Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) won the E3 BinckBank Classic, the first one-day race of the Flemish Cycling Week on Friday.
Stybar outsprinted the other members of a small breakaway group to the finish line in Waregem. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), was second with countryman Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) third.
A second victory in the classic for Stybar continued a strong spring for himself and for Deceuninck-Quick-Step team. The Czech won the Het Nieuwsblad in February.
“It’s a big pleasure for me to be there with such a shape and now I’m really looking forward to Tour of Flanders,” said Stybar.
With 57 kilometres to go, Bob Jungels made a move from the pack and kilometres later joined the front group. His move was later copied by Katusha-Alpecin’s Nils Pollit and Movistar’s Jasha Sütterlin.
Jungels wasn’t content with the uncooperative companions and attacked on the Karnemelkbeekstraat climb with about 30 kilometers to go. Around that point, he held a gap of about 40 seconds on the group of chasers, which featured Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), van Aert, and Stybar.
Van Avermaet wasn’t about to take his chances with an even larger group of favorites. So, he set off on the attack with 20 kilometers to go. Only Van Aert, Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First), and Stybar could follow Van Avermaet’s attack.
Jungels was caught at seven kilometres from the finish line. The five men arrived together to the final kilometre and the first man to launch the sprint was Van Avermaet but he was soon overtaken by Stybar, who crossed the line in the first position.
E3 BinckBank Classic 2019 results:
|1||Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|2||Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)|
|3||Greg Van Avermaet (CCC)|
|4||Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First)|
|5||Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|6||Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|7||Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|8||Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|9||Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar)|
|10||Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb)|
|11||Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|12||Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First)|
|13||Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)|
|14||Jens Keukeleire (Lotto Soudal)|
|15||Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie)|
|16||Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)|
|17||Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|18||Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|19||Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|20||Magnus Cort (Astana)|