Peter Sagan wins Gent-Wevelgem

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed his third Gent-Wevelgem title in impressive fashion with a comprehensive sprint win over Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ).

The World Champion rode a composed race and waited patiently for the final sprint as Quick-Step Floors set about controlling the race after the final ascent of the Kemmelberg. With strength in numbers Viviani came into the sprint as the favourite but the Italian was left boxed in after choosing to follow Matteo Trentin’s (Mitchelton-Scott) wheel. Sagan, meanwhile use his experience to drift onto Jasper Stuyven’s (Trek-Segaredo) left shoulder.

When the sprint opened up with just under 200m to go, Sagan had a clear road ahead of him, and the Bora rider drew his line to the left as Viviani was forced to come through the crowd and then around Démare. The Frenchman had a better line than Viviani but was left exposed when Sagan turned on the afterburners. Viviani found the strength to take second but the ground he conceded at the start of the sprint was too much to make up.

Two days ago, Sagan's form was questioned after he failed to impress in E3 Harelbeke. He may not even be at his very best but he was more than good enough to take the win in Wevelgem. With a week to go until Tour of Flanders, his rivals have been warned.

As for Viviani, the Italian slumped to the floor after crossing the line, a soigneur draping a jacket over his shoulders as the rider failed to fight back the tears of defeat. Until the final 500m, the De Panne winner had put in the perfect performance, making every key split, including the decisive one over the Kemmelberg.

Teammates Philippe Gilbert, Zdenek Stybar and Yves Lampaert all sacrificed their chances for him in the finale, with Gilbert the most impressive of the lot, with a huge turn on the front inside the final 5km. Their work was undone when was Viviani caught in the wheels. A split second of hesitation, saw him go around to the right and back onto Démare’s wheel but by the damage was done.

The role of Stuyven was pivotal. The Trek rider seemed to not only – through no fault of his own – lead out Sagan but also box in Viviani. This left the Quick-Step rider with no choice but to take the more difficult route through the sprint.

How it unfolded

The 174 starters rolled out of Deinze with the sun on their backs and relatively warm conditions for this time of the year. It took a while before a breakaway received space from the peloton but after half an hour of racing Brian van Goethem (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and José Gonçalves (Katusha-Alpecin) took off. They were joined by Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal), and later also Filippo Ganna (UAE Team Emirates), Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic) and Jan-Willem van Schip (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij).

At first, the peloton didn't relent, with the first hour of racing completed at 48 km/h. From there the lead for the six breakaway riders increased and topped nine minutes after 70 kilometres.

Without crosswind the passage through the flatlands of De Moeren didn’t result in a echelon fest but the gap between the leaders and the peloton slowly dropped to five minutes as they approached the first set of climbs. The fight for position started as the peloton swapped roads and main roads, which caused crashes and splits.

The decisive Kemmelberg

The six leaders still had an advantage of five minutes when they tackled the Kemmelberg for the first time. Quick-Step Floors led the peloton over the steep cobbled climb, and Philippe Gilbert accelerated to give a clear indication of both his form, and his team's desire to make the race.

Sixty kilometres from the finish, the first of three Plugstreets featured and BMC Racing charged to the front. The gap between the leaders and the peloton dropped down to three minutes on the first set of dirt roads. On the second plugstreet, the peloton started to stretch out under the pressure from Van Avermaet's men, and a lined-out peloton reached the final plugstreet 'The Catacombs' with almost half the field fighting to remain in contention.

Jelle Wallays launched the attack he had talked up in Lotto-Soudal pre-race press release, and with 200km raced the Belgian was joined by a small number of riders with Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) in the breakaway.

A few moments later that group was caught and suddenly Stybar, Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac) and Stefan Küng (BMC) found themselves on the deck after a fall. Wallays didn't give up and featured in a new attempt to sneak away, combining forces with Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha-Alpecin) and Alex Kirsch (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic). These four riders bridged up to the six leaders shortly after tackling the Baneberg climb, and just before the final ascent of the Kemmelberg.

With the race wide open Philippe Gilbert anticipated the Kemmelberg and gapped the peloton on the lower slopes. Sep Vanmarcke led the peloton over the cobbles with Trentin, Stybar marking his wheel. Gilbert seemed to have gear problems and his lead was vastly reduced by the time he crested the top with Vanmarcke the rest just a few bike lengths back.

Once over the tough climb, Roompot riders Brian van Goethem and Jan-Willem van Schip survived the Kemmelberg and joined up with Julien Vermote, Alex Kirsch, Jelle Wallays and Kuznetsov. Behind them, the big names combined forces, trying to make the race as hard as possible for John Degenkolb and Alexander Kristoff, who had both been left on the Kemmel.

On the main road towards Ypres, the Sagan and Gilbert group of 23 riders steamed through and brought back the group containing Vermote and Wallays. With almost 30 riders at the front of the race, and most of the sprint teams represented, there was little hope Kristoff and the rest making a return.

Roompot and Quick-Step Floors controlled the lead group an ensured that the pace was just high enough to keep the lead group from attacking, with Mitchelton-Scott also willing to work. Gilbert and Stybar were immense and closed down any thought of an attack with a final roll of the dice from Roompot neutralized in the closing stages.

Vanmarcke put in a late dash for the line but the Belgian was closed down as the sprinters readied themselves for the final push.


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe5:53:37
2Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 1 - Cell 2
3Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJRow 2 - Cell 2
4Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 3 - Cell 2
5Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 4 - Cell 2
6Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 5 - Cell 2
7Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-ScottRow 6 - Cell 2
8Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 7 - Cell 2
9Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 8 - Cell 2
10Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 9 - Cell 2
11Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jan Willem van Schip (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 11 - Cell 2
13Michael Matthews (Aus) Team SunwebRow 12 - Cell 2
14Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension DataRow 14 - Cell 2
16Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 15 - Cell 2
17Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 16 - Cell 2
18Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 17 - Cell 2
19Brian van Goethem (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 18 - Cell 2
20Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:05
21Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:08
22Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 21 - Cell 2
23Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:12
24Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team0:01:01
25Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 24 - Cell 2
26Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team0:01:14
27Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:22
28Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:49
29Justin Jules (Fra) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic0:03:14
30Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 29 - Cell 2
31Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 30 - Cell 2
32Edward Theuns (Bel) Team Sunweb0:03:17
33Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 33 - Cell 2
35Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 34 - Cell 2
36Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 35 - Cell 2
37Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 36 - Cell 2
38Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 37 - Cell 2
39Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step FloorsRow 38 - Cell 2
40Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 39 - Cell 2
41Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 40 - Cell 2
42Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 41 - Cell 2
43Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 42 - Cell 2
44Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 43 - Cell 2
45Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team SkyRow 44 - Cell 2
46Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 46 - Cell 2
48John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 47 - Cell 2
49Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-MeridaRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 49 - Cell 2
51Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij0:05:34
52Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 51 - Cell 2
53Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 52 - Cell 2
54Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 53 - Cell 2
55Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 54 - Cell 2
56Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 55 - Cell 2
57Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 56 - Cell 2
58Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 57 - Cell 2
59Lars Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 58 - Cell 2
60Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 59 - Cell 2
61Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 61 - Cell 2
63Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 62 - Cell 2
64Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 65 - Cell 2
67Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Zico Waeytens (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 68 - Cell 2
70Owain Doull (GBr) Team SkyRow 69 - Cell 2
71Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJRow 70 - Cell 2
72Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 71 - Cell 2
73Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 76 - Cell 2
78Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Michal Golas (Pol) Team SkyRow 79 - Cell 2
81Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 80 - Cell 2
82Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 81 - Cell 2
83Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:05:39
84Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJRow 84 - Cell 2
86Jimmy Duquennoy (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 85 - Cell 2
87Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJRow 86 - Cell 2
88Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 87 - Cell 2
89Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 89 - Cell 2
91Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 90 - Cell 2
92Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 91 - Cell 2
93Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 93 - Cell 2
95Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 95 - Cell 2
97Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 96 - Cell 2
98Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 97 - Cell 2
99Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team SkyRow 98 - Cell 2
100Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-ScottRow 99 - Cell 2
101Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 100 - Cell 2
102Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:11:47
103Floris Gerts (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 102 - Cell 2
104Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 103 - Cell 2
105Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 104 - Cell 2
106Benjamin King (USA) Dimension DataRow 105 - Cell 2
107Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 106 - Cell 2
108Antoine Duchesne (Can) FDJRow 107 - Cell 2
109Tanguy Turgis (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 108 - Cell 2
110Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) FDJRow 109 - Cell 2
111Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension DataRow 110 - Cell 2
112Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept ClubRow 111 - Cell 2
113Lukas Spengler (Swi) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 112 - Cell 2
114Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 113 - Cell 2
115Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 114 - Cell 2
116Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La MondialeRow 115 - Cell 2
117Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 116 - Cell 2
118Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 117 - Cell 2
119Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 118 - Cell 2
120Sjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 119 - Cell 2
121Alberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 120 - Cell 2
122Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 121 - Cell 2
123Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team SkyRow 122 - Cell 2
124Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 123 - Cell 2
125Julien Stassen (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 124 - Cell 2
126Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 125 - Cell 2
127Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 126 - Cell 2
128Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-AlpecinRow 127 - Cell 2
129David Per (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 128 - Cell 2
130Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 129 - Cell 2
131Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 130 - Cell 2
132Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 131 - Cell 2
133Nicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension DataRow 132 - Cell 2
134Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 133 - Cell 2
135Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 134 - Cell 2
136Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 135 - Cell 2
137Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 136 - Cell 2
138Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 137 - Cell 2
139Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing TeamRow 138 - Cell 2
140Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 139 - Cell 2
141Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 140 - Cell 2
142Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 141 - Cell 2
143Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 142 - Cell 2
144Kenny Dehaes (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 143 - Cell 2
145Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 144 - Cell 2
146Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 145 - Cell 2
147Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vital Concept ClubRow 146 - Cell 2
148Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 147 - Cell 2
149Julien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:11:56
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFMads Pedersen (Den) Trek-SegafredoRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFWouter Wippert (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFGregory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFSven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFAmaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFAndreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFRüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFKiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFLennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFMitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) FDJRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFDaniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFJordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFSenne Leysen (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFNikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFMoreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto SoudalRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team SunwebRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFYoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFJosé Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 171 - Cell 2
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 172 - Cell 2
DNSTimothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 173 - Cell 2

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