Laporte solos to victory on the Verbindingweg
Three days after Gent-Wevelgem, it was once again Christophe Laporte who hit the jackpot. After an attack in the closing kilometres, the Frenchman took victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen riding solo. He finished ahead of Lazkano and Powless.
No rain in Roeselare at the start of the 77th edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen. 183.5 km were on the programme. The early breakaway was achieved after about 20 km of racing. Gidich (Astana Qazaqstan Team), Lazkano (Movistar Team), Zukowsky (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team), Vanhoof (Team Flanders-Baloise), Heinschke (Team DSM) and Kristoff (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) managed to get away from the peloton.
The riders reeled off a particularly fast first race hour. With 47 kilometres covered in the first hour, the breakaway riders’ lead grew quickly to 3-4 minutes. On the top of the Côte de Trieu for the first time, it was Trek-Segafredo that was setting the pace in the peloton. With this acceleration, the leading group saw its lead shrink and the peloton began to break into pieces.
The succession of climbs and cobblestone stretches meant that first Zukowsky and Gidich had to let go at the front. On the Kanarieberg it became too quick for Heinschke and Vanhoof. In the peloton, the moment of Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) had come. He accelerated and was joined by Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Laporte (Jumbo-Visma).
At the front, Vanhoof and Heinschke were able to get on terms again with Kristoff and Lazkano. Behind them, it was Benoot who accelerated a second time on the Côte de Trieu. The new chasing group? Benoot and Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Powless (EF Education-Easypost), Küng and Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Narvaez (INEOS Grenadiers) and Honoré (EF Education-Easypost). The lead of the frontrunners, where Vanhoof and Heinschke in the meantime had had to let go again, shrunk to under half a minute.
The peloton could not yet be entirely written off for the full finale. At 10 km from the finish, the leading duo, the chasers and the peloton were all within half a minute of each other. With about 6 km to go, during the last passage over the Herlegemstraat, the chasers joined Kristoff and Lazkano at the front. At this moment, an attack immediately followed because the chasing group was not far behind.
At 4 km from the finish, it was Laporte who went fully on the attack and went off alone in search of victory in Waregem. The victory was within his reach and the Frenchman rounded off his attack with a strong solo. In the closing kilometres, it was Powless and early escapee Lazkano who manage to accelerate away. Lazkano eventually grabbed second place after a whole day in the attack, ahead of Powless and with the sprinting peloton in their wake.
It was Laporte’s second classic victory in just three days, as the Frenchman had previously triumphed in Gent-Wevelgem.
It was Laporte's second classic win in just three days, as the Frenchman had also previously triumphed in Gent-Wevelgem.