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Van Avermaet bests Sagan to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

After years of strong Omloop Het Nieuwsblad performances that didn’t quite materialize into victories, BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet crossed the line first Saturday ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). 21-year-old Tiesj Benoot of Lotto-Soulda took third.

The three riders were among a group of five escapees that managed to outfox the peloton, staying clear to the end to battle for the victory among themselves. Van Avermaet emerged victorious in the ensuing sprint.

Top 10

  • 1. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, in 4:54:12
  • 2. Peter SAGAN, TINKOFF, at :00
  • 3. Tiesj BENOOT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 4. Luke ROWE, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 5. Alexis GOUGEARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :05
  • 6. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :09
  • 7. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :09
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :09
  • 9. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :09
  • 10. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ, at :09

 
A sizable breakaway of 12 riders went off the front in the early goings of the 200km race, which started and finished in Ghent, Belgium. The breakers worked their advantage up over five minutes after around 100km. With a little under 60km to go, Sky’s Luke Rowe jumped clear from the peloton on the Taaienberg climb in an attempt to bridge. He was followed by Van Avermaet, Sagan, and Benoot.

The quartet eventually caught the survivors of the main breakaway group and formed a new selection. Having missed out on the move, Etixx – Quick-Step went to work at the front of the peloton, with the likes of Stijn Vandenbergh and Niki Terpstra setting a high tempo in the hopes of springing Tom Boonen for the win. The riders up the road had less than a minute of an advantage with 25km left to race, and several of them fell off the pace, but the pack couldn’t quite manage to reel them all in.

Trek’s Jasper Stuyven made an attempt to bridge to the group solo, but he was unable to make up much ground before sliding out in a corner, which put an end to any hope he had of making the catch.

With 10km to go, only Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale) remained from the early breakaway, forming a quintet with Van Avermaet, Sagan, Benoot, and Rowe. The group worked well together to keep the chasers at bay, coming into the final kilometer as a cohesive unit in preparation for a sprint.

Van Avermaet jumped early from over 200 meters out. Sagan pushed to get onto his wheel, but he was not able to overtake the 30-year-old Belgian, who won the sprint convincingly. Sagan was forced to settle for runner-up honors. Benoot nabbed third, and Rowe, who had led the podium trio out of the peloton nearly 60km prior, rolled across the line fourth.

Van Avermaet has now finished inside the top six at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in five consecutive editions — this time, however, he came away with the victory in the end.

“It was really important for me to win the first classics race of the season,” Van Avermaet said. “I’m happy that I could finally win a classic like this because I was close a few times here and I know how hard it is to win a classic in the springtime.”

With plenty of experience narrowly missing out on big wins, Van Avermaet will be savoring his success, especially given the way he pulled off the win, outsprinting speedster Peter Sagan.

“You never know how many victories you’re going to have so I’m of course going to enjoy this one and hopefully I’ll have more to come. Beating Sagan in a sprint like this only gives me more confidence.”

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad results

  • 1. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, in 4:54:12
  • 2. Peter SAGAN, TINKOFF, at :00
  • 3. Tiesj BENOOT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :00
  • 4. Luke ROWE, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 5. Alexis GOUGEARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :05
  • 6. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :09
  • 7. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :09
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :09
  • 9. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :09
  • 10. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ, at :09
  • 11. Tom BOONEN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :09
  • 12. Dimitri CLAEYS, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :09
  • 13. Oliver NAESEN, IAM CYCLING, at :09
  • 14. Tom VAN ASBROECK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :09
  • 15. Salvatore PUCCIO, TEAM SKY, at :09
  • 16. Scott THWAITES, BORA-ARGON 18, at :09
  • 17. Florian SENECHAL, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :09
  • 18. Oscar GATTO, TINKOFF, at :09
  • 19. Marco MARCATO, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at :09
  • 20. Jurgen ROELANDTS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :09
  • 21. Maarten WYNANTS, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :09
  • 22. Sébastien TURGOT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :09
  • 23. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at :09
  • 24. Sébastien MINARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :09
  • 25. Tosh VAN DER SANDE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :13
  • 26. Brecht DHAENE, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM, at :13
  • 27. Florian VACHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at :13
  • 28. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :13
  • 29. Vegard Stake LAENGEN, IAM CYCLING, at :13
  • 30. Niki TERPSTRA, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :15
  • 31. Lukasz WISNIOWSKI, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :15
  • 32. Stig BROECKX, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :17
  • 33. Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :17
  • 34. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :17
  • 35. Dries DEVENYNS, IAM CYCLING, at :17
  • 36. Julien MORICE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :17
  • 37. Antoine DUCHESNE, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :24
  • 38. Stijn VANDENBERGH, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :39
  • 39. Mads PEDERSEN, SSG, at 4:41
  • 40. Pim LIGTHART, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:41
  • 41. Timothy DUPONT, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM, at 4:41
  • 42. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:41
  • 43. Tim DECLERCQ, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 4:41
  • 44. Gerald CIOLEK, SSG, at 4:41
  • 45. Alexandre PICHOT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 4:41
  • 46. Aleksei TCATEVICH, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:41
  • 47. Sjoerd VAN GINNEKEN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 4:41
  • 48. Stef VAN ZUMMEREN, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM, at 4:41
  • 49. Floris DE TIER, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 4:41
  • 50. Sander CORDEEL, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM, at 4:41
  • 51. Martin ELMIGER, IAM CYCLING, at 4:41
  • 52. Alex KIRSCH, SSG, at 4:41
  • 53. Jay MCCARTHY, TINKOFF, at 4:41
  • 54. Aleksejs SARAMOTINS, IAM CYCLING, at 4:41
  • 55. Manuel BELLETTI, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA, at 4:41
  • 56. Christian KNEES, TEAM SKY, at 4:41
  • 57. Filippo POZZATO, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA, at 4:41
  • 58. Amaury CAPIOT, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 4:41
  • 59. Maciej BODNAR, TINKOFF, at 4:41
  • 60. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, IAM CYCLING, at 4:41
  • 61. Robert WAGNER, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 4:41
  • 62. Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 4:41
  • 63. Jesse SERGENT, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:41
  • 64. Grégory RAST, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 4:41
  • 65. Jérôme BAUGNIES, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 4:41
  • 66. Heinrich HAUSSLER, IAM CYCLING, at 4:41
  • 67. Andrew FENN, TEAM SKY, at 4:41
  • 68. Adam BLYTHE, TINKOFF, at 4:41
  • 69. Magnus Cort NIELSEN, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 4:41
  • 70. Bram TANKINK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 4:41
  • 71. Kai REUS, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM, at 4:41
  • 72. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 4:41
  • 73. Jelle WALLAYS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 4:41
  • 74. Nikolas MAES, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 4:41
  • 75. Julien VERMOTE, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 4:41
  • 76. Gijs VAN HOECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 4:41
  • 77. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:41
  • 78. Marco HALLER, TEAM KATUSHA, at 4:41
  • 79. Jens KEUKELEIRE, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 4:41
  • 80. Boy VAN POPPEL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 4:41
  • 81. Pierre-Luc PERICHON, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 4:41
  • 82. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ, at 4:41
  • 83. Mickael DELAGE, FDJ, at 4:41
  • 84. Yoann OFFREDO, FDJ, at 4:41
  • 85. Cyril LEMOINE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 4:41
  • 86. Johan LE BON, FDJ, at 4:41
  • 87. Preben VAN HECKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 4:41
  • 88. Brian VAN GOETHEM, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON, at 5:13
  • 89. Bartlomiej MATYSIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 9:21
  • 90. Ryan ANDERSON, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 9:21
  • 91. Christophe LAPORTE, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 9:21
  • 92. Tony MARTIN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 9:21
  • 93. Timo ROOSEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 9:21
  • 94. Simone ANTONINI, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:21
  • 95. Lukas PÖSTLBERGER, BORA-ARGON 18, at 9:21
  • 96. Tom DEVRIENDT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:21
  • 97. Daniel MCLAY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:21
  • 98. Riccardo STACCHIOTTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 9:21
  • 99. Ignatas KONOVALOVAS, FDJ, at 9:21
  • 100. Nils POLITT, TEAM KATUSHA, at 9:21
  • 101. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at 9:21
  • 102. Matteo BUSATO, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA, at 9:21
  • 103. Jerome COUSIN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 9:21
  • 104. Leigh HOWARD, IAM CYCLING, at 11:35
  • 105. Kristian HOUSE, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 13:27
  • 106. Eduard Michael GROSU, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 13:27
  • 107. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 13:27
  • 108. Kevin VAN MELSEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 13:27
  • 109. Michael MORKOV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 13:27
  • 110. Sergey LAGUTIN, TEAM KATUSHA, at 13:27
  • 111. Zakkari DEMPSTER, BORA-ARGON 18, at 13:27
  • 112. Daniele BENNATI, TINKOFF, at 13:27
  • 113. Andrea FEDI, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA, at 13:27
  • 114. Kenneth VAN ROOY, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 13:27
  • 115. Joeri CALLEEUW, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM, at 18:31
  • 116. Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 18:31
  • 117. Michael Carbel SVENDGAARD, SSG, at 18:31
  • 118. Christoph PFINGSTEN, BORA-ARGON 18, at 18:31
  • 119. Peter WILLIAMS, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 18:31
  • 120. Franck BONNAMOUR, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 18:31
  • 121. Tomasz KIENDYS, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 18:31
  • 122. Maciej PATERSKI, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at 18:31
  • 123. Vegard BREEN, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 18:31
  • 124. Sven erik BYSTRØM, TEAM KATUSHA, at 18:31
  • 125. Vladimir ISAYCHEV, TEAM KATUSHA, at 18:31
  • 126. Christopher JUUL JENSEN, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 18:31
  • 127. Tony HUREL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 18:31
  • 128. Olivier LE GAC, FDJ, at 18:31
  • 129. Sam BEWLEY, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 18:31
  • 130. Jan GHYSELINCK, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM, at 18:31
  • 131. Sebastian LANDER, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 18:31
  • 132. Gediminas BAGDONAS, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 18:31
  • 133. Mitchell DOCKER, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 18:31
  • 134. Steele VON HOFF, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 18:31
  • 135. Michael REIHS, SSG, at 18:31
  • 136. Marcin BIALOBLOCKI, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 18:31
  • 137. Yanto BARKER, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 18:31
  • 138. Steven TRONET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 18:31
  • 139. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 18:31
  • 140. Mirko TEDESCHI, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA, at 18:31
  • 141. Maxime FARAZIJN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, at 18:31
  • 142. Hugo Hofstetter, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 18:31
  • DNF Manuele BOARO, TINKOFF
  • DNF Nikolay TRUSOV, TINKOFF
  • DNF Iljo KEISSE, ETIXX – QUICK STEP
  • DNF Sean DE BIE, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Nico DENZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Damien GAUDIN, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Floris GERFS, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Philippe GILBERT, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Michael SCHÄR, BMC RACING TEAM
  • DNF Marc SARREAU, FDJ
  • DNF Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA – GreenEDGE
  • DNF Mathew HAYMAN, ORICA – GreenEDGE
  • DNF Moreno HOFLAND, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Dennis VAN WINDEN, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO
  • DNF Michal GOLAS, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Alex PETERS, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Marco COLEDAN, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Niccolo BONIFAZIO, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Giacomo NIZZOLO, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Shane ARCHBOLD, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Ralf MATZKA, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Phil BAUHAUS, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Michael SCHWARZMANN, BORA-ARGON 18
  • DNF Josef CERNY, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Adrian KUREK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Eryk LATON, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Jaroslaw MARYCZ, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Grzegorz STEPNIAK, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
  • DNF Borut BOZIC, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Gert JOEAAR, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Kenneth VAN BILSEN, COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Romain CARDIS, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Yauheni HUTAROVICH, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT
  • DNF Benoit JARRIER, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT
  • DNF Iuri FILOSI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Yuma KOISHI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Nicolas MARINI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Antonio VIOLA, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI
  • DNF Joshua HUNT, ONE PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Martin MORTENSEN, ONE PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Jesper ASSELMAN, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Tim KERKHOF, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Michel KREDER, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Wesley KREDER, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Ivar SLIK, ROOMPOT – ORANJE PELOTON
  • DNF Enrique SANZ, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Mirko TROSINO, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Eugert ZHUPA, SOUTHEAST – VENEZUELA
  • DNF Alexander KAMP, SSG
  • DNF Sven REUTTER, SSG
  • DNF Jonas TENBROCK, SSG
  • DNF Robin STENUIT, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Christophe PREMONT, VERANDA’S WILLEMS CYCLING TEAM