Gent-Wevelgem isn’t just one of the oldest cobbled classics, won by our team three times in the past two decades, at over 250 kilometers it’s also one of the longest. Taking the bunch over some ruthless dirt roads and a total of ten hills, from which the cobbled Kemmelberg – always tackled twice – stands out, Sunday’s Classic promises to deliver plenty of fireworks.

Gent-Wevelgem: Asgreen again prominent

Kasper Asgreen confirmed he is on track one week ahead of Ronde van Vlaanderen, which he won in spectacular fashion last year, despite missing out on a result Sunday afternoon at the 84th edition of Gent-Wevelgem.

A top 10 finisher Friday at E3 Harelbeke, the Dane was part of all the big moves that came in the last 100 kilometers, tracking down several dangerous attacks and launching a bid of his own the second time up the Kemmelberg, a brutal acceleration which shattered the peloton to pieces and left only a handful of riders at the front. After the last climb of the day, Asgreen continued to ride strongly and respond to two vicious attacks as teammate Yves Lampaert was making significant inroads as part of a strong chasing group.

The Belgian ITT Champion showed a lot of determination as he bridged to them just as a quartet got away, building a 25-second advantage despite some stiff headwind, but despite sacrificing himself and putting in several huge turns, the four couldn’t be brought back and Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) took the victory. A mechanical 500 meters from the line prevented Asgreen from fighting for a good result at the prestigious cobbled Classic and the 27-year-old concluded well outside the top 10.

“We didn’t have the best day: Florian and Bert crashed, Ballerini was slowed down by a flat tire on the Kemmelberg, while Kasper had to face that mechanical very close to the line. Luck was not on our side, but we continue to fight and believe it will be again, sooner or later. It’s normal to be disappointed, but you only get stronger if you can handle the disappointments. We still have some important one-day races in the weeks to come and we will tackle them with confidence”, said Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Tom Steels.

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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