Tim Merlier sprints to victory in Le Samyn

The third Flemish classic raced in four days, Le Samyn was won by Tim Merlier, the Belgian rider benefiting from the work of his teammate Mathieu van der Poel, who catched everything that moved and worked for him in the last kilometers.

Merlier overtook in the sprint the Norwegian Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X) and Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert).

A group of four riders – Kenny De Ketele (Sport Vlaanderen Baloise), Joey Rosskopf (Rally), Jan-Willem van Schip (Beat Cycling) and Enzo Leijnse (DSM) – led by 40 seconds when the race hit the cobbles at the halfway stage.

That advantage was whittled down with Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) among those forming a smaller bunch at the front of the peloton

Van der Poel also made a move to get across to the front group before Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka ASSOS) attacked off the front with 30km remaining.

Several attacks happened in the next kilometres and although there were some attempts in the last cobblestone sector -in which Van der Poel’s handlebars broke, everything came down to a final spring in which Merlier showed to be the strongest.


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