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Dwars door Vlaanderen 2018


Hello and welcome to a wet and windy day in Belgium We're just under 10 minutes away from the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen. There's a southwest in the air, but it's expected to change to a northwest later in the day and reports coming in that there will be gusts of up to 80kph during the race. 

There is little doubt that the weather will play some sort of factor in the outcome and we may just get a few echelons out there. The GC riders that have chosen today to have a taste of the cobbles will likely be wondering what they've got themselves into. 


There is little doubt that the weather will play some sort of factor in the outcome and we may just get a few echelons out there. The GC riders that have chosen today to have a taste of the cobbles will likely be wondering what they've got themselves into. 


There is little doubt that the weather will play some sort of factor in the outcome and we may just get a few echelons out there. The GC riders that have chosen today to have a taste of the cobbles will likely be wondering what they've got themselves into. 


Alejandro Valverde is one of the GC riders who has turned up today. He's here with Nairo Quintana, while Mikel Landa rode E3 Harelbeke last weekend. Valverde rode the cobbles in 2014 and has hinted that he could race at the Tour of Flanders at the weekend. A bit more on that later. 


The peloton has rolled out of the start in Roeselare. They've got a six-kilometre neutral zone before the racing can begin. 


And if you're following us today and thinking "wait, wasn't Dwars door Vlaanderen last week?" Don't adjust your computer screens. Flanders Classics used their weight to get the one-day race moved to the same week as the Tour of Flanders, which meant that the Driesdaagse de Panne (now just one day) took place last week. 


173 riders signed on this morning with Nikolas Maes the only DNS. That means Lotto Soudal have just six riders, which includes former winner Jens Debusschere.


Today's race is a tidy 180km long with 12 hellingen on the menu, including the Kluisberg, the Taaienberg, and the Nokereberg - the key climb in the Nokere Koerse. scroll to the top to have a look over today's parcours. 


This is what the riders have noted down on their stems.


While last year’s winner Yves Lampaert doesn’t seem bothered by the conditions. He still opted for shorts #DDV18

@sophiehurcom Wed, 28th Mar 2018 10:32:47

The flag has been dropped and we immediately have attacks coming off the front. Meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde is sitting in the Stephen Cummings position right at the back of the bunch. 


Quick-Step Floors are the defending champions and one of the home teams here today so they got quite the reception when they were introduced on stage.


Quick-Step Floors have a strong team here, even with Philippe Gilbert opting to head home for a few days ahead of Flanders on Sunday. They have last year's winner Yves Lampaert, two-time winner and E3 champion Niki Terpstra, and sprinter Elia Viviani. All three are potential contenders today. Let us not forget Zdenek Stybar either. 


1 Yves Lampaert (Bel)
2 Elia Viviani (Ita)
3 Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col)
4 Iljo Keisse (Bel)
5 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg)
6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze)
7 Niki Terpstra (Ned)


172km remaining from 180km

Attacks continue to come but nothing has stuck just yet and the peloton is still together. 


Don't forget, there is also a women's race taking place. They are 40km into their race at the moment. See who is riding here.


Even without the weather conditions that we have today, Dwars door Vlaanderen is an unpredictable race. Several of the recent editions have ended in some sort of breakaway but it can just as easily come down to a sprint finish. Thus, many of the teams have come with balanced squads to cover all eventualities. Have a look at what you might expect today with Patrick Fletcher's preview.


The peloton has passed through Tielt, where the Omloop van Het Hageland starts. closing in on 20 kilometres into the stage, we still do not have a breakaway. 


Due to the later start date, we have some pretty big hitters at today's race compared to previous seasons - which could also impact how the day pans out. Greg Van Avermaet is one of those. He is riding his first Dwars door Vlaanderen in two years and only the fourth of his career. 


11 Greg Van Avermaet (Call)
12 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux)
13 Stefan Kung (Swi)
14 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel)
15 Alberto Bettiol (Ita)
16 Michael Schär (Swi)
17 Francisco Ventoso (Spa)


AG2R La Mondiale have Belgian champ Oliver Naesen in the line-up alongside Tour de France podium finisher Romain Bardet. Naesen finished sixth here last year and has been in decent form in 2018. 


21 Oliver Naesen (Call)
22 Romain Bardet (Fra)
23 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu)
24 Nico Denz (Ger)
25 Rudy Barbier (Fra)
26 Tony Gallopin (Fra)
27 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel)


The peloton has completed 26km in 30 minutes. We have another attack with Sylvain Chavanel and Peter Koning gong up the road. Can they make it stick?


A picture of Nairo Quintana heading to the start earlier. The Colombian is well wrapped up against the elements. This is not his first trip across the cobbles. He did Dwars door Vlaanderenand E3 Harelebeke in 2015. 



Some words from Tom Scully this morning on what to wear (courtesy of his EF Education First team).


“If you’re warm on the start line, you’ve got too many clothes on, right?!”


143km remaining from 180km

Meanwhile, after five kilometres out front, Koning and Chavanel were brought back by the bunch. It seems it is going to take some time for the breakaway for form, if we get one. Riders may be unwilling to go on a fruitless break in these conditions and prefer the huddled mass and warmth of the peloton. 


I mentioned Valverde pondering on a Tour of Flanders start this weekend. Here is the full story. He may never have ridden it before, but I wouldn't bet against him winning it. 


If Valverde does ride at the Tour of Flanders, he will join other GC contender Vincenzo Nibali, who announced his intentions some time ago. Nibali, who won Milan-San Remo earlier this month, will leave Belgium immediately after the race to start the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Read Barry Ryan's story on Nibali's participation here.


Only 60km to go in the women's Dwars door Vlaanderen and three riders have pinged off the front. The peloton is chasing them down and they only have 12 seconds. 


We may not have too many riders finishing the race today, considering the conditions. Rick Zabel and Baptiste Planckaert have climbed off. They're probably thinking of keeping themselves safe and healthy for the weekend. 


135km remaining from 180km

The peloton has crossed the finish line for the first time today and it's still gruppo compatto, despite numerous breakaway attempts. The average speed thus far has been 46kph


Damien Gaudin is another DNF. We're down to 170 riders from the 174 that were on the start list. 


Away from today's racing. News came out yesterday that EF Education First rider Daniel Martinez was attacked during a training ride in Italy. A blow to the head knocked him out and he has no memory of it. Ready the full story here


Over in the women's race, that three-woman break was reeled back in. Eri Yonamine is now out on the attack on her own. 


Yonamine is brought back by the peloton. The scene is much the same over in the men's race. The group passed through Harelbeke en-route towards the first climb of the day with no breakaway up the road. 


John Degenkolb would be one of those happy if it came down to a reduced bunch sprint. The German has not had much to write home about this spring and his team manager Dirk Demol said that he hadn't been at his best since that horrible training crash in 2016. Trek-Segafredo also has Jasper Stuyven in the line-up today, a potential contender for a breakaway later on.


41 John Degenkolb (Ger)
42 Jasper Stuyven (Bel)
43 Kiel Reijnen (USA)
44 Mads Pedersen (Den)
45 Grégory Rast (Swi)
46 Koen de Kort (Ned)
47 Ryan Mullen (Irl)


105km remaining from 180km

Before the riders hit the first climb in around 20 kilometres, they will be fueling up at the feed zone. Could we see our first real move there? 


There has been a small crash in the pack, which included Oliver Naesen. The Belgian champ is ok and he's back in the bunch. 


We move back over to the women's race where things are hotting up. An elite group of seven has gone clear on the second climb of the day. The riders are: Moolman-Pasio, Van Vleuten, Pieters, Mackaij, Van Dijk, Niewiadoma, Jasinska. There is some firepower in there with two former winners in Pieters and Mackaij. 


This challenging weather is expected to continue into the weekend and, whisper is quietly, but we could also have a wet Roubaix. 2001 was the last time Paris-Roubaix was run under wet conditions. No current rider competed at that race. 


As the peloton has lunch, we still wait for the a breakaway to form. In the women's race, there is just 25 kilometres to go with the leading seven holding a slim 20-second advantage over the peloton. 


If you were wondering at all just how it looked out there and if it really was that bad, here is a shot taken by the LottoNL-Jumbo team. 


Rick Zabel has tweeted, saying that it was a stomach problem that caused him to abandon a little earlier on. 


The situation in the women's race after the Vossenhol has the seven leaders 10 seconds up on the lone chaser Bujak with the peloton at 35 seconds back. It's still all very much to play for. 


94km remaining from 180km

For the men, the first climb of the Kluisberg, which will be ridden twice today, is fast approaching. It's still altogether at the moment, but for how long?


Bujak has joined the seven leaders in the women's race. The peloton appears to have sprung into life and they've cut the gap to just 22 seconds. 


Over in the men's race, Astana is putting on the pressure and it has caused some splits. After winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Astana has missed the split in almost all of the races since. Can they do something today? They've got a strong enough team. 


71 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz)
72 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den)
73 Laurens De Vreese (Bel)
74 Truls Engen Korsaeth (Nor)
75 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz)
76 Hugo Houle (Can)
77 Magnus Cort (Den)


This effort by Astana appears to be doing some serious damage. There are several riders who have not been able to hack it and have been dropped out of the back No news if any of the big names have been caught out. 


Five WorldTour teams confirmed for 2018 Tour of Utah 16 teams to start American 2.HC event

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 28th Mar 2018 12:30:02

The peloton briefly came back together with Team Sky subsequently taking up the pace setting. They've now sent someone up the road in the form of Luke Rowe. 


Rowe has about 30 seconds on the bunch. Will anyone join him for the party? 

Meanwhile, the group of eight out front in the women's race has a minute over the peloton with 10 kilometres to go. Some big teams in that leading group so it's going to be hard for the peloton to shut this down, but they'll sure as hell try. 


A report coming in that the reason Nikolas Maes didn't start this morning because of stomach problems. He was sharing a room with Tiesj Benoot and woke up feeling bad. He went to see the doctor, who told him not to go back to the room. 


Rowe is still going alone and he has 55 seconds on one chaser Bonifazio, while the peloton is a bit over a minute behind. 


Meanwhile, there was a crash at the back of the bunch. Nobody appeared hurt, but Luka Pibernik had plenty of trouble trying to get his chain back on. He's back on his way, though. 


Over in the women's race again, Van Dijk has attacked. With 2km to go she has 23 seconds on the chasers. 


And, Ellen van Dijk has won the women's Dwars door Vlaanderen. 

The wet weather is causing plenty of problems for the riders and keeping the mechanics busy. Lots of punctures to fix as debris gets washed into the road. 


76km remaining from 180km

Oliver Naesen has abandoned. He crashed earlier on today. 


Tiesj Benoot is one of the many riders who have had to change a wheel due to a puncture. He has made it back to the bunch. 


Elia Viviani will be one of the favourites today if it comes down to a bunch sprint. We caught a few words with the Italian ahead of the race. 


"It’s the last race of the first part of my season, so all the energy I have in my body I will for sure put on the road today. The shape is good and I’m really focused to finish this part of the season well. I really want to compete today, we have a strong team, the weather makes the race harder but we don’t need to worry.

"We are ready to compete on the front of the race, and make the race. The weather makes the race harder, but that’s Belgium. It’s all about the team. If you’re all together in the team in this weather you can make the difference. It’s all about positioning, staying out of dangerous situations. If it’s like that then for sure it suits me.

On Gent-Wevelgem

"The disappointment was too much, it’s a race I had in my head that I wanted to win. In my career I really understand that I need to come back stronger to take the win, like with the Olympics, like with all the other races. Today I’m already stronger."


73km remaining from 180km

Luke Rowe is still out alone as Bonifazio is brought back by the peloton. The Team Sky rider has just 33 seconds on the bunch as they hit the second ascent of the Kluisberg. 


Van Dijk wins Dwars door Vlaanderen |

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 28th Mar 2018 12:52:33

There can’t be anyone who looked less like they wanted to be here than Nairo Quintana. The Colombian climber is here for Tour de France prep but couldn’t have picked a worse day for it. A Colombian journalist who has made the long trip to Belgium was only able to get one quick question in as Quintana rushed from the bus to sign-on and then straight back again.

“We want to do things well today. We wanted to come here to try out the cobbles in a race situation, so let’s hope it goes well,” he said.


Wout van Aert has collided with one of the race marshals. Let's hope they're both ok. Meanwhile, reports coming in that Naesen hurt his knee in the earlier crash and his abandon was a precaution. 


66km remaining from 180km

The marshall was there to warn riders of some bollards on the side of the road. Van Aert was wide of the bunch and hit him. He's back in the group now, which also contains Luke Rowe after he was caught. 


The breath of the riders is misting the front of the bunch. It makes for an atmospheric look but it can't be pleasant for the riders. BMC Racing controlling the front of the bunch as Luke Rowe comes forward again to discard of his top layer. 


Van Avermaet is the third rider in the BMC train. He's keeping himself away from the crashes but he's also showing that he's not just here for a training ride. 


Quick-Step Floors scramble and join BMC Racing at the front of the peloton. Iljo Keisse rides to the head of proceedings and helps to string the bunch out. Riders are being shelled out the back. 


The riders are making their way to the Kortekeer and the peloton has been blown to pieces. Three riders have shot off the front and one of them is Tony Martin. 


Former winner Wallays is also with Martin, as is Keisse. We have a BMC rider trying to join the trio. 


The BMC rider appears to be Roelandts. They don't have a huge gap right now. 


59km remaining from 180km

A mechanical for Van Aert. He stops and gets a wheel from his teammate. 


Tony Martin wasn't happy with the pace and accelerated away from his companions. He's now alone with a chasing group of around 25 riders behind him. 


Report coming in that Elia Viviani has abandoned after getting caught behind the splits in the peloton. Groenwegen is also in trouble. 


54km remaining from 180km

Tony Martin has just 10 seconds on the chasing group, which has Alejandro Valverde in it. 


Alejandro Valverde was presented with a magnum of Kwaremont beer on the stage in Roeselare. The Spaniard has an enviable palmares in the Walloon races but is making a rare appearance in Flanders. He’s here with teammate Nairo Quintana to prepare for the Tour de France cobbles but no one’s ruling out a victory today or an appearance at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.


“I’m happy to be here, even if it’s raining,” he said.


The compere then told him that he was going to win, ‘seguro’. “Woah…that will be difficult. I have a lot to learn about these races.”


A crash for Tony Martin on a cobbled corner. He seemed pretty tentative going into it and he went down. He's now got Heinrich Haussler, who was chasing, with him and the peloton is not too far behind. 


52km remaining from 180km

The leaders were caught and Stybar has attacked on the Taaienberg. Van Avermaet is leading the chase. 


Behind, Valgren has hit the deck. 


Who is that I see? It's Valverde now going off in chase of Stybar, who has 11 seconds on the pack. Many around the peloton suspected that Valverde wouldn't be happy pootling around and he's showing that. Vanmarcke is with Valverde. 


51km remaining from 180km

The pair is caught Van Avermaet has a dig but doesn't get very far.


49km remaining from 180km

Stybar has been brought back by the bunch which has also gained a few riders from behind. Plenty of big contenders in this group as Luke Durbridge decides to attack.  


Durbridge is brought back and we've now got further attacks coming. It's relentless. 


The group is constantly fracturing and reforming. Up at the front we have Degenkolb. Richeze, Haussler, Vanmarcke, Van Avermaet, Boasson Hagen and more. 


A new series of attacks in #DDV18, but our riders - including @yveslampaert, @MaxRicheze and @zdenekstybar - are there! #WayToRide

@quickstepteam Wed, 28th Mar 2018 13:36:05

Bardet is trying to bridge across to this front group. He missed out when the attacks started flying about 20km ago. He's also testing out the cobbles ahead of the Tour de France. 


Meanwhile, John Degenkolb has attacked going into the Kruisberg. He really needs a boost to his Classics campaign. 


Valverde is trying to chase the German with Lampaert in his wheel. The impetus has broken up the bunch again. 


43km remaining from 180km

Valverde brings a whole host of riders across, including Van Avermaet, Martin, Benoot, Boasson Hage, Moscon and Vanmarcke.


Valverde now goes on the attack


It has come back together and we have a leading group of 10-12 riders. While it looks like Astana have missed out again. They are now chasing behind. 


40km remaining from 180km

No time gap yet between the leaders and the chasers. In the group behind we have Durbridge, plus some riders from Astana and LottoNL-Jumbo. 


BMC Racing also has Jempy Drucker in that chasing group. He's not a bad option if it comes to a reduced bunch sprint. 


An overhead shot shows that the chasers are only about five seconds behind. LottoNL-Jumbo are really chasing hard. They have four riders in that move. 


35km remaining from 180km

It appears to be Van Poppel in there for LottoNL-Jumbo. He admitted to getting a bit over eager at Gent-Wevelgem and a win here would be a way of paying the team back. 


Wynants has been dropped from the chasing group after doing a massive turn. 


Up front, Benoot has attacked and Van Avermaet is in his wheel. 


In the attacks, it look like Tony Martin may have been distanced from the front group and drops back to the chasing group. Around 14 seconds for Benoot and Van Avermaet at the moment. 


The chase behind is organised and the gap to the two leaders has come down a bit to 10 seconds. Meanwhile, in the bike path on the side f the road, you can see some of the riders that have abandoned making their way to the finish. 


Degenkolb has also been expelled from that first chasing group while we have some interlopers in the form of a Sunweb and a LottoNL-Jumbo rider. It's much like a game of musical chairs at the moment. Astana are still without a chair. 


I can tell you that the Sunweb rider is Theuns and the LottoNL rider is Roosen. 


According to Michael Matthews, Theuns took a comfort break at the wrong time during Gent-Wevelgem, which is why he missed the splits on the plugstreets. 


25km remaining from 180km

Confirmation of the full make-up of that 12-rider chasing group:Valverde, Stybar, Vanmarcke, Lampaert, Moscon, Boasson Hagen, Pedersen, Theuns, Roosen, Stuyven, Terpstra and Kragh Andersen, the last of which is being distanced at the moment. They are just a handful of seconds behind the leaders.


The catch has been made and with Kragh Andersen out the back we have 13 riders up front. 


Vanmarcke attacks with Lampaert quick to get in his wheel. 


It looks like Moscon is leading the chase behind. 


This attack has really broken things up. While all of this is going on, Van Avermaet is trying to get rid of his jacket. He hands it to the neutral service. 


22km remaining from 180km

My apologies but it was Mike Teunissen in that lead group for Sunweb, not Theuns. He has joined Vanmarcke out front with Lampaert, Pedersen and Boasson Hagen. The five have 27 seconds on the chasers. 


Benoot attacks the chasing group, Stybar follows. 


Moscon is in trouble, and not in that way, he's being dropped after Benoot's attack. He has to dig in to get back on. 


20km remaining from 180km

The rain is falling even harder now. I feel like I need my own umbrella to watch it. The gap to the leaders is just 19 seconds. 


I'm expecting soigneurs to be handing out snorkels soon. The rain is torrential. 


Benoot calls for the car. A mechanical issue?


17km remaining from 180km

Bonoot collects some sustenance from the car and is back in the chasing group. The leaders are now 30 seconds up the road. It's going to be close but they could well hold this if they can keep the pace. 


The rain appears to have eased off a tad. However, it doesn't make bottle collection easier for the riders. Both Terpstra and Stybar fumble their bidons and they land in a field. The bidons, not the riders. 


The riders are coming to the final climb of the day the Nokereberg, before a 10km run to the finish in Waregem. The five leaders have 33 seconds on the chasers. 


In the chasing group, Jasper Stuyven drops back to the car to get some words of wisdom from Dirk Demol. 


11km remaining from 180km

The gap to the chasers is growing and there seems to be some discord. Some riders a little less willing to make the chase. 


In theory, you would have to pick Edvald Boasson Hagen from that leading group if it does come down to a sprint. However, I thought that at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix and that didn't go so well for him. 


8km remaining from 180km

I can't imagine that many of the riders in this group would want to go to the line with Boasson Hagen and we're likely to see plenty of attacks in the closing kilometres. Meanwhile, Van Avermaet has attacked the chasing group. 


The gap is currently 45 seconds, so can he close this on his own?


After being quite aggressive earlier on, Valverde seems content on the back of this chasing group. He picked up a gel from the team car and he's just riding the coattails at the moment. Van Avermaet has been closed down and Benoot makes a dig, the gap has dropped to 35 seconds. 


As the pace abates briefly, Roosen comes to the front. They need to keep up the momentum if they hope to catch the leading five, but they don't want to work together. Quick-Step have two riders in the move but they have Lampaert up front so they won't help the chase. 


Across the final section of cobbles, the Herlegemstraat, the leaders are increasing their advantage once again. 37 seconds for the five with just under six kilometres to go. 


5km remaining from 180km

Vanmarcke attacks


Boasson Hagen closing it down but Vanmarcke digs again. 


Lots of spray kicking up from the road as Lampaert helps Boasson Hagen to bring back Vanmarcke. 


This is a bit like a track sprint as they look at each other to see what they might do but there are still four kilometres to the finish line. Teunissen tries something but thinks better of it fairly quickly. 


3km remaining from 180km

Boasson Hagen attacks now


Teunissen is quick to get into his wheel and it's all together again. Behind, Van Avermaet has another go but he receives no assistance and the gap remains over 40 seconds. 


Now it is Moscon trying to chase behind but Stybar is on his wheel. He's not going to let the Italian get away. 


2km remaining from 180km

With two kilometres to go, the leaders continue to size each other up. Teunissen then has another little dig but he seems to be on the ropes a little, or maybe he's saving his energy. 


Behind, Benoot has attacked. Stybar is on it again. The Czech champion is playing a very good team game. 34 seconds is the gap. 


1km remaining from 180km

Lampaert is looking over his shoulder. He's obviously received the message that a teammate is coming, but he would be better off not to wait as we enter the final kilometre. 


The five leaders are together as they go under the flamme rouge. Who will strike next?


The pace drops dramatically. Nobody wants to blink first


Lampaert goes and there is no initial reaction


What are they playing at? Lampaert is going to win this


Boasson Hagen starts to chase but it could be too late


Lampaert starts to celebrate he's won his second Dwars door Vlaanderen


He lets out a roar. He played it perfectly


Stybar an Benoot cross the line 28 seconds down. 


This is very much a home race for Lampaert, who is from Izegem, which is sandwiched between the start and finish towns of Roeselare and Waregem.


That is Quick-Step's 20th victory this season with their third different rider. They've had a great cobbles campaign so far winning De Panne, and E3 as well. Viviani finished second for them at Gent-Wevelgem too. 


Lampaert joins a group of 12 riders who have won this race twice, including his teammate Niki Terpstra. I believe he is also the only rider to have won it two years in a row. 


Lampaert had just a few words to say in English after that: "It's fantastic I know I'm not a champion like them [Johan Museeuw and Walter Planckaert]. I felt great and it's a WorldTour race so I am very happy."


I have to say, what a ride today from Mike Teunissen. He's a former Paris-Roubaix espoirs champion and held his own against some pretty stiff competition to take second place. 


Here is confirmation of how it finished


1 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
2 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
3 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
7 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
9 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
10 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo


The podium ceremony is about to take place. They are holding the men's and women's podiums one after the other. Ellen van Dijk won the women's race earlier with Amy Pieters taking second and teammate Floortije Mackaij in third to make for an all-Dutch podium. Both Pieters and Mackaij are both former winners of Dwars door Vlaanderen. 


A few words from Sep Vanmarcke after that race: "It’s bad but it’s the same for everyone. I was very cold during the race. I suffered quite a bit with that, but I always seemed to be in the right move."


It might not have been the win but Vanmarcke will be fairly pleased with how today panned out. It was his attack that defined the latter part of the stage. He will be hoping for something more than third on Sunday. 


And to the winner, the spoils... or a toy horse. There is some champagne too. 


Outside the top 10, there were some notable performances today. Alejandro Valverde was one of those, who really got stuck into it today and was there right to the death. Luke Rowe also put on a good performance, especially when you consider he thought he would miss the Classics after breaking his leg at the end of last season. 


We will be getting plenty of reaction from today's racing with our reporters Barry Ryan, Patrick Fletcher and Brecht Decaluwe braving the rain. There are plenty of stories to come from today with the big events, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, approaching very quickly. 


Thouggh, here are a few short words from Mads Pedersen, who made it into that key group and finished fifth. What a performance from a rider of just 22. 


“I am still young and am getting closer and closer. I am happy with the 5th but at the same time a little bit pissed at not making the podium.”


This was the moment that Yves Lampaert won Dwars door Vlaanderen


Dwars door Vlaanderen is the last in Belgium ahead of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, for both the men and women. Today's racing has shown that we should have two very exciting races on Sunday.


Belga reporter Ann Braeckman reporting that Oliver Naesen is on his way to hospital in Gent to have his knee checked out. He crashed early in the race and eventually abandoned. We will have more news on that very soon. 


Let's hope that Naesen will be able to race at full capacity on Sunday. He's been going very well thus far in the Classics and is likely to play a factor if he can race. 


The full results are in. We had 116 finishers today, which is pretty good going considering the conditions. Peruse the results at your own leisure here.


Having a look at the results, it is interesting to note that both Quintana and Bardet finished today. They could have climbed off halfway through, but they plugged on and finished just under seven minutes back on Lampaert. 


To go with Lampaert's winning shot, here is Ellen van Dijk crossing the line to win the women's race. She finished a whopping 55 seconds ahead of second placed Pieters. You can find the full results here.


We now have three days without racing (I know, I don't know how I'm going to handle it either). To try and avoid the withdrawal symptoms and to make sure you keep up to date with all the latest Tour of Flanders news, bookmark our race hub pages. Click here for the men's race and here for the women's.


That's it for our live coverage today. I will bid you adieu. Don't forget to check in with Cyclingnews later for all the reaction from today's racing. 


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