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Terpstra wins second Le Samyn title

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Niki Terpstra wins Le Samyn for the second time in his career

Niki Terpstra wins Le Samyn for the second time in his career (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Niki Terpstra wins the 2018 Le Samyn

Niki Terpstra wins the 2018 Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra wins the 2018 Le Samyn

Niki Terpstra wins the 2018 Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Quick-Step ride the front during Le Samyn

Quick-Step ride the front during Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Florian Senechal at the Quick-Step car

Florian Senechal at the Quick-Step car (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Quentin Jauregui (AG2R)

Quentin Jauregui (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra wins the 2018 Le Samyn

Niki Terpstra wins the 2018 Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alex Kirsch, Philippe Gilbert and Quentin Jauregui

Alex Kirsch, Philippe Gilbert and Quentin Jauregui (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Quick-Step take control of Le Samyn

Quick-Step take control of Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Florian Senechal works the front of Le Samyn for Quick-Step

Florian Senechal works the front of Le Samyn for Quick-Step (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Florian Senechal deals with a puncture during Le Samyn

Florian Senechal deals with a puncture during Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Edward Planckaert loses some clothing during Le Samyn

Edward Planckaert loses some clothing during Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julien Duval (AG2R)

Julien Duval (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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An AG2R rider is bundles up against the cold

An AG2R rider is bundles up against the cold (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Victor Campanaerts (Lotto Soudal)

Victor Campanaerts (Lotto Soudal) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R)

Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2017 winner Guillaume Van Keirsbulck

2017 winner Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert on his way to second place at Le Samyn

Philippe Gilbert on his way to second place at Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra on his way to winning 2018 Le Samyn

Niki Terpstra on his way to winning 2018 Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R)

Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julien Duval (AG2R)

Julien Duval (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zdenek Stybar talks with director Wilfried Peeters at the Quick-Step team car

Zdenek Stybar talks with director Wilfried Peeters at the Quick-Step team car (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Florian Senechal works the front of Le Samyn for Quick-Step

Florian Senechal works the front of Le Samyn for Quick-Step (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexis Gougeard made the final selection with Gilbert and Terpstra

Alexis Gougeard made the final selection with Gilbert and Terpstra (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Quick-Step Floors control the front of the race at Le Samyn

Quick-Step Floors control the front of the race at Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step)

Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale)

Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R)

Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nans Peters (AG2R)

Nans Peters (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Franklin Six (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic)

Franklin Six (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Jakobssen deals with a puncture

Fabio Jakobssen deals with a puncture (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Benjamin Declercq

Benjamin Declercq (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Nico Denz

Nico Denz (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Quick-Step's Philippe Gilbert, Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra

Quick-Step's Philippe Gilbert, Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Tim Declercq

Tim Declercq (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zdenek Stbar (Quick-Step Floors)

Zdenek Stbar (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra takes a drink of a well-derserved winner's beer at Le Samyn

Niki Terpstra takes a drink of a well-derserved winner's beer at Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert attacks at Le Samyn

Philippe Gilbert attacks at Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The desisive breakaway with Niki Terpstra and Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step) and Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie)

The desisive breakaway with Niki Terpstra and Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step) and Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra and Philippe Gilbert give Quick-Step 1-2 at Le Samyn

Niki Terpstra and Philippe Gilbert give Quick-Step 1-2 at Le Samyn (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Declerq (Quick-Step Floors)

Tim Declerq (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors)

Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Quick-Step Floors leads the way

Quick-Step Floors leads the way (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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The early breakaway at Le Samyn

The early breakaway at Le Samyn (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)
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Riders had to layer up against the cold weather

Riders had to layer up against the cold weather (Image credit: TDW/GI Cycling)

Le Samyn was Quick-Step Floor's race to lose, and they didn't. Niki Terpstra jumped and cleared the final three-man breakaway, and muscled his way around the day's gruelling, cobbled circuit before finishing with his second victory in Dour.

It was a case of classic tactics as Quick-Step's Philippe Gilbert, also in the final move, as he backed lone rival Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie) into the unfortunate position of having to perform a futile chase only to finish third as Gilbert rode around him on the run-in to the finish line for second place.

"I am very happy, but must say we suffered today with every kilometer, because the cold made use spend a lot of energy," Terpstra said. "It wasn't easy to race in these conditions, but fortunately it worked out well for us at the end of the day. We knew the break was strong and the responsibility was on us, so that's why we attacked in the crosswinds from afar.

"We went full gas and turned everything into an elimination race, with more and more guys getting tired and dropped. The team rode a textbook race, Philippe was perfect in the finale and we just made use of our numerical advantage, so that I could get away and take this beautiful win."

The peloton had a chance to stretch its legs during Belgium's 'opening weekend' with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, where Quick-Step Floors came up empty-handed. And so, perhaps out of sheer frustration, they came out swinging mid-week for Le Samyn's 200km race between Quaregon and Dour.

The parcours was unforgiving, featuring four bergs in the first half. It was tough enough for an early split with Gaudin, Maxime Daniel (Fortuneo), Tom Devriendt (Wany Groupe-Gobert), Quentin Jauregui (AG2R-La Mondiale), Johan Le Bon (Vital Concept), Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue), Franklin Six and Alex Kirsch (WB Aqua Sport) clearing the field.

Once the climbs were out of the way, Quick-Step Floors amassed at the front of the peloton with a pace so fast that it forced a split with 10 chasers - six of those were from Quick-Step.

Former winners Gilbert and Terpstra along with Tim Declercq, Davide Martinelli, Florian Sénéchal, and Zdenek Stybar controlled the chase; hell-bent on catching the breakaway, while Boris Vallée (Wanty Group-Gobert), Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Maxime Daniel (Fortuneo) sat tight on the back. They made the catch.

At the half-way mark, the parcours entered the final four circuits, and the now 16-rider lead group held on to a 40-second lead, neither here nor there because Quick-Step planned to further blow the race apart over the four cobbled sectors on each lap.

They shelled riders one by one; first, it was Six followed by Vallée and then Quick-Step's own Declercq, understandably tired after his efforts to drive the move earlier on.

Only the strongest survived, Gilbert and Terpstra led, while Gaudin, Van der Sande and Kirsch followed, building out 46 seconds on the dropped riders and 1:15 ahead of the field with 50km (2 laps) remaining.

Terpstra and Gilbert pushed hard over the cobblestones, often moving over to the dirt gutters for fast, smooth pedalling, and their efforts eventually shed Van der Sande and Kirsch.

Van der Sande and Kirsch tried desperately to regain contact with the trio. Reinforcement arrived as defending champion Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty Groupe -Gobert), who wasn't willing to hand over the race to Quick-Step, along with Adrien Petit (Direct Energie) and Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R La Mondiale), latched on. By that time, however, the gap to the leaders had swelled to an almost unbridgeable 50 seconds.

Trapped in the uncomfortable position of not wanting to help his Quick-Step rivals but wanting to reap some small reward for his huge effort, Gaudin swapped equal pulls with Terpstra and Gilbert on the last lap.

Quick-Step's inevitable attack on Gaudin began inside 15km to go; first, Gilbert went, and then it only took one counter attack from Terpstra to break the Frenchman. Gaudin conceded the first place prize to Terpstra, and then second to Gilbert, but he kept the third place - a small reward for such a big effort. 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick - Step Floors4:47:48
2Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick - Step Floors0:00:04
3Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:46
4Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:18
5Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
6Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic0:01:21
7Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic0:01:59
8Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
9Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:02
11Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:02:08
12Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
13Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick - Step Floors0:02:19
14Jelle Mannaerts (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
15Tanner Putt (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
16Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept Cycling Club
17Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service
18Andrew Fenn (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
19Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
20Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan
21Charlie Arimont (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service
22Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
24Julien Stassen (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
25Tom Dernies (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
26Ludwig De Winter (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic
27Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
28Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
29Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
30Floris Gerts (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
31Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
32Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
33Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
34Lawrence Naesen (Bel) Lotto Soudal
35Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
36Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems - Crelan0:02:26
37Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
38Bram Welten (Ned) Team Fortuneo - Samsic
39Julien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club
40Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport0:02:37
41Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:40
42Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:46
43Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:13
44Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan0:03:42
45Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
46Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:03:44
47Stijn Steels (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan
48Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan0:04:42
49Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:07:11
50Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
51Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic
52Lukas Spengler (Swi) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
53Senne Leysen (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan0:08:07
54Elias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Crelan0:08:28
55Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:08:31
56Davide Martinelli (Ita) Quick - Step Floors0:08:52
57Pierre Idjouadiene (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
58Jimmy Duquennoy (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
59David Boucher (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
60Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
61Lennert Teugels (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
62Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
63Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFMatthias Legley (Bel) Sovac - Natura4Ever
DNFSamuel Leroux (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFAlexander Maes (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
DNFNiels De Rooze (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
DNFThomas Joly (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFJelle Cant (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
DNFPierre Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFLaurin Winter (Ger) Team Differdange Losch
DNFMichiel Stockman (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
DNFKenny Dehaes (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFUgo Dangelo (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFRobin Stenuit (Bel) Sovac - Natura4Ever
DNFLander Seynaeve (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFAbram Stockman (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex
DNFTimothy Stevens (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
DNFArthur Baude (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service
DNFFranklin Six (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFAnthony Debuy (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service
DNFTom Paquot (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service
DNFPierre Goebeert (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service
DNFKenny Molly (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service
DNFDennis Coenen (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
DNFWim Reynaerts (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
DNFRoy Jans (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
DNFLouis Deguide (Bel) Sovac - Natura4Ever
DNFBrecht Ruyters (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
DNFAlexander Geuens (Bel) Sovac - Natura4Ever
DNFJelle Donders (Bel) Team Differdange Losch
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Team Differdange Losch
DNFJoshua Teasdale (GBr) Team Differdange Losch
DNFTom Vermeer (Ned) Team Differdange Losch
DNFKevin Verwaest (Bel) Team Differdange Losch
DNFJan Petelin (Lux) Team Differdange Losch
DNFGaetan Bille (Bel) Sovac - Natura4Ever
DNFVincent De Sy (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFFlorian Deriaux (Fra) Sovac - Natura4Ever
DNFLaurent Evrard (Bel) Sovac - Natura4Ever
DNFJimmy Janssens (Bel) Cibel - Cebon
DNFBrian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNFJérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club
DNFTravis Mccabe (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNFAdam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFKenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFMathias Van Gompel (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFCasper Phillip Pedersen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFPeter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFShane Archbold (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport
DNFEric Marcotte (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNFMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFCarlos Eduardo Alzate Escobar (Col) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNFJeremy Cornu (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFWouter Wippert (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNFTim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFMichael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Team Fortuneo - Samsic
DNFSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic
DNFLoic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFSteven Lammertink (Ned) Vital Concept Cycling Club
DNFTomas Petit (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFEdward Walsh (Can) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFRoss Lamb (GBr) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFAdam Lewis (GBr) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFRomain Le Roux (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club
DNFMark McNally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFDaniel Eaton (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNFBoris Vallee (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFGuillaume Haag (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFLorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept Cycling Club
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) Vital Concept Cycling Club
DNFQuentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Quick - Step Floors
DNFLachlan Norris (Aus) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Quick - Step Floors
DNFZdenek Štybar (Cze) Quick - Step Floors
DNFAlexander Cataford (Can) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team
DNSConor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport
DNSKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

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