Forty-eight hours after Nokere Koerse, the bunch will tackle Monteberg and the iconic Kemmelberg, and although both will come more than 100 kilometers from the finish in Koksijde, it’s not impossible to see a small group contest the victory, especially if the crosswinds will make their presence felt.
Van Lerberghe carries the flag for the Wolfpack
The presence of the Kemmelberg twice on the 200.9km course of Bredene Koksijde Classic meant fireworks were expected Friday afternoon, and the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl boys delivered them, attacking there on both occasions, trying to shape things and open the race from the distance.
Mauro Schmid and Jannik Steimle were the main instigators, and soon a small but strong group formed around them, setting off in pursuit of the original five-man breakaway. At one point, they had almost half a minute over the peloton, who upped the tempo on the flat roads to Bredene and chewed into that gap before making the catch inside the final 70 kilometers.
More attempts followed on the exposed roads of De Moeren, but to no avail, and the race came down to a bunch sprint, which was won by Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates). Bert Van Lerberghe, fourth in Nokere Koerse two days ago, was again in the mix and finished the day as the highest-ranked Wolfpack member, in tenth place.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images