Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen: Crash-Marred Bunch Sprint15. September 2017, Koolskamp (BEL) — Road Team
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen came down to a chaotic bunch sprint today with Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) taking the win after a late crash interrupted the final run into the line.
It was a fast start to the day with the bunch flying around the first of 16 laps of a 12.3km circuit around Koolskamp before seven riders were eventually able to loosen the grip of the peloton and build up an advantage that had reached just over 4’30” after five laps.
Heading into the second half of the 192.4km course, the chase heated up with the peloton strung out in single file as the gap to the breakaway began to fall steadily before, with 45km to go, the bunch was trailing the five remaining leaders by less than 1’30”.
Eventually, the race was brought back together as the bell rang to mark the start of the final lap and with a relentless pace neutralizing the possibility of any late attacks, the peloton was soon heading under the flamme rouge, and the stage was set for a fast and furious finale.
A late crash at the front of the peloton interrupted the run into the line, and while BMC Racing Team was not involved, it upset the rhythm and forced small gaps to form with the race already at full-speed as it headed towards a bunch sprint.
In the end, it was Gaviria who took the win, outsprinting Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Soudal) to the line.
Inside the Race Car with Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“Unfortunately the crash caught us out a little, and we lost our good position in the bunch with Bram Welten and Jempy Drucker. There was a headwind coming into the final, and our plan was not to come to the front too early as the timing had to be perfect. In the end, we were going for Welten, and at the moment Drucker started his lead-out, the crash happened right in front of them, and they had to brake, and that took us out of the race.”
“Of course, it is a little disappointing, but fortunately no one from our team was involved especially as both riders will go to the World Championships. Everyone had a good feeling today, and the guys were riding well which is good as they start to look ahead to tomorrow’s race.”
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen
One-day race: Koolskamp > Koolskamp, 192.4km
Top 3: 1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) 3. Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Soudal)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 85. Jempy Drucker 91. Francisco Ventoso 96. Bram Welten