Niki Terpstra takes his second Monument with victory at Tour of Flanders
Apr 01 2018 05:16 pm CET

Niki Terpstra takes his second Monument with victory at Tour of Flanders
Niki Terpstra takes his second Monument with victory at Tour of Flanders
Photo of Niki Terpstra (c)Sigfrid Eggers

Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) has won the Tour of Flanders. The Dutchman got his second victory in a Monument after attacking with 20 kilometres to go.

The 266.5-kilometre Monument featured cold and wet weather which made conditions a bit more difficult for the participants. The original breakaway of the day was formed 70 kilometres into the race and included riders like Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida), Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo), Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) and Filippo Ganna (UAE-Team Emirates).

As the climbs and cobbles passed, the front group became smaller until Garcia Cortina was the only one remaining. Later on, he was joined by Tom Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

In the peloton, there were several mechanicals and a big crash that involved riders like Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Michael Schär (BMC), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Ian Stannard (Sky).

The second climb of the Oude Kwaremont made a selection in the peloton and left some favourites including Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) in a front group, and others like Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in a second group just behind.

With around 50 kilometres to go, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana), Dylan van Baarle (Sky), and Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First-Drapac), joined the lead duo.

The climb of the Koppenberg proved to be too difficult for some riders in front and van Baarle, Langeveld and Pedersen were left riding on their own. Behind, the two groups rejoined but soon broke apart on the same climb.

With 38 kilometres to go, during the climb of Steenbeekdries, Van Avermaet launched an attack and was followed by Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors), Sagan, Michael Valgren (Astana), Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) and Wout Van Aert (Verandas Willems-Crelan), among others.

Soon after, the favourites group rejoined and riders like Benoot, Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) and Daniel Oss (Bora-hansgrohe) tried to change the rhythm but were reeled back in by the others.

At the ascent of the Kruisberg, Stybar attacked and was followed by Kwiatkowski, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Sagan. This attack was neutralised but soon Nibali tried again and was followed by Terpstra, who made a new change of pace and got away from the Italian.

With 19 kilometres remaining, Terpstra arrived at the front group just as they were starting the last ascent of the Oude Kwaremont. The Dutchman launched a new attack right away and only Pedersen was strong enough to follow him, though soon he had to give up as well and left the Quick-Step man riding on his own.

At 16 kilometres to the finish, Sagan decided to take matters into his own hands and changed the pace to try to hunt Terpstra. The World Champion was followed by Van Avermaet, Yves Lampaert and Stybar.

Terpstra arrived at the Paterberg, the last climb of the day, on his own and Pedersen was close to him but couldn't get in his wheel again. With 13 kilometres to go, Sagan attacked by himself and created a gap with the rest of the favourites, but some kilometres later he realised he wasn't getting any closer to the front and slowed down to rejoin the chasers group.

With 2 kilometres to go, Pedersen was caught by the chasers while Terpstra kept going on his own, crossing the finish line solo to become the first Dutchman to win the Monument since Adri van der Poel in 1986.

Terpstra succeeds Gilbert as the champion of the race, making it two years in a row for Quick-Step Floors. Pedersen launched a late attack and crossed the finish line in the second position. Gilbert completed the podium of the day.






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