Race Report: Zdeněk Štybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won the E3 BinckBank Classic for the first time in his career to add to his Het Nieuwsblad win at the start of the month. At the finish in Harelbeke he was the fastest in the sprint from Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) and his teammate Bob Jungels.
Another win from the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team with yet another rider
On a sunny Friday afternoon in Flanders, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team again showed their dominance. With a perfect one-two punch by Bob Jungels and Zdenek Stybar, the Belgian team had Wout van Aert, Greg Van Avermaet and Alberto Bettiol on the ropes for the final sprint. Stybar had the measure of the two Vans for the win.
Trek-Segafredo pair Edward Theuns and John Degenkolb at the sign-on
The start line in Harelbeke
Greg Van Avermaet might be saving himself for Sunday
Wout van Aert looking for the win
The break of the day took its time, but eventually seven riders got free: Jaime Castrillo (Movistar), Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), Aksel Nõmmela (Wallonie Bruxelles), Thomas Sprengers (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Stijn Steels (Roompot-Charles), Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy) and Ludwig De Winter (Wanty-Gobert). Lionel Taminiaux (Wallonie Bruxelles) also made it across to the leading group.
Street furniture everywhere now
It could be the day for Belgian champion Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
In the run-up to the climb of La Houppe, the eight extended their lead to 5 minutes. This was their maximum because the peloton started to chase. With half the race gone, the lead group still had 2:30.
The wind from the coast could play its part
The break of the day led by Movistar’s Jaime Castrillo
Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) crashed into a ditch 85 kilometers from the finish line and had to abandon. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacked on the Taaienberg putting the peloton into two parts, but the race came together again. Although riders were dropped over the following kilometers.
Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Gijs van Hoecke (CCC) on the front of the peloton
Max Walscheid (Sunweb) further back
On the Boigneberg it was the turn of Zdeněk Štybar and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), but it was Bob Jungels who put in the big attack. The early leading group was caught to put six riders up front for the Paterberg-Oude Kwaremont. Jungels had Hirschi, Sprengers and Steels, with Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) managing to cross.
Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) and Stijn Steels (Roompot-Charles) bringing up the rear of the break
Bob Jungels (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) on the attack
Jungels, who previously won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, turned out to have great legs, which he showed on the Paterberg, where only Hirschi could follow. Although Politt and Sütterlin were able to rejoin, Jungels went again on the Karnemelkbeekstraat. This time the others couldn’t follow and the Luxemburger went solo.
Break and peloton
Bob Jungels about to make his move
Hirschi, Politt and Sütterlin were caught by the chasing group of favorites, Jungels extended his lead to 45 seconds. Wout van Aert, Alberto Bettiol, Zdeněk Štybar and Greg Van Avermaet started the pursuit after the Tiegemberg slowly pulling in Jungels.
Greg Van Avermaet splitting the peloton
Jungels goes solo
Van Aert and Van Avermaet chase the Luxemburger down
Seven kilometers from the finish Jungels was caught by the four chasers, but he then worked hard for Stybar. At 3.5 kilometers from the line; Stybar attacked, but Van Aert jumped on his wheel. Less than half a K further and Jungels tried again, but this time Van Avermaet pulled back his move.
Stybar didn’t just wait for the sprint, he put in some attacks on the run-in
Stybar opened the sprint and held them off to the line
The big win for Stybar and another for Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The five passed under the last kilometer flag together and it was Jungels again who led the group with Van Avermaet on his wheel. Stybar jumped hard on the pedals to hold off Wout van Aert and Greg Van Avermaet to give the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team its 12th win this season.
E3 BinckBank winner, Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I’m incredibly happy! Winning Harelbeke after Omloop is amazing, but I couldn’t have done it without this extraordinary team. We have such a great squad, all our riders can win a race and that’s one of the things that make the difference in our favour. Bob was instrumental in my victory, I couldn’t have done it without him, so I want to thank him for his enormous help.”
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E3 BinckBank Classic Result:
1. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:46:05
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
4. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:03
6. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:04
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar
10. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb
11. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:33
12. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First
13. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
14. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
15. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Direct Energie at 1:37
16. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:42
17. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
18. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:45
19. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:49
20. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Astana
21. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
22. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
23. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
24. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
25. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.