A total of 18 hills will be on the menu of the 75th edition, which will once again conclude on the Nokereberg, the punchy 350m hill averaging 5.7%. The race, won in the past by four different members of the Wolfpack, usually comes down to a bunch sprint, but with many of the climbs packed in the final 20 kilometers, also the attackers will have their chance.

Van Lerberghe in the mix

Bert Van Lerberghe confirmed again his strong condition, just two weeks after taking a solid eighth place at Le Samyn, featuring in the action-filled finale of Nokere Koerse. Taking in several short and sharp climbs, including five ascents of the emblematic Nokereberg, the 76th edition of the 189.9km one-day race came down to a bunch sprint, despite numerous attempts to rewrite the traditional script.

Not content to wait the bunch sprint, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl were one of the main instigators, launching several attacks with the likes of Mauro Schmid and Jannik Steimle, who applied pressure on the local laps, throwing caution to the wind and leaving everything out there as the kilometers ticked down.

Despite their valiant and restless efforts, the race eventually came down to a mass gallop – as expected – and Bert Van Lerberghe finished just outside the podium, as Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) took the win. Jannik Steimle made it two Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders in the upper echelon of the general classification, rolling across the line in tenth place.

 

Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images

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