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Biniam Girmay sprints to a historic Gent-Wevelgem victory

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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Biniam Girmay (ERI - Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Girmay celebrates his win! (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 84th Edition Ypres Wevelgem 2488 km 27032022 Biniam Girmay ERI Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux photo Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022

Girmay celebrates a history making victory (Image credit: Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Biniam Hailu Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux celebrates winning ahead of Christophe Laporte of France and Team Jumbo Visma and Dries Van Gestel of Belgium and Team Total Energies during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 LR Christophe Laporte of France and Team Jumbo Visma and son on second place race winner Biniam Hailu Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux and Dries Van Gestel of Belgium and Team Total Energies on third place pose on the podium ceremony after the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Girmay celebrates his win on the final podium (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Christophe Laporte (FRA - Team Jumbo - Visma) - Biniam Girmay (ERI - Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux) - Dries Van Gestel (BEL - Totalenergies) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Champagne for the podium trio (Image credit: Vincent KalutPNSprintCyclingAgency2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Wout Van Aert of Belgium Tiesj Benoot of Belgium Christophe Laporte of France Edoardo Affini of Italy Mike Teunissen of Netherlands Timo Roosen of Netherlands Nathan Van Hooydonck of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The start of the race in Ypres (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium and AG2R Citren Team R and the peloton at Menin Gate Menenpoort prior to the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The peloton rolls out to start the race (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Illustration picture shows the pack of riders in action during the mens GentWevelgem In Flanders Fields cycling race 2489km from Ieper to Wevelgem Sunday 27 March 2022 BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM Photo by DIRK WAEM BELGA MAG Belga via AFP Photo by DIRK WAEMBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

A quick start for the peloton (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 A general view of the peloton competing during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The peloton during the early stages of the race (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Belgian Wout Van Aert of Team JumboVisma pictured in action during the mens GentWevelgem In Flanders Fields cycling race 2489km from Ieper to Wevelgem Sunday 27 March 2022 BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM Photo by DIRK WAEM BELGA MAG Belga via AFP Photo by DIRK WAEMBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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Belgian Greg Van Avermaet of AG2R Citroen pictured in action during the mens GentWevelgem In Flanders Fields cycling race 2489km from Ieper to Wevelgem Sunday 27 March 2022 BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM Photo by DIRK WAEM BELGA MAG Belga via AFP Photo by DIRK WAEMBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroen) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Arnaud Demare of France and Team Groupama FDJ during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 LR Anders Skaarseth of Norway and UNO X Pro Cycling Team and Jhonnatan Narvaez Prado of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers compete during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Maciej Bodnar of Poland and Team Total Energies R competes during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Jumbo-Visma and QuickStep-AlphaVinyl at the head of the peloton (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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British Tom Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers pictured in action during the mens GentWevelgem In Flanders Fields cycling race 2489km from Ieper to Wevelgem Sunday 27 March 2022 BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM Photo by DIRK WAEM BELGA MAG Belga via AFP Photo by DIRK WAEMBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) (Image credit: DIRK WAEMBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 LR Lindsay De Vylder of Belgium and Team Sport Vlaanderen Baloise and Jelle Wallays of Belgium and Team Cofidis compete in the breakaway during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The break of the day (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 84th Edition Ypres Wevelgem 2488 km 27032022 Peter Sagan SVK Totalenergies photo Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022

Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) (Image credit: Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 84th Edition Ypres Wevelgem 2488 km 27032022 Matej Mohoric SLO Bahrain Victorious photo Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) (Image credit: Luca BettiniSprintCyclingAgency2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Stan Dewulf of Belgium and AG2R Citren Team competes during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

AG2R Citroën in the peloton (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 A general view of the Peloton passing through De Moeren during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The strung-out peloton speeding along (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Lindsay De Vylder of Belgium and Team Sport Vlaanderen Baloise leads the breakaway during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The break of the day (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 A general view of the Peloton passing through De Moeren during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

A rear view of the peloton during the race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 LR Cyril Lemoine of France and Team BB Hotels PB KTM Daniel Oss of Italy and Team Total Energies and Vito Braet of Belgium and Team Sport Vlaanderen Baloise involved in a crash during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

A crash took out multiple riders just before the first climb of the day (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 A general view of the Peloton passing through Scherpenberg during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The peloton tackle the first ascent of the Scherpenberg (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Kasper Asgreen (DEN - Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) leads the way up the peloton (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Wout Van Aert (BEL - Team Jumbo - Visma) - Mads Pedersen (DEN - Trek - Segafredo) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Mads Pedersen (DEN - Trek - Segafredo) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Tom Pidcock (GBR - INEOS Grenadiers) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Matej Mohoric (SLO - Bahrain Victorious) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Biniam Girmay (ERI - Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Hailu Biniam Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux competes through a cobblestones sector during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Biniam Girmay on the second ascent of the cobbled climb (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 A general view of the peloton passing through the Graveyard Plugstreet zone during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The riders tackle the Plugstreets (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Johan Jacobs of Switzerland and Movistar Team competes in the breakaway during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Johan Jacobs (Movistar) was the last man remaining from the break (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Scenery - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

The peloton on the Plugstreets (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Kemmel - Wout Van Aert (BEL - Team Jumbo - Visma) - Mads Pedersen (DEN - Trek - Segafredo) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Van Aert leads Pedersen on the second ascent of the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Stefan Bissegger of Switzerland and Team EF Education Easypost competes through a cobblestones sector during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Stefan Bissegger (EF-EasyPost) on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 LR Victor Campenaerts of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal and Arnaud Demare of France and Team Groupama FDJ compete through Kemmelbergweg cobblestones sector during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) on the cobbles (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Kemmel - Wout Van Aert (BEL - Team Jumbo - Visma) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Wout van Aert attacks on the third and final ascent of the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Christophe Laporte of France and Team Jumbo Visma competes through Kemmelberg cobblestones sector during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Christophe Laporte behind teammate Van Aert on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium and AG2R Citren Team competes through Kemmelberg cobblestones sector during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroen) on the Kemmelberg (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 84th Edition Ypres Wevelgem 2488 km 27032022 Jasper Stuyven BEL Trek Segafredo Christophe Laporte FRA Team Jumbo Visma photo Vincent KalutPNSprintCyclingAgency2022

The late attack group – Van Gestel, Stuyven, Laporte and Girmay (Image credit: Vincent KalutPNSprintCyclingAgency2022)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 84th Edition Ypres Wevelgem 2488 km 27032022 Dries Van Gestel BEL Totalenergies Jasper Stuyven BEL Trek Segafredo Biniam Girmay ERI Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux photo Vincent KalutPNSprintCyclingAgency2022

Girmay and Van Gestel in the late break (Image credit: Vincent KalutPNSprintCyclingAgency2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 LR Rasmus Fossum Tiller of Norway and UNO X Pro Cycling Team and Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium and AG2R Citren Team compete during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Van Avermaet and Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X) tried a late chasing move (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Biniam Hailu Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek Segafredo Christophe Laporte of France and Team Jumbo Visma and Dries Van Gestel of Belgium and Team Total Energies compete in the breakaway during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The leaders race towards the finish (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 Hailu Biniam Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux attacks during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Girmay leads the late attacking move (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 - 84th Edition - Ypres - Wevelgem 248,8 km - 27/03/2022 - Biniam Girmay (ERI - Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

The dash to the line (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)
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WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 27 LR Ivan Garcia Cortina of Spain and Movistar Team Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Arnaud Demare of France and Team Groupama FDJ Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium and AG2R Citren Team and Luka Mezgec of Slovenia and Team BikeExchange Jayco sprint at finish line during the 84th GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2022 Mens Elite a 2488km one day race from Ypres to Wevelgem GWE22 WorldTour on March 27 2022 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The peloton sprints in behind the lead quartet (Image credit: Tim de WaeleGetty Images)
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Gent Wevelgem 2022 84th Edition Ypres Wevelgem 2488 km 27032022 Biniam Girmay ERI Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux photo Vincent KalutPNSprintCyclingAgency2022

Girmay poses for the cameras after his victory (Image credit: Vincent KalutPNSprintCyclingAgency2022)

Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) made history at Gent-Wevelgem, the Eritrean taking the win by outsprinting Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) in the final 250 metres of the cobbled Classic for the biggest win of his young career.

The 21-year-old was part of the four-man group that stole away on the flat run to the finish after the final ascent of the cobbled Kemmelberg. The quartet held off a spirited chase from behind to contest the sprint, with Dries van Gestel (TotalEnergies) taking third ahead of Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).

"It's unbelievable, amazing. I cannot expect this. We just changed my plan a few days ago on Friday. We just came for a good result. This race is amazing. Unbelievable," Girmay said after the finish about being the first African champion of the race.

"I don't think [I'll stay for Tour of Flanders]. I stayed here a long time – three months. I miss my wife and daughter so I go back home."

The crucial selection in the race was formed 24km from the finish, when Girmay, Laporte, Stuyven and Van Gestel broke clear of a large group that had formed on the aftermath of the final ascent of the Kemmelberg.

With top sprinters Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) Tim Merlier and Jasper Philipsen (both Alpecin-Fenix) all still present in that group, there was a committed chase, but the leading quartet rode well enough together to stay clear.

The sprint for victory was bound to be a tight one, with all four riders packing a significant punch.

"Of course I feel much better but also there's really strong guys with me so I'm a bit afraid. But I felt confident in the last 250 metres. It's unbelievable, yeah. It changed a lot in the future, especially for all African riders," Girmay said.

"I lost many places, especially on the first section and on the first cobblestones. I felt a bit uncomfortable. But after I felt better and better, rode smart, followed. Then in the end you know everybody is waiting for Van Aert so I played it a bit easy."

How it unfolded

As a race that often hinges on how strong the wind blows, it came as a disappointment for any riders hoping for more of a selective race when they woke up to calm, mild conditions.

Still, there were three ascents of the cobbled Kemmelberg to contend with, along with six other major climbs, and three gravel 'Plugstreet' sectors, too, before a flat run to the finish line.

The first, flat half of the race therefore proceeded mostly without incident, as the riders waited for the climbs to start before they began racing in earnest.

A seven-man break went up the road consisting of Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Nikias Arndt (Team DSM), Alexander Konychev (BikeExchange-Jayco), Lars Saugstad (Uno-X), Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB) and Lindsay De Vylder (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

Their lead came close to seven minutes, but work from the likes of QuickStep-AlphaVinyl and Jumbo-Visma kept them under control.

The pace picked up in the peloton as the teams vied for position ahead of the first climb of the day, the Scherpenberg, 97km from the finish.

Amid the increased pace was also the first crash of the day, as several riders fell into a ditch at a pinch point 105km from the finish, including Florian Senechal (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl).

The incident caused splits in the peloton, with multiple smaller groups having to chase back on, with Tom Pidcock (Ineso Grenadiers), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) and Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-PremierTech) among those caught out.

Jumbo-Visma and Bahrain-Victorious won the battle for position ahead of the Scherpenberg, and were still the most prominent teams at the next climb, the Baneberg, but the latter lost one of their men after the climb as Kamil Gradek went down in a crash also involving Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal).

Although his teammate Davide Ballerini slightly overshot the corner leading onto the first ascent of the Kemmelberg, Kasper Asgreen led the peloton for some of the climb, before Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took over going over the top.

The peloton was still large after this key climb, but was missing Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), who had been dropped.

Rather than a climb, it was a flat section shortly after the Kemmelberg 78km from the finish that saw the first dangerous selection form, when Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious) accelerated at the front of the peloton, and brought around 15 riders with him including Asgreen, Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r Citroen), Biniam Girmay (Intermatche-Wanty-Gobert) and Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ).

This group caught the break during the plugstreets, and they held a gap of around 20 seconds over the peloton, where TotalEnergies were leading the chase.

Their work proved to be enough, and the catch was made with 58km left to ride, meaning a leading group made it to the second ascent of the Kemmelberg together.

Van Aert and Asgreen were again the leaders on that climb, and took 13 riders with them, with Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Arnaud Demare and Victor Campanaerts (Lotto Soudal) especially prominent. But as happened earlier there was enough of an organised chase behind to bring them back, and the race was again back together 45km from the finish.

Despite a few attacks from riders including Van Avermaet and Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) then Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Jacobs, the group remained together for the day's penultimate climb, Baneberg, where Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ) and Tiej Benoot again tried to go clear to no avail.

That left just one climb to make a difference, the third and final time up the Kemmelberg.

Van Aert started the climb a few wheels back from where he would have liked, but produced a brutal acceleration to move to the front and crest the summit with a small gap.

He was joined by Asgreen, Mads Pedersen (TrekSegafredo), Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM), Mohoric, Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), and teammates Benoot and Laporte on the descent, in what was a very strong looking group.

But the presence of Van Aert and so many Jumbo-Visma riders seemed to discourage the other riders from working, and another group was able to join them 27km from the finish which included fast finishers Démare, Philipsen and Girmay.

Shortly after this regroupment the race-winning move was made, as Laporte, Girmay, Styven and Van Gestel went clear 24km from the finish. Van Avermaet and Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X) tried to bridge up to them, but sat up when they found themselves stuck in no-man's land.

The quartet's advantage grew to about 40 seconds, but looked in danger of being caught towards the end, as it fell to just 20 seconds with 3.5km to go. However, an attack from Kragh Andersen appeared to take the impetus out of the chase 2km from the finish, and the quartet were left to sprint for victory.

It was a close-run thing at the line as Girmay launched his final dash very early with 250 metres to go – a huge distance for a finishing sprint – but the Eritrean held off Laporte to claim the win.

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 5:37:57
2Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
3Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
4Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM 0:00:08
6Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
8Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
9Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
10Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
11Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
12Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
13Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco
14Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
15Robbe Ghys (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
16Laurenz Rex (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
17Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
18Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
19Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
20Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
21Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
22Jonas Koch (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
23Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
24Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
25Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Movistar Team
26Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
27John Degenkolb (Ger) Team DSM
28Ben Turner (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
29Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
30Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
31Cedric Beullens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
32Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
33Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
34Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
35Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
36Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
37Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
38Adrien Petit (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
39Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:00:14
40Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:17
41Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:25
42Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
43Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar Team 0:00:27
44Johan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
45Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:29
46Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:42
47Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:20
48Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
49Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM 0:01:22
50Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:29
51Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:30
52Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
53Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
54Lindsay De Vylder (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
55Hugo Houle (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
56Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
57Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix
58Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education-EasyPost
59Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team 0:01:36
60Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
61Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
62Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
63Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB 0:01:42
64Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:01:49
65Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
66Damien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team 0:01:56
67Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
68Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:07:06
69Elia Viviani (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
70Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
71Niki Terpstra (Ned) TotalEnergies
72Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
73Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
74Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM
75Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
76Wesley Kreder (Ned) Cofidis
77Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
78Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
79Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:09:56
80Arne Marit (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
81Marco Haller (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
82Niklas Märkl (Ger) Team DSM
83Pierre Barbier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
84Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
85Antoine Raugel (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
86Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
87Filip Maciejuk (Pol) Bahrain Victorious
88Alexander Konychev (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
89Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
90Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-EasyPost
91Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
92Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
93Lars Saugstad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
94Julien Morice (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
95Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis
96Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-EasyPost
97Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
98Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroen Team
99Daan Hoole (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
100Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
101André Carvalho (Por) Cofidis
102Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
103Vito Braet (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
104Maciej Bodnar (Pol) TotalEnergies
105Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
106Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFLeonardo Basso (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFEdoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
DNFMichele Gazzoli (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFFabio Felline (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFTimo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
DNFDavide Martinelli (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFJasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFKamil Gradek (Pol) Bahrain Victorious
DNFGianni Moscon (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNFDavide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNFTaco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFBrent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNFArtyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team
DNFLuca Colnaghi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFJenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
DNFOliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFPascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirates
DNFMaurice Ballerstedt (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFJonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFPeter Sagan (Svk) TotalEnergies
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita) TotalEnergies
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFQuentin Jauregui (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFMaximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates
DNFJordi Warlop (Bel) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFQuinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo
DNFEnrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFAlessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFEnrico Zanoncello (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFDavide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFTimothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFLudovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFDimitri Peyskens (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFAlex Colman (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFMilan Fretin (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFLasse Norman Hansen (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFErik Nordsaeter Resell (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFItamar Einhorn (Isr) Israel-Premier Tech
DNFDanny van Poppel (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFJordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis
DNFTom Bohli (Swi) Cofidis
DNFJens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-EasyPost
DNFLewis Askey (GBr) Groupama-FDJ
DNFJhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFLuke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFBen Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFMatthias Brändle (Aut) Israel-Premier Tech
DNFMartin Urianstad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFRyan Mullen (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFTaj Jones (Aus) Israel-Premier Tech
DNFIñigo Elosegui Momeñe (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFMathias Norsgaard (Den) Movistar Team
DNFDylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFAlex Edmondson (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFLuke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFKelland O’Brien (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFCees Bol (Ned) Team DSM
DNFKevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
DNFLeon Heinschke (Ger) Team DSM
DNSMikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
DNSTom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech

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