The Flemish classics continued today at Gent Wevelgem, with a 248 kilometre parcours on the menu for the bunch; featuring dirt road ‘plugstreets’ and several ascensions of the famous Kemmelberg climb. It was a fast start to the day as lots of teams tried to make the breakaway, included our very own Team DSM guys. Eventually the elastic snapped and Nikias Arndt made the seven rider move for the team, with the group quickly building up an advantage north of five minutes.
As the kilometres ticked by their gap slowly reduced before with still over 100 kilometres to go a fall in the bunch completely blocked the road, leaving Cees Bol and Søren Kragh Andersen in chasing groups behind the peloton. Working well together, they managed to make contact before the hills and plugstreets started in earnest and the race stitched back together at the front. Gliding up the ascents, Kragh Andersen followed the best over the climbs and after some good positioning work by Arndt and John Degenkolb, he was in an elite group of eight with 30 kilometres to go.
However, into the block headwind things regrouped before a four rider move jumped clear with around 20 kilometres remaining. Degenkolb and Kragh Andersen hung tight in the peloton, allowing other teams with sprinters to do the work before Kragh Andersen rolled the dice one last time, launching a stinging attack at two kilometres to go. Battling into the headwind, Kragh Andersen dug deep all the way to the finish, just holding off the peloton for a fine fifth place behind the attacking quartet.
|1||GIRMAY Biniam||Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux||5:37:57||500|
|3||VAN GESTEL Dries||TotalEnergies||,,||325|
|5||KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren||Team DSM||0:08||225|
|27||DEGENKOLB John||Team DSM||,,||20|
|49||ARNDT Nikias||Team DSM||1:22||10|
|82||MÄRKL Niklas||Team DSM||9:56||-|
|1005||HEINSCHKE Leon||Team DSM||-05:37:57||-|
|1005||BOL Cees||Team DSM||,,||-|
|1005||VERMAERKE Kevin||Team DSM||,,||-|