The Classic Brugge-De Panne was as brutal as expected, with strong crosswinds and rain destroying the race to bits. Jasper Philipsen survived and attacked at all the right times, and has won the race in spectacular fashion.
De Moeren delivered a great spectacle. A pan-flat race, but one where the damage done was greater than that of many hilly and mountainous races. Jonas Rutsch, Mathis Le Berre, Louis Bendixen, Jens Reynders, Milan Fretin, Johan Meens and Louis Blouwer formed the day's breakaway, but it wasn't one that was to last long.
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From very early on crosswind action began and split began occurring. Not brutal at the start of the race but the survivors of the escapee group were caught with 103 kilometers to go by a group of around 35 riders headlined by Uno-X and Alpecin. The gap reached over a minute, but the two pelotons were connected again with 68 kilometers to go.
However there wasn't going to be any relaxing. Right away Soudal - Quick-Step broke through and attacked the race. 18 riders were present in this move including Philipsen, Jakobsen, Groenewegen, Démare, Kooij, Molano and Ackermann. It seemed to be a winning group, but the race was far from over.
Attacks in the group, due to the fatigue and strong winds, were possible, and Frederik Frison split the race up. Jasper Philipsen, Olav Kooij and Yves Lampaert joined them. Soudal - Quick-Step put on the chase in a very reduced group whilst Lampaert did not collaborate with the other three riders. The chasing group's chances were real with the gap hovering around 20 seconds, but Groenewegen and Démare were dropped further reducing the chances of a chase succeeding.
The quartet headed to the sprint well balanced, Yves Lampaert tried to sprint early as he had saved himself, but could not have the power to contest the other two. Jasper Philipsen survived all crosswinds to sprint to a victory, tight as Olav Kooij was a strong match. Lampaert completed the podium whilst Frison finished fourth, and Fabio Jakobsen won the sprint for fifth in the chasing group.
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