Photo Special: WEVELGEM ’17
Gent-Wevelgem Photo Special: The 2017 Gent-Wevelgem WorldTour Classic came down to an exciting finalé with a cat and mouse chase between the usual protagonists – Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan. Cor Vos had his band of photographers on the Flemish roadside for the best shots.
At the start the BMC team were confident, and why would they not be?
Tom Boonen will be a hero in Belgium for a long time after his retirement. His last Gent-Wevelgem was not a total disappointment as 6th place wasn’t too shabby.
A sunny Sunday morning in Flanders for the start of Gent-Wevelgem, better than the more usual rain and cold conditions.
The day wasn’t all plain sailing for the man from Lokeren, race radio problems early in the race.
Yes, they have windmills in Belgium also.
The weather was a pleasant surprise, but the echelons in the cross-wind was as ever.
The break of the day was strong, but it was always going to be a side-show to the final action. Great to see fellow coffee connoisseur Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) up there.
Winter has only just gone from the Belgian fields, but that signals the best time of the year for cycle sport.
Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott) and Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) were two of many crashes, they were lucky enough to have a (fairly) soft landing in a grassy ditch.
Lemoine looked to have come off the worse of the two, but he was back on his bike… eventually.
Oh! Those echelons.
The gravel section came in for strong criticism before the race, but in the end they didn’t cause too much trouble for the riders.
Good practice for Paris-Roubaix on the Plugstreets of Gent-Wevelgem.
As you would expect from an ex-World cyclo-cross champion, Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) was in his element on the gravel sections.
The race passed the Lakenhalle in Ieper. The town was practically wiped off the map during World War 1.
The peloton was pulled into a long line as it his the head-wind.
There is always a fight for the front places in the bunch before the start of the Kemmel climb.
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise’s Preben Van Hecke rode away from the break, but the power of the top men would have him in their sights.
Daniel Oss was at his BMC team leaders side when it mattered.
Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet showed his form on the cobbled climb
But the Rainbow jersey was not too far away.
The group that mattered: Sagan, Van Avermaet, Keukeleire, Andersen and Terpstra.
Van Avermaet and Keukeleire, would they be caught? If Terpstra had helped with the chase, then maybe.
It could have been the biggest day in Jens Keukeleire’s career and there wasn’t much in it.
Another win to add to the growing palmarès of Greg Van Avermaet.
Peter Sagan said he was not disappointed with his 3rd place, but not winning in Wevelgem gave him motivation for Flanders and Roubaix.
5th for John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) was a good result, but he will be hoping for a win in the next couple of weeks.
It was a big day for the Keukeleire family, Van Avermaet seems pretty pleased also.
Greg Van Avermaet receives the kisses from Lien and Maya.
2017 Gent-Wevelgem Result:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 5:39:05
2. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:06
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
6. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
9. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
10. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
11. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
12. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
13. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
14. Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
15. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
16. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
17. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
18. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
19. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
20. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
21. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky
22. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
23. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
24. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar
25. Marco Marcato (Ita) Team UAE Emirates.