Photo Credit: Cor Vos
The classics season got underway today at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, with the race following a traditional parcours for its testing 200 kilometre long route. With calm conditions over the peloton as they rolled out of the start in Ghent, a five rider breakaway was quick to form at the head of the race, and the bunch settled into a rhythm behind with all Team DSM riders in it.
As the gruelling climbs and cobbled sections ticked by, the peloton thinned down and on the Molenberg a large group of around eight riders got clear. A hard fought chase from Søren Kragh Andersen and Romain Bardet, alongside some riders from other teams saw the group eventually brought back as they entered the town of Geraardsbergen. Tiesj Benoot was prominent and to the fore over the top of the famous Muur, riding strongly, but with a fierce headwind it was difficult for any move to escape.
Cresting the final ascent of the Bosberg, any gaps were brought back and the peloton was all together heading towards the finish Ninove. Benoot and Kragh Andersen gave it their all and did their best to get in the mix in the fast finale as the sprinters did battle, but unfortunately they were caught behind the crash with two kilometres to go. Benoot tried to bring Kragh Andersen back as close to the front as possible, but the Dane was unable to contest the sprint finish for a top result.
|1||BALLERINI Davide||Deceuninck - Quick Step||4:43:03||300|
|2||STEWART Jake||Groupama - FDJ||,,||250|
|3||VANMARCKE Sep||Israel Start-Up Nation||,,||215|
|23||KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren||Team DSM||,,||12|
|29||BENOOT Tiesj||Team DSM||,,||12|
|62||BARDET Romain||Team DSM||2:44||-|
|78||NIEUWENHUIS Joris||Team DSM||3:07||-|
|1005||MÄRKL Niklas||Team DSM||-04:43:03||-|
|1005||PEDERSEN Casper||Team DSM||,,||-|
|1005||SÜTTERLIN Jasha||Team DSM||,,||-|