with just under 9km to go.

The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner opened up an impressive gap, and flew around the turns to gain a dozen seconds on the chase on the Nokereberg and it seemed he was en route to yet another win this year, but a furious chase by Etixx-Quickstep and Trek-Segafredo put paid to his efforts.

Trek-Segafredo led into the final turn with three riders at the fore, and seemed only to lead out young favourite Fernando Gaviria, but the distance and heavy racing schedule seem to have sapped the Colombian's speed, and his sprint fizzled as soon as it started. Coquard, in his first race back from injury, put in a surprising bid for victory, but started to celebrate too soon and was pipped on the line by Debusschere.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal4:48:27
2Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
3Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
5Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
6Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team
8Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18
9Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
10Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step
11Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
12Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
13Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
14Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
15Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group
16Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
17Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
18Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
19Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
20Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
21Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
22Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
23Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
24Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
25Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
26Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
27Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
28Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling
29Alex Kirsch (Lux) Stölting Service Group
30Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie
31Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
32Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
33Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
34Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
35Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:11
36Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:12
37Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:38
38Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
39Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
40Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
41Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
42Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling
43Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge
44Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
45Ralf Matzka (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
46Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
47Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
48Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-GreenEdge
49Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
50Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Stölting Service Group
51Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
52Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
53Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
54Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
55Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
56Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team
57Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Team
58Ivan Savitskiy (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
59Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
60Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
61Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
62Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
63Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
64Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Team
65Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
66Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
67Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
68Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
69Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
70Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
71Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha
72Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) IAM Cycling
73Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
74Simone Antonini (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
75Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18
76Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
77Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
78Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
79Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
80Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
81Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
82Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team
83Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie
84Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie
85Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
86Steven Tronet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
87Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
88Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha
89Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
90Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha
91Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
92Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team
93Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:50
94Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
95Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
96Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step
97Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
98Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
99Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
100Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
101Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
102Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team
103Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
104Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha
105Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
106Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
107Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
108Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18
109Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
110Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
111Nils Politt (Ger) Team Katusha0:01:46
112Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:03:20
DNFBartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFAdrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFKai Reus (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNFEugert Zhupa (Alb) Southeast - Venezuela
DNFMirko Trosino (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNFMirko Tedeschi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNFGiuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNFMatteo Draperi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNFAndrea Dal Col (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNFLiam Bertazzo (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNFJosef Cerny (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFEryk Laton (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFMichael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
DNFMamyr Stash (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFEvgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFSergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFRoman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFViktor Manakov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFIgor Boev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFJonas Tenbrock (Ger) Stölting Service Group
DNFMichael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Stölting Service Group
DNFMichael Reihs (Den) Stölting Service Group
DNFRasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Stölting Service Group
DNFBoris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept ,
DNFJean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFFranck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNFMitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFJay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff Team
DNFMichal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff Team
DNFMichael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff Team
DNFErik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff Team
DNFFumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek-Segafredo
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal
DNFSvein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFOliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNFVicente Reynes (Spa) IAM Cycling
DNFMichael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFJonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFHugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFJulien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFRomain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFTimo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFQuentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFSergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
DNSYves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNSGerald Ciolek (Ger) Stölting Service Group

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