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2018 Record Bank E3 Prijs Harelbeke
(World Tour), Belgium

61st edition: Friday, March 23, 2018

E3 Prijs Harelbeke podium history | 2017 edition | Start list

Harelbeke - Harelbeke, 206.5 km.

Niki Terpstra

Nicki Terpstra wins in Harelbeke

The race: Here's the report from third-place Greg van Avermaet's BMC team.

23 March, 2018, Harelbeke (BEL): Greg Van Avermaet stood on the podium for the first time during the spring classics after taking third place in a nail-biting edition of Record Bank E3 Harelbeke.

Eight riders formed the day's breakaway and quickly gained an advantage of more than six minutes in the lead up to the first sector, the Wolvemnberg.

With only two sectors in the first 100km of the 206.5km race, the race situation remained calm until a huge crash wiped out or blocked half the peloton with 108km remaining, and blocked Jempy Drucker, Stefan Küng, Jürgen Roelandts, and Michael Schär.

Van Avermaet was joined by Alberto Bettiol and Francisco Ventoso in the front group which immediately started to eat into the breakaway's advantage with a hard pace being set to maintain the split in the peloton.

An attack from Niki Terpstra and Yves Lampaert (Quickstep Floors) with 70km to go caused more splits behind as riders tried to chase, and created a small chase group featuring Van Avermaet and many of the other race favorites.

Terpstra and Lampaert established a one-minute advantage and with 55km remaining, Van Avermaet powered away from the rest of the chase group before being caught by Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors).

Behind, the main peloton, featuring Küng and Roelandts, began to gain some ground and with 25km to go, caught Van Avermaet's group to strengthen the chase behind then-solo leader Terpstra.

The BMC Racing Team trio was working hard as part of the chasing group with each rider taking their turn at the front approaching the 20km to go mark.

Terpstra's advantage was holding steady at around 35 seconds as the race entered the final 10km of the day before a series of attacks, including two strong moves from Van Avermaet, saw the chasers start to close in on him. Küng was driving hard at the front of the group as the gap fell to 15 seconds with just 3km to go and soon after, Roelandts went on the attack.

This move saw the chasing group strung out along the road heading under the flamme rouge. However, it all came back together again by the time the riders hit the finishing straight, 20 seconds behind the lone leader. 

In the end, Terpstra was able to hold on to take the day's honors ahead of his teammate Philippe Gilbert and Van Avermaet, who dug deep in the closing meters and was able to find the extra kick needed to sprint on to the podium in third place.

Küng and Roelandts also showed their strength and determination in the final stages of today's race and finished 10th and 12th respectively. 

Quotes from the Finish Line:

Greg Van Avermaet:
"The problem was I did a lot of efforts in the middle of the race and then when the big group came back to us it was a bit hard for me to reset my legs and try to find a little bit of freshness again. It was hard to close [the gap]. We all had to work together and while we had three guys in there, the most important thing was that everyone worked together to try and pull Terpstra back but he was super strong. On the big road, we went pretty fast but we didn't come much closer to him so I think in the end, probably the strongest guy won."

"I was super happy with my legs and my race. I put in a lot of effort and it was also a good training for me. In the end, I am also pretty happy with my result. I am on the podium and okay, it is not a win but I know how hard it is to win these kinds of races so I am pretty happy with what I did today."

"Stefan did everything he could to keep it rolling and also Jürgen tried to do his best with a few attacks but it was super hard because if we had really taken the lead with two guys, the others could have saved their legs too and that would also have made them harder to beat. There were some fast guys like Trentin in the group. We had Gilbert who never did one pull and his team were also not pulling so it was a big risk. We tried to do our best and it is sometimes pretty complicated in a race."

Stefan Küng:
"First of all, I was lucky I didn't go down in the crash. I was stuck in it and my bike was broken but I got my spare bike pretty quickly and then I could start to chase. It was quite hard to get back there because it was an uphill section with a bit of headwind but together with Moscon we managed to get back in there. I felt like 'okay this is the first group now' and then Jürgen told me about the forty guys in front with Greg. To be honest, when they couldn't get closer, it was always around 1'30", I thought the race could be over. But then we caught group after group, rider after rider. Jürgen and I worked well together and with his experience, he helped to get me into the right position. We were able to stay up there with the best guys before catching Greg's group."

"It was then a question of what we did from there. We had the numbers but Quick-Step Floors still had two guys so, if we closed the gap and they sat on then the attacking would start all over again. I tried to make a little selection but it was hard. We did our best and to be honest I don't know what we could have done differently. We finished with a podium place and we know that we are ready as a team and that's something that we can take away from the race."

"Today's result was my best in a classic. I was feeling good the whole day and even when we hit the Kwaremont, I knew that I had it in my legs to follow the strongest guys. For me, it was definitely a bit of a confidence boost as over the last few years I have always had some issues heading into the classics. I was maybe a little over excited and I was always caught up in crashes or had mechanicals. Now, I know that if everything works well that I have the legs to be in a good position. It is good to be up there as that's what we live for, to race for the win and I hope to be up there in the final of the next races too."

Jürgen Roelandts:
"There were some captains from other teams also stuck behind the crash, namely Naesen and the Astana Pro Team guys and Sep Vanmarcke. Those three teams were really pulling the whole time but of course at the front, they were also pulling. It was really a race in every part of the peloton so that made it hard. It was a very open race but I think Stefan and I kept a good position in the front all the time and we also showed we had good legs. At one point it was easy because we were with eight guys and Greg was in front so we didn't have to ride but then we came to Greg and Terpstra was still in front so we needed to start riding obviously. I think Terpstra did a really big effort because we were turning with nine guys and he stayed out in front so I think he deserved the victory. I think everyone was on the limit because some of the other guys had also come from the back."

"I tried an all or nothing approach with 1.5km to go but Trentin closed the gap and it was then over for me for the sprint. Greg always has a good sprint after a hard race and he showed that today. After my fifth place in Milan-San Remo and being in the front group here I think I showed some good signs for the next two weeks. The team was also in a good condition so I am looking forward to the races coming up."

Sports Director, Fabio Baldato:
"The best thing to take from today is the condition of the riders. I saw a great Stefan Kung and Jurgen Roelandts. Stefan was one of the last to start from the crash and he was able to make it back into the race. Greg Van Avermaet did an amazing ride like always. Quickstep had the numbers in front and they rode well, and they put other riders in difficultly. The good thing is the performance of the team with three riders in the top 12 and Greg on the podium. Of course, we can talk together and see what we can do better, what we did wrong, how to improve communication in the final between all of us, even me, to be better."

Complete Results:

206.5 kilometers raced at an average speed of 40.815 km/hr

1 Terpstra, Niki Quick-Step Floors 5hr 3min 34sec
2 Gilbert, Philippe Quick-Step Floors s.t.
3 Van Avermaet, Greg BMC s.t.
4 Naesen, Oliver Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
5 Benoot, Tiesj Lotto-Soudal s.t.
6 Stuyven, Jasper Trek-Segafredo s.t.
7 Vanmarcke, Sep EF Education First-Drapac s.t.
8 Moscon, Gianni Sky s.t.
9 Štybar, Zdeněk Quick-Step Floors s.t.
10 Küng, Stefan BMC s.t.
11 Trentin, Matteo Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
12 Roelandts, Jürgen BMC @ 27sec
13 Matthews, Michael Team Sunweb + 02' 52''
14 Valgren, Michael Astana s.t.
15 Backaert, Frederik Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
16 Sénéchal, Florian Quick-Step Floors + 02' 57''
17 Lampaert, Yves Quick-Step Floors + 03' 00''
18 Mezgec, Luka Mitchelton-Scott + 03' 19''
19 Haussler, Heinrich Bahrain-Merida s.t.
20 Drücker, Jempy BMC s.t.
21 Degenkolb, John Trek-Segafredo s.t.
22 Kuznetsov, Vyatcheslav Katusha-Alpecin s.t.
23 Durbridge, Luke Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
24 Hagen, Edvald Boasson Dimension Data s.t.
25 Andersen, Søren Team Sunweb s.t.
26 Sagan, Peter Bora-Hansgrohe + 03' 23''
27 Martin, Tony Katusha-Alpecin + 03' 27''
28 Jules, Justin WB Aqua Protect-Veranclassic + 07' 03''
29 Chavanel, Sylvain Direct Energie s.t.
30 Vandenbergh, Stijn Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
31 Ligthart, Pim Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
32 Oliveira, Nelson Movistar s.t.
33 Kort, Koen de Trek-Segafredo s.t.
34 Nielsen, Magnus Astana s.t.
35 Gallopin, Tony Ag2r La Mondiale + 08' 09''
36 Van Gestel, Dries Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
37 Sieberg, Marcel Lotto-Soudal s.t.
38 Teunissen, Mike Team Sunweb s.t.
39 Ventoso, Francisco BMC s.t.
40 Kristoff, Alexander UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
41 Schär, Michael BMC s.t.
42 Allegaert, Piet Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
43 Doull, Owain Sky s.t.
44 Gaudin, Damien Direct Energie s.t.
45 Gołaś, Michał Sky s.t.
46 Duijn, Huub Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
47 Hayman, Mathew Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
48 Bauer, Jack Mitchelton-Scott s.t.
49 Colbrelli, Sonny Bahrain-Merida s.t.
50 Goethem, Brian van Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij + 11' 15''
51 Baarle, Dylan van Sky s.t.
52 Van Keirsbulck, Guillaume Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
53 Duval, Julien Ag2r La Mondiale + 14' 05''
54 Politt, Nils Katusha-Alpecin s.t.
55 Declercq, Tim Quick-Step Floors s.t.
56 Démare, Arnaud Groupama-FDJ s.t.
57 Sprengers, Thomas Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
58 Le Gac, Olivier Groupama-FDJ s.t.
59 Arcas, Jorge Movistar s.t.
60 Ginneken, Sjoerd van Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
61 Van Melsen, Kevin Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
62 Kolář, Michal Bora-Hansgrohe s.t.
63 Pfingsten, Christoph Bora-Hansgrohe s.t.
64 García, Iván Bahrain-Merida s.t.
65 Rickaert, Jonas Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
66 Bystrøm, Sven Erik UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
67 Pichot, Alexandre Direct Energie s.t.
68 Turgis, Tanguy Vital Concept s.t.
69 Müller, Patrick Vital Concept s.t.
70 Devolder, Stijn Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
71 Carretero, Héctor Movistar s.t.
72 Kirsch, Alex WB Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
73 Mullen, Ryan Trek-Segafredo s.t.
74 Smith, Dion Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
75 Pasqualon, Andrea Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
76 Petit, Adrien Direct Energie s.t.
77 Vermote, Julien Dimension Data s.t.
78 Maes, Nikolas Lotto-Soudal s.t.
79 Houle, Hugo Astana s.t.
80 Van Hoecke, Gijs Team Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
81 Hofland, Moreno Lotto-Soudal s.t.
82 Budding, Martijn Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
83 Barbero, Carlos Movistar s.t.
84 Wiśniowski, Łukasz Sky s.t.
85 Amador, Andrey Movistar s.t.
86 Landa, Mikel Movistar s.t.
87 Božič, Borut Bahrain-Merida s.t.
88 Emden, Jos van Team Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
89 Marcato, Marco UAE-Team Emirates s.t.
90 Roosen, Timo Team Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
91 Jansen, Amund Team Lotto NL-Jumbo s.t.
92 Korsæth, Truls Astana s.t.
93 Langeveld, Sebastian EF Education First-Drapac + 14' 10''
94 Modolo, Sacha EF Education First-Drapac s.t.
95 Lutsenko, Alexey Astana s.t.

Start list with back numbers, March 22, 2018:

BMC
1 VAN AVERMAET Greg
2 ROELANDTS Jurgen
3 VENTOSO Francisco
4 DRUCKER Jean-Pierre
5 SCHÄR Michael
6 BETTIOL Alberto
7 KÜNG Stefan
BORA-HANSGROHE
11 SAGAN Peter
12 OSS Daniel
13 KOLAR Michal
14 PFINGSTEN Christoph
15 ACKERMANN Pascal
16 SELIG Rüdiger
17 SCHWARZMANN Michael
AG2R LA MONDIALE
21 NAESEN Oliver
22 VANDENBERGH Stijn
23 BARBIER Rudy
24 DUVAL Julien
25 GALLOPIN Tony
26 BAGDONAS Gediminas
27 DENZ Nico
QUICK-STEP FLOORS
31 GILBERT Philippe
32 DECLERCQ Tim
33 LAMPAERT Yves
34 KEISSE Iljo
35 SENECHAL Florian
36 STYBAR Zdenek
37 TERPSTRA Niki
LOTTO-SOUDAL
41 BENOOT Tiesj
42 HOFLAND Moreno
43 MAES Nikolas
44 DE BUYST Jasper
45 FRISON Frederik
46 NAESEN Lawrence
47 SIEBERG Marcel
ASTANA
51 DE VREESE Laurens
52 GATTO Oscar
53 HOULE Hugo
54 KORSAETH Truls Engen
55 LUTSENKO Alexey
56 CORT NIELSEN Magnus
57 VALGREN ANDERSEN Michael
BAHRAIN-MERIDA
61 HAUSSLER Heinrich
62 COLBRELLI Sonny
63 GARCIA Ivan
64 BOZIC Borut
65 KOREN Kristjan
66 PER David
67 PIBERNIK Luka
GROUPAMA-FDJ
71 DEMARE Arnaud
72 DELAGE Mickael
73 SARREAU Marc
74 GUARNIERI Jacopo
75 KONOVALOVAS Ignatas
76 LE GAC Olivier
77 SINKELDAM Ramon
MITCHELTON-SCOTT
81 HAYMAN Mathew
82 MEZGEC Luka
83 DURBRIDGE Luke
84 EDMONDSON Alexander
85 BAUER Jack
86 HEPBURN Michael
87 TRENTIN Matteo
MOVISTAR
91 AMADOR Andrey
92 ARCAS Jorge
93 BARBERO Carlos
94 LANDA Mikel
95 CARRETERO Hector
96 OLIVEIRA Nelson
97 SÜTTERLIN Jasha
DIMENSION DATA
101 VERMOTE Julien
102 DOUGALL Nick
103 KING Benjamin
104 GIBBONS Ryan
105 THOMSON Jay Robert
107 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
EF EDUCATION FIRST-DRAPAC
111 VANMARCKE Sep
112 MODOLO Sacha
113 LANGEVELD Sebastian
114 PHINNEY Taylor
115 SCULLY Thomas
116 VAN ASBROECK Tom
117 DOCKER Mitchell
KATUSHA-ALPECIN
121 MARTIN Tony
122 HALLER Marco
123 KUZNETSOV Vyacheslav
124 GONCALVES Jose
125 PLANCKAERT Baptiste
126 POLITT Nils
127 ZABEL Rick
LOTTO NL-JUMBO
131 LEEZER Tom
132 JANSEN Amund Grøndahl
133 ROOSEN Timo
134 WAGNER Robert
135 VAN EMDEN Jos
136 VAN HOECKE Gijs
137 WYNANTS Maarten
SKY
141 HALVORSEN Kristoffer
142 GOLAS Michal
143 KNEES Christian
144 MOSCON Gianni
145 DOULL Owain
146 VAN BAARLE Dylan
147 WISNIOWSKI Lukasz
TEAM SUNWEB
151 MATTHEWS Michael
152 BAUHAUS Phil
153 CURVERS Roy
154 HOFSTEDE Lennard
155 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren
156 STAMSNIJDER Tom
157 TEUNISSEN Mike
TREK-SEGAFREDO
161 STUYVEN Jasper
162 DEGENKOLB John
163 MULLEN Ryan
164 PEDERSEN Mads
165 RAST Grégory
166 DE KORT Koen
167 REIJNEN Kiel
UAE-TEAM EMIRATES
171 KRISTOFF Alexander
172 CONSONNI Simone
173 GANNA Filippo
174 BYSTROM Sven Erik
175 MARCATO Marco
176 SWIFT Ben
177 TROIA Oliviero
SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
181 ALLEGAERT Piet
182 DE GENDT Aimé
183 VAN GESTEL Dries
184 DELTOMBE Kevin
185 FARAZIJN Maxime
186 RICKAERT Jonas
187 SPRENGERS Thomas
WANTY–GROUPE GOBERT
191 VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume
192 BACKAERT Frederik
193 SMITH Dion
194 PASQUALON Andrea
195 ANTONINI Simone
196 VAN MELSEN Kevin
197 OFFREDO Yoann
VERANDA'S WILLEMS-CRELAN
201 DEVOLDER Stijn
202 DE BONDT Dries
203 DE BIE Sean
204 DUYN Huub
205 KRUOPIS Aidis
206 STEELS Stijn
207 VAN BREUSSEGEM Elias
WB-AQUA PROTECT-VERANCLASSIC
211 DUQUENNOY Jimmy
212 STASSEN Julien
213 KIRSCH Alex
214 JULES Justin
215 MASSON Christophe
216 SPENGLER Lukas
217 DEHAES Kenny
DIRECT ENERGIE
221 CHAVANEL Sylvain
222 CARDIS Romain
223 GAUDIN Damien
224 GENE Yohann
225 PETIT Adrien
226 PICHOT Alexandre
227 TULIK Angelo
ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
231 BUDDING Martijn
232 GERTS Floris
233 LIGTHART Pim
234 WIPPERT Wouter
235 VAN GINNEKEN Sjoerd
236 VAN GOETHEM Brian
237 VAN SCHIP Jan Willem
VITAL CONCEPT
241 COQUARD Bryan
242 GAREL Adrien
243 MORICE Julien
244 LE BON Johan
245 LECROQ Jérémy
246 MÜLLER Patrick
247 TURGIS Tanguy