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by Shane Stokes
March 29, 2018
Lampaert wins Dwars door Vlaanderen; Van Dijk takes women’s Dwars door Vlaanderen; Benoot confident prior to Flanders: ‘I am in very good condition’; Vanmarcke has ‘worst feeling of Classics period,” yet nets third; Stapleton sceptical about past use of hidden motors, but says it is a ‘growing threat’; Video: Yves Lampaert – Post race interview – Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2018; Video: Dwars door Vlaanderen 2018 – Ellen Van Dijk’s Champagne Malfunction; Video: A Pro Cyclist’s rest day – Team Wiggins
QuickStep Floors continued to shine in the big one-day races, with Yves Lampaert soloing to victory in the Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday. The Belgian rider was part of a five man break and then jumped clear inside the final kilometre, beating Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb), Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) by two seconds.
Other riders in the top ten included Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal, 7th) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team, 8th), while the Volta a Catalunya winner Alejandro Valverde showed his versatility with a strong performance and 11th place.
Lampaert won a year ago and was satisfied to do so again. “When the hostilities began and Vanmarcke attacked, Niki [Terpstra] told me to go, so I jumped and joined the front group. We worked together there and rode full gas, making sure we had a nice advantage for the final. Then, when Pedersen attacked, I responded and seeing I had got a gap, I sprinted to increase my margin and gave everything I had in the tank, knowing many of my rivals were faster.”
The day was marked by appalling weather, perhaps rewaring the absence of riders such as Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Philippe Gilbert (QuickStep Floors), both of whom will be amongst the favourites for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders. In their absence Luke Rowe (Team Sky) and Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) were amongst the animators, both attacking solo, while a subsequent series of breakaway attempts whittled down the list of contenders.
Benoot and Van Avermaet attacked on the final ascent of the Knokteberg, but were later joined by other strong riders. The successful five man move subsequently went clear with 25 kilometres to go, from which Lampaert then made his key attack and grabbed another big QuickStep Floors result.