Three Days of De Panne 1

Silence before the start, a long minute for the lost mate. Team Wanty isn't here: riders didn't feel like to race and their feeling has been respected. It isn't easy.
Cobbles, 11 climbs including a double ascent of the Muur. A strong wind that splits the peloton in two big groups. The average speed during the first hour is 52.3 km/h! Rain and hail are spotted at the finish. It looks like a very hard race.
At the first intermediate sprint Danny van Poppel is 1st on Tony Martin and Luke Durbridge.  Offredo abandoned because of a crash.
Edelare climb: Ttaylor Phinney is the first rider atop. 13 riders try to go away but they get caught on Berendries climb, where Loic Vliegen is 1st on team mate Tom Bohli.
At the second intermediate sprint Danny Van Poppel is 1st again on Durbridge and Morkov.
95 km to go the first group's advantage grown to 1'10". In this group there are 16 riders: Kristoff, Morkov, Zabel, Durbridge, Farazijn, Phinney, Vliegen, Keukeleire, Knees, Rowe, Lutsenko, Westra, Bohli, Pedersen, Bodnar and van Poppel.

I HAVE TO GO OUT NOW. WILL BE BACK SOON :D Enjoy the race on tv or streaming.

I'm back.  
38 km to go the leaders have 1'03". They are 14 because Bodnar and Phinney got dropped at the first passage on the Muur.
At th 3rd intermediate sprint 1st is Lutsenko on Zabel and Durbridge.
Ten Bosse: Westra, Rowe and Kristoff attack from the front group. Lutsenko  joins. 28 km to go the gap is 52".
Bohli, Knees and Keukeleirs are back in the peloton.
18 km to go: up the Kapelmuur again. A puncture stops Rowe! He's chasing furiously! 16.5 km to go Kristoff, Westra and Lutsenko have 19" on Rowe and 27" on Pedersen. Pedersen joins Rowe but after a few kms they are back to the peloton.
A tactical last km, Kristoff in front controlling, not even a sprint: Kristoff wins on Lutsenko and Westra.

Alexander Kristoff:
"This was really hard today. I wasn’t feeling strong at all. Actually, Westra was the strongest in our group. He pulled me and Lutsenko almost all the way to the line. I tried to contribute but I didn’t really have the legs. I had already said through the radio that I was not feeling so well with 2 laps to go. At the end I still managed to survive and be there to win. I’ve been a little bit sick these past few days so I hope I can have better legs tomorrow. Both Westra and Lutsenko were riding for the classification and now they are in a good position. I am not feeling as strong as I did here last year so I’m not sure about doing a good time trial, but I will try and we’ll see how things go. I felt good at the start but then after about 100 km I didn’t feel so well, but I think this was the same for everyone. It was a fast start. We knew it would be hard. My director Torsten Schmidt said we had to be in the front because echelons would be forming and he was right."

Luke Rowe:
"Gutted, yeah, that hits the nail on the head. From the get go we rode well today, we always had guys on the front - the race was split right from kilometre zero and we had pretty much the whole team on the front. Everything went perfectly, we always had numbers, right up until that puncture. I felt pretty strong. I think Westra was the strongest in the break, he was pulling some really strong turns, but I felt pretty comfortable - well, as comfortable as you can expect! Once again, I'm just gutted to puncture at what was probably the worst moment in the entire race. It was right at the bottom of the Muur, so as soon as I got the fresh wheel I went absolutely flat out up there because I figured if I hadn't closed the gap by the top I'd probably never close it. I sprinted up that in a do or die effort. It's part of the sport. There's no one to blame, no one behind it, it could happen to any rider, in any race, at any moment. Unfortunately it was me today, but that's life. I'll crack on and hope for better luck in the future."

Loïc Vliegen:
“This day was a really difficult day for me because I lost two friends yesterday so I wanted to do something for them. From the kilometer 0, I was in the front group and I thought that the best thing that I could do was take the KOM jersey and I did. So I’m really happy to have taken it for them. I was feeling really good today and my form is good. It was a really cold stage so I didn’t eat or drink too much, so in the end I was feeling it. But the form is good so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Juraj Sagan:
"It was a hard, hard day for everyone out there today. From the start the race was broken in crosswinds, after the first kilometres. Bodnar tried hard up front but I'm not too sure what happened as it was really hectic. I was behind the break with Trusov, and at the end I managed to get third from the bunch. Coming into the finish there were some turns but everyone was really tired so it was hard. I'm happy with my result but we came here looking for a GC result which will be difficult now. We will refocus and look at the coming days - we are in Belgium and anything can happen."

1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 4:22:34  
2 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team  
4 Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group 0:00:29  
5 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
6 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal 0:00:36  
7 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
8 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team  
9 Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
10 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha  
11 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
12 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step  
13 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18  
14 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
15 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
16 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team  
17 Alex Kirsch (Lux) Stölting Service Group  
18 Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
19 Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
20 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNF Tim Kerkhof (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
DNF Marc Fournier (Fra) FDJ  
DNF Kristoffer Skjerping (Nor) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNF Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNF Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNF Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNF Kirill Sveshnikov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
DNF Alexey Kurbatov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo  
DNF Alexander Kamp (Den) Stölting Service Group  
DNF Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Southeast - Venezuela  
DNF Mirko Tedeschi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
DNF Xu Gang (Tpe) Lampre - Merida  
DNF Andrea Dal Col (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
DNF Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Lampre - Merida  
DNF Barry Markus (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
DNF Steele Von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling  
DNF Chris Opie (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling  
DNF Joshua Hunt (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling  
DNF Matthew Goss (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling  
DNF Manabu Ishibashi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNF Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie  
DNF Luca Sterbini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNF Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNF Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNF Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNF Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ  
DNF Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 4:22:24  
2 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:01  
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:00:06  
4 Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group 0:00:39  
5 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
6 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:42  
7 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:44  
8 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
9 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Katusha 0:00:45  
10 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal 0:00:46  
11 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
12 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team  
13 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha  
14 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
15 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18  
16 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
17 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
18 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team  
19 Alex Kirsch (Lux) Stölting Service Group  
20 Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton  
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 20 pts
2 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 18  
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 16  
4 Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group 14  
5 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 12  
1 Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team 28 pts
2 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 26  
3 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 11  
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 8  
5 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team 7  
6 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 5  
1 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky 6 pts
2 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 4  
3 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 3  
4 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step 2  
5 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team 2  
6 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Katusha 1  
1 Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group 4:23:03  
2 Nils Politt (Ger) Team Katusha 0:00:07  
3 Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:02:53  
4 Hayden McCormick (NZl) ONE Pro Cycling  
5 Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
6 Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
7 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
8 André Looij (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton 0:05:32  
9 Federico Zurlo (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
10 Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:12:46  
1 Astana Pro Team 13:08:18  
2 Team Katusha 0:00:36  
3 Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:01:12  
4 Southeast - Venezuela  
5 BMC Racing Team  
6 Lotto Soudal 0:03:58  
7 Roompot Oranje Peloton  
8 Team Sky 0:04:14  
9 Stölting Service Group 0:06:30  
10 Bora-Argon 18 0:06:44  
11 Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
12 Lampre - Merida 0:09:23  
13 Orica Greenedge  
14 Nippo - Vini Fantini 0:11:15  
15 Fdj 0:12:25  
16 Tinkoff 0:13:51  
17 Direct Energie 0:14:27  
18 Bardiani Csf 0:17:44  
19 Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 0:18:29  
20 One Pro Cycling 0:19:23  
21 ETIXX - QUICK STEP 0:20:46  
22 Gazprom - Rusvelo 0:29:03

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