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Halvorsen wins Handzame Classic

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Kristoffer Halvorsen wins the Handzame Classic.

Kristoffer Halvorsen wins the Handzame Classic. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Guillaume Vankeirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)

Guillaume Vankeirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Guillaume Vankeirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)

Guillaume Vankeirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Adam Blythe, Kristoffer Halvorsen and Kenny Dehaes on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium

Adam Blythe, Kristoffer Halvorsen and Kenny Dehaes on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Winner Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium

Winner Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Winner Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium

Winner Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Adam Blythe, Kristoffer Halvorsen and Kenny Dehaes on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium

Adam Blythe, Kristoffer Halvorsen and Kenny Dehaes on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Winner Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium

Winner Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) on the 2017 Handzame Classic podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) wins the 2017 Handzame Classic

Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) wins the 2017 Handzame Classic (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) wins the 2017 Handzame Classic

Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) wins the 2017 Handzame Classic (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) wins the 2017 Handzame Classic

Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) wins the 2017 Handzame Classic

Under-23 world champion Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker Icopal) proved his class once again Friday with a sprint victory at the Handzame Classic ahead of British champion Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) and Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

Blythe's Aqua Blue Sport team controlled the front of the bunch over the final five kilometres in Belgium, but it was Halvorsen who had the advantage as the sprinters jumped out of the final right-hand turn. Blythe poured on the power but was unable to get on terms with the young Norwegian.

"It was very hard," Halvorsen said of the finale. "There was crosswind, but the team did a really, really good job, and I'm so proud of them."

The win is just Halvorsen's second in the pro ranks, but he showed no lack of confidence going up against more experienced sprinters during the bunch kick in Kortemark.

"You know all of them have just two legs, so … yeah," he said. "We are just a Continental team on paper, but they are so strong."

Blythe, who was also second in the sprint at the end of Wednesday’s Nokere Koerse, was obviously disappointed in not bringing home the win for his team.

"It was good, but I should have won," he said. "I just messed the sprint up a little bit. I was a bit too far back. I was just coming at him with speed. I think another 10 metres I'd have had him, but that's racing."

How it unfolded

Six riders animated the race in the early going, with Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors), Jonas Koch (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), Alex Kirsch (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect) and Timothy Stevens (Pauwels sauzen-Vastgoedservice) escaping the bunch and setting off for a day out front.

The peloton was obviously anxious for a sprint at the finish of the 192.7km mostly flat race that started in Bredene and finished in Kortemark, and the bunch caught the leaders with 36km to go.

With the breakaway in check, attacks started to fly from the peloton. Dries De Bondt (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) was the first to try, leading the race through the eventual finish line with two laps left of the finishing circuit, but he was never allowed much of an advantage, with a hungry peloton sweeping him up before long.

Consistent attacking over the final 20 kilometres drove up the pace, with small groups peeling away but not managing to make anything stick.

The bunch took the bell for the final lap together, with Joker Icopal setting the pace. Bora-Hansgrohe took up duty on the front from Joker, hoping to set up Erik Baška to defend his 2016 win.

Aqua Blue Sport was the next team to drive up the pace over the final kilometres, setting up the big bunch sprint, but it was Joker's Halvorsen that emerged victorious at the line.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Joker Icopal4:15:31
2Adam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
3Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
4Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
6Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
7Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
8Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
9Jelle Mannaerts (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
10Davide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
11Alan Banaszek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
12Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
13Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
14Louis Verhelst (Bel) Bauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice
15Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems Crelan
16Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal
17Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
18Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
19Leon Rohde (Ger) Development Team Sunweb
20Rob Leemans (Bel) Pauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice
21Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
22Stijn Steels (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
23Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
24Barry Markus (Ned) Pauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice
25Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
26Igor Boev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
27Mathias De Witte (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
28Przemysław Kasperkiewicz (Pol) An Post Chain Reaction
29Dieter Bouvry (Bel) Pauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice
30August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop
31Frantisek Sisr (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
32Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
33Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
34Michiel Dieleman (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
35Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
36Patryk Stosz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
37Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
38Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
39Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
40Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
41Vegard Breen (Nor) Team Joker Icopal
42Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
43Kevyn Ista (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
44Gianni Marchand (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
45Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
46Jakub Kaczmarek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
47Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
48Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
49Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan
50Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
51Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
52Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:10
53Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
54Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
55Jens Wallays (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
56Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
57Arjen Livyns (Bel) Pauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice
58Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
59Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
60Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe
61Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
62Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
63Sander Cordeel (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:00:17
64Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
65Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:20
66Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport0:00:27
67Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport
68Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:30
69Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:01:01
70Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport
71Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:19
72Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:01:32
73Lawrence Naesen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
74Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:42
75Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:10
76Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport
77Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Tarteletto - Isorex0:03:21
78Bjørn Tore Hoem (Nor) Team Joker Icopal
79Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:14
80Andrew Fenn (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
81Timothy Stevens (Bel) Pauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice
82Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
83Martin Velits (Svk) Quick-Step Floors
84Jacob Scott (Gbr) An Post Chain Reaction
85Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
86Sean Mackinnon (Can) An Post Chain Reaction0:04:23
87Ruben Zepuntke (Ger)Development Team Sunweb0:04:25
88Enzo Wouters (Bel) Lotto Soudal
89Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
90Jimmy Duquennoy (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:06:47
91Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
92Ole Forfang (Nor) Team Joker Icopal
93Kristoffer Skjerping (Nor) Team Joker Icopal
94Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFSilvio Herklotz (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMichael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFJosé Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFMarco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFJhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFDanilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFGaetan Bille (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFChristophe Prémont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
DNFTim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNFDmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
DNFSergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
DNFAndrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
DNFEvgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo
DNFKirill Sveshnikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo

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