Dwars door Vlaanderen: Belgian Mess

Hard to follow this amazing Belgian mess. 12 hills and 3 cobblestone sections - Holleweg (1500 m), Haaghoek (1700 m) and Varentstraat (2000 m).
70 km to go when I turn on: Gougeard, Asselman, Bauhaus, Kirsch, Boev and Van Melsen have 1'46" on Teunissen, Rickaert and Durbridge and 2'43" on the peloton. Boev and Gougeard get Eikenberg.
Taaienberg: Devenyns, Vliegen, Maes, Capiot, Thwaites, Wallays, Keukeleire and Nizzolo bridge to Teunissen, Rickaert and Durbridge.
Oude Kwaremont (2.2 km, 4.2% average gradient): Kevin Van Melsen goes solo.
Dries Devenyns attacks from the chasing group and Maes is the first rider to respond.
Paterberg (700 meters, 12%  average gradient)  Tiesj Benoot and Greg Van Avermaet attack from the peloton. 
Tiegemberg: Devenyns attacks, Benoot accelerates. 
17 km to go Van Melsen is caught by a 7 riders group including Benoot, Thwaites, Nizzolo, Vliegen, Durbridge, Van Melsen en Maes. 
Holstraat, then Nokereberg. 10 km to go the break is caught by the first chasing group. 
9 km to go Van Avermaet attacks. He keeps going. He's caught 250 m to go.
Sprint! Debuscherre wins on Coquard and Theuns.
What an incredible mess! Belgium won.

Jens Debusschere:
“Of course I am happy with this victory. It was a race I had been looking forward to. Because of what happened yesterday in Brussels it wasn’t sure if the race would take place. It was strange yesterday and this morning: should we give in and cancel the race or do we race with respect for the victims and with attention for the safety? The atmosphere at the start in Roeselare was very serene.
It was the plan that Tiesj Benoot and Jelle Wallays would ride an aggressive race. I was the card to play if the race would end with a sprint. And it was a sprint, although the attempt of Greg Van Avermaet was really strong. For a long time we didn’t think he would get caught but Trek kept chasing him until the last straight line. In the last turn I was too far behind, I wasn’t part of the first ten riders. In the last straight line I could move up and I aimed for a podium place; at the end I won.
Everyone in the team did a good job today. In the finale we were with four in the first group: Jelle Wallays, Pim Ligthart, Tiesj Benoot and I. We had a strong team today with also Lars Bak, Sean De Bie, Jasper De Buyst and Marcel Sieberg who did their part of the work. After Strade Bianche I was afraid that I could forget about my ambitions for the Spring Classics because of the rib injury I incurred. But I could finish Tirreno and helped out Jürgen Roelandts at Milan-Sanremo. And today I win. This is yet again a next step in my career. It’s even more nice that I win in my home region.”

Edward Theuns:
"Van Avermaet stayed away longer than I expected, he was strong, and we only got him in the last 500 meters. Jasper really made a perfect lead out; he put me in a perfect position into the last corner. Gaviria launched his sprint, and I followed and was going over him, so I thought I was able to win since Gaviria is really fast, but it was a headwind. The others came a little bit from the back and, in the end, I was third. This is a race that suits me, but honestly, I would love to give up all my podium spots for the win. I tried to split things on the Taaienberg because going first up there is always the best. After that a group went with Giaco in it, which was perfect for us, and Jasper and I could just follow in the group behind. After all the climbs we were hoping that it would come back together, and it did. Then when Van Avermaet went there was still enough people willing to chase, and Jasper helped keep the pressure on, too."

Giacomo Nizzolo:
"The feeling today was good, especially compared to the last weeks when I was sick; looks like my virus is gone. I tried always to be in the front group so it would be easier on the guys behind. After all that. I did not have legs left for the sprint, and we tried to make a good lead out for Edward. To be in the breakaway and make a race like this will for sure make me stronger for the next races. Of course, a win is always better, but I think we can be really happy about the performance of the team today."

Jasper Stuyven:
"We decided in the morning that Edward would do the sprint if it came to a sprint. I felt good, but I put a lot of effort to make the race hard and trying to get away. I also tried to keep the pace of the group going in chasing Greg, so it was all for Edward in the sprint. I told Edward to stay on my wheel, and I think we came in the right moment to the front. Only then did I notice it was headwind. I think Edward did a good sprint to make the podium. Of course, a win is always better, but I think we can be really happy about the performance of the team today."

Greg van Avermaet:
“The team did really well. Loïc was always up there at the front and he did a really good job of protecting me, so that I could conserve some energy. I chose my moment with 9km to go and just didn’t make it. With 200m to go everybody came over me and the race was over. It was a special day for us with what happened yesterday. Every Belgian guy was really motivated to try to show that we have to fight against it. I was hoping to win on a day like that. I feel pretty confident for the next two races. E3 Harelbeke and Gent Wevelgem are even more important than today so I hope to recover well and hopefully win.”

1 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal 4:48:27
2 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
3 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
5 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
6 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team
8 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18
9 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
10 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step
11 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
12 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
13 Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
14 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
15 Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group
16 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
17 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
18 Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
19 Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
20 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
21 Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
22 Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
23 Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
24 Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
25 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
26 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
27 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
28 Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling
29 Alex Kirsch (Lux) Stölting Service Group
30 Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie
31 Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
32 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
33 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
34 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
35 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:11
36 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:12
37 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:38
38 Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
39 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
40 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
41 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
42 Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling
43 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge
44 Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
45 Ralf Matzka (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
46 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
47 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
48 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-GreenEdge
49 Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
50 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Stölting Service Group
51 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
52 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
53 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
54 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
55 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
56 Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team
57 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Team
58 Ivan Savitskiy (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
59 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
60 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
61 Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
62 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
63 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
64 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Team
65 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
66 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
67 Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
68 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
69 Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
70 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
71 Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha
72 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) IAM Cycling
73 Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
74 Simone Antonini (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
75 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18
76 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
77 Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
78 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
79 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
80 Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
81 Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
82 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team
83 Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie
84 Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie
85 Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
86 Steven Tronet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
87 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
88 Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha
89 Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
90 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha
91 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
92 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team
93 Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:00:50
94 Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
95 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
96 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step
97 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
98 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
99 Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
100 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
101 Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
102 Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team
103 Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
104 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha
105 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
106 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
107 Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
108 Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18
109 Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
110 Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
111 Nils Politt (Ger) Team Katusha 0:01:46
112 Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:03:20
DNF Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNF Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNF Kai Reus (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
DNF Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Mirko Trosino (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Mirko Tedeschi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Giuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Matteo Draperi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Andrea Dal Col (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Liam Bertazzo (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
DNF Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNF Eryk Laton (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNF Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
DNF Mamyr Stash (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNF Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNF Sergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNF Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNF Viktor Manakov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNF Igor Boev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNF Jonas Tenbrock (Ger) Stölting Service Group
DNF Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Stölting Service Group
DNF Michael Reihs (Den) Stölting Service Group
DNF Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Stölting Service Group
DNF Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept ,
DNF Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
DNF Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
DNF Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge
DNF Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff Team
DNF Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff Team
DNF Michael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff Team
DNF Erik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff Team
DNF Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Iljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNF Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNF Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal
DNF Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
DNF Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNF Vicente Reynes (Spa) IAM Cycling
DNF Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie
DNF Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
DNF Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNF Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Maxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
DNS Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNS Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Stölting Service Group

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