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Groenewegen wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

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Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing)

Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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It was cold but there was sun out in Belgium

It was cold but there was sun out in Belgium (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Tim Declerq pulls on the peloton

Tim Declerq pulls on the peloton (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Australian champion Alex Edmondson

Australian champion Alex Edmondson (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R La Mondiale)

Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R La Mondiale) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors)

Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Oliver Naesen had some mechanical problems

Oliver Naesen had some mechanical problems (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale)

Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Greg Van Avermaet on the attack

Greg Van Avermaet on the attack (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott)

Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The riders avoid the cobbles in the cobbled sector

The riders avoid the cobbles in the cobbled sector (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Yves Lampaert is followed by Sep Vanmarcke

Yves Lampaert is followed by Sep Vanmarcke (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Daniel Oss and Jasper Stuyven went clear with some 50 kilometres to go

Daniel Oss and Jasper Stuyven went clear with some 50 kilometres to go (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Jasper Stuyven and Daniel Oss

Jasper Stuyven and Daniel Oss (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Guillaume Van Keirsbluck went on the attack

Guillaume Van Keirsbluck went on the attack (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Lotto Soudal leads the chase in the peloton

Lotto Soudal leads the chase in the peloton (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Julien Vermote (Dimension Data)

Julien Vermote (Dimension Data) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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A well wrapped up Jonathan Dibben

A well wrapped up Jonathan Dibben (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Alex Edmondson gets a push

Alex Edmondson gets a push (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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A very cold looking Lucas Hamilton

A very cold looking Lucas Hamilton (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Loic Vliegen had a busy day

Loic Vliegen had a busy day (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Julian Duval leads a late breakaway

Julian Duval leads a late breakaway (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The top 3 at the 2018 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

The top 3 at the 2018 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Dylan Groenewegen gets a beer for his victory

Dylan Groenewegen gets a beer for his victory (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Don't drink it all at once Dylan

Don't drink it all at once Dylan (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The riders await the start of the 2018 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

The riders await the start of the 2018 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The peloton sets off

The peloton sets off (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The winding roads of Flanders

The winding roads of Flanders (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First-Drapac)

Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First-Drapac) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The peloton heads towards the hills

The peloton heads towards the hills (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Greg Van Avermaet wraps up warm at the start

Greg Van Avermaet wraps up warm at the start (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Shadows on the cobbles

Shadows on the cobbles (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Team staff wait with wheels on the cobbles

Team staff wait with wheels on the cobbles (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The peloton picks their way up a climb

The peloton picks their way up a climb (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale) and Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), joined by Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing) at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018

Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale) and Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), joined by Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing) at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale) and Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), joined by Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing) at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018

Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale) and Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), joined by Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing) at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mat Hayman surrounded by his Mitchelton-Scott teammates

Mat Hayman surrounded by his Mitchelton-Scott teammates (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Luke Durbridge at the head of the race

Luke Durbridge at the head of the race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Tiesj Benoot at the head of the Lotto Soudal arrow

Tiesj Benoot at the head of the Lotto Soudal arrow (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Julien Vermote (Dimension Data)

Julien Vermote (Dimension Data) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) working hard

Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) working hard (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors)

Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education-Drapac)

Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education-Drapac) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Mads Pedersen doesn't seem to feel the cold as he attacks

Mads Pedersen doesn't seem to feel the cold as he attacks (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida)

Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) added another victory to his early-season success after sprinting to win Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday. He led the reduced field sprint across the line ahead of Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida).

Late-race breakaway riders Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale) and Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), joined by Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing) in the final kilometres, where pulled back into the fold by a charging reduced peloton led by Lotto Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo. Despite spending much of his energy in the breakaway attempt, Vermote hung on for ninth on the day.

Duval had initiated the move on the final lap and was joined by Vermote first and then Vliegen, who had already been on the attack earlier in the race. Vermote looked the strongest of the three as they held a slim advantage over the closing kilometres, but the peloton behind never appeared too troubled with FDJ taking control to set things up for Demare.

A rider well used to pulling on the front for hours on end, Vermote held out the longest and forged on in the hope that he might be able to pull off an upset, but he had no response when the sprinters began their dive for the line.

Groenewegen struck out first, catching Démare on the hop and putting enough distance between them to stop him from coming back.

Groenewegen was almost not in contention after he missed a big split in the bunch that saw riders such as Jasper Stuyven, Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin go up the road. Thanks to some solid work from his teammates and some help from Astana, who also missed out, he was given a second chance.

"We came into the Kwaremont and it all broke up. My teammates brought me back perfectly. When we got back, Stuyven was still a bit further up but we caught him and in the final kilometres I was able to put myself into the right position," said Groenewegen. "We were coming from behind with a fair amount of speed so I was able to come around Arnaud Démare. I do like these kinds of races and I like it when it is harder."

How it happened

Bright blue skies and big crowds welcomed the riders Kuurne on Sunday morning. Roger De Vlaeminck - winner in 1970 and 1971 – was one of those there after receiving the honour of firing the start gun. Seven riders dared to challenge the headwind that marked the first half of the race towards Brussels. The seven were Truls Korsaeth (Astana), Gedaminas Bagdonas (AG2R), Matteo Bono (UAE Team Emirates), Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis), Romain Cardis (Direct Energie) and Ben Perry (Israel Cycling Academy). It was the second day in a row that Van Bilsen featured in the long breakaway move, after going up the road at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

The seven leaders worked well together but didn’t gain much more than two minutes on the peloton. As the first hills started to feature, the gap started to come back down and quickly. Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) had a chain problem and lost a lot of time before receiving a new bike. The nervousness was rising as the often crucial long cobbled Oude Kwaremont climb approached. A high-speed crash in the descent towards the Oude Kwaremont included Trek’s sprinter Boy van Poppel and German champion Marcus Burghardt; Van Poppel abandoned the race.

On the Oude Kwaremont, Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) upped the pace and stormed by most of the breakaway riders. Specialists Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) were quick to get on his wheel. The trio exited the Oude Kwaremont together with breakaway survivors Bagdonas and Korsaeth.

The pace dropped and the five leaders allowed a large group to bridge across, creating a large leading group. On the following Kluisberg climb, Quick-Step Floors sprinter Fernando Gaviria struggled and dropped out of the group. A few moments later, Gaviria’s lead-out man Max Richeze punctured.

The first group of 21 riders gained a lead of more than half a minute on the main peloton. The move included fast men like Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott), Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrein-Merida) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). The chase in the first peloton was led by the LottoNL-Jumbo team, whose sprinter Groenewegen had missed the cut.

The leaders reached the two-kilometre cobbled Varent street with an advantage of 25 seconds on the peloton. Lampaert led the group with Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida), Van Avermaet and Vanmarcke working too. All of the leaders, and most of the peloton, rode on the smooth path next to the cobbles. The pace in the peloton dropped away on the cobbles and the bonus grew up to a minute once off the cobbles. Astana charged forward in the peloton and brought the gap back down to forty seconds at Nokereberg, the final climb of the day.

Former winner Stuyven sneaked away at the top of Nokereberg and Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe) joined him up the road, while Démare opted to hold back and stay with the group. When passing through the Dwars door Vlaanderen finish town of Waregem, the two leaders had a lead of 20 seconds on the group and 45 seconds on the Astana-led peloton. The group sat up and was caught back by the peloton at 40 kilometres from the finish. The two leaders still had a bonus of 45 seconds when Oss punctured away at 33 kilometres from the finish. Stuyven picked up the prize money at stake at the finish line and hit the two local laps with a bonus of nearly a minute on the Bahrain-Merida-led peloton.

EF Education First-Drapac lost Modolo, when he crashed as the peloton rode through the centre of Kortrijk and looked to be in a lot of pain after hitting the tarmac hard. Meanwhile, Stuyven’s lead came down as Lotto-Soudal took the initiative when heading back to Kuurne. The move caused splits in the peloton and at 18 kilometres from the finish Stuyven was brought back.

There was a brief hiatus in hostilities as the peloton entered the final lap until two brief moves from Niki Terpstra and Guillaume van Keirsbulck. As the latter was brought back to the fold, Duval went clear on his own, soon to be joined by Vermote. The pair worked together, but Duval appeared to be struggling compared to Vermote and they began slipping back to the peloton. Vliegen saw his chance and joined the two leaders and helped them build a bigger advantage.

With some big sprinters behind, the three were not given much in the way of space out front. As they turned onto the final stretch, Duval was slipping back and Vermote made one last push. Once the fast men began sprinting, Vermote was quickly overhauled and Groenewegen had a clear run to the line. 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo4:51:41
2Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
5Justin Jules (Fra) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
6Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
7Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
8Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
9Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data
10Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
11Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
12Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
13Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
14Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
15Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
16Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
17Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
18Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
19Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
20Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
21Kenny Dehaes (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
22Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
23Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
24Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-Hansgrohe
25Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
26Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
27Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
28Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
29Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
30Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
31Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
32Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team
33Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
34Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
35Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
36Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
37Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
38Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
39Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
40Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
41Julien Mortier (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
42Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
43Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
44Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
45Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
46Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
47Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
48Mathias De Witte (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
49Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
50Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott
51Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin
52August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
53Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
54Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
55Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team
56Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
57Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
58Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
59Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
60Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
61Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
62Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ0:00:17
63Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems Crelan
64Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
65Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
66Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky
67Alberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing Team
68Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:31
69Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) FDJ0:00:33
70Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky0:00:50
71Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:20
72Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
73Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:21
74Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:03:52
75Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
76Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
77Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
78Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
79Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
80Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
81Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
82Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
83Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
84Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
85Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
86Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
87Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
88Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
89Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team
90Truls Korsaeth (Nor) Astana Pro Team
91Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
DNSSondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFGregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
DNFKiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
DNFBoy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
DNFJonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
DNFChristopher Lawless (GBr) Team Sky
DNFOwain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
DNFMarco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFMads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFFernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
DNFMaximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
DNFSam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMarcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMichael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
DNFAntoine Duchesne (Can) FDJ
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ
DNFMichael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFLucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFAlex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFAmund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFBert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFTimo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFSacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFTom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFBorut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
DNFIvan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
DNFLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
DNFMagnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFSimone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFFilippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFAleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
DNFBen Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
DNFEdvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
DNFBernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data
DNFNicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFRyan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFJay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFScott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data
DNFBram Welten (Ned) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFPierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFSVENDGAARD Michael Carbel
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFMaxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFJordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFMilan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFKevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFPiet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFAaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct Energie

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