The Three Days of West-Flanders are over. Today the final stage was ridden between Nieuwpoort and Ichtegem. Sander Cordeel went along in a breakaway, but unfortunately it didn’t make it to the end. Gerald Ciolek won the bunch sprint. Kristof Vandewalle, the best rider of the prologue, is the overall winner of these Three Days.
Sander Cordeel was one of the six escapees, that got away early in the race. Niko Eeckhout and Jelle Wallays were two of his companions. They had a maximal advantage of three minutes. The presence of Wallays from Topsport Vlaanderen turned out to be bad news for the breakaway, because he was going for the victory in the youth classification, in which Tobias Ludvigsson of Argos was leading.
Argos of course wanted to prevent Wallays from winning that classification. At less than forty kilometers from the finish about fifteen chasers joined the escapees. A new breakaway of four was formed, but they were caught by an extensive group in the final kilometers. Just like yesterday it would be a bunch sprint. This time it wasn’t Napolitano who won, but Ciolek was the fastest man. Jonas Van Genechten and Kenny Dehaes finished around places ten and eleven. In the first stage Dehaes became eighth. Jurgen Van de Walle had to quit today because of illness.
Sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx: “Our results in these Three Days were disappointing. It definitely wasn’t what we had expected. Two times we got closed in in the bunch sprint. Today Sander Cordeel was in a long breakaway, but because Jelle Wallays had already won two intermediate sprints, he formed a threat to Ludvigsson who was leading the youth classification. That’s why Argos rode full gas to catch the escapees before the third intermediate sprint.”
“On one of the cobblestone sections the leaders were caught and the peloton broke into three parts. Fréderique Robert had a puncture, so he couldn’t defend his chances. Maarten Neyens gave him his wheel and Bulgaç waited for Robert. Because of that bad luck, they got into a pursuing group and did never see the head of the race again. In the sprint we decided to work for Kenny Dehaes, but unfortunately he lost the wheel of Tosh Van der Sande at 500 meters before the finish line. It were two hectic sprints this weekend and we sat in a bad position. The guys have to find each other easier in the last two kilometers.”