Niki Terpstra Wins Tour of Flanders With Impressive Solo Break

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Dutchman Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) soloed to glory in the Tour of Flanders ahead of Denmark's Mads Pedersen and compatriot Philippe Gilbert.

Terpstra, 33, rode clear of a select group of favourites with 26 kilometres remaining of the gruelling 265km cobbled classic in Belgium. He reeled in a leading three-man break on the third ascent of the famous Oude Kwaremont climb before zipping clear to take a deserved victory in the second Monument of the season.

Trek-Segafredo's Pedersen, who was one of the remaining three escapees, held on to take a well-earned second place in Oudenaarde while defending champion Gilbert outsprinted another Dane, Michael Valgren of Astana, to ensure Quick-Step would finish with two riders on the podium.

A jubilant Terpstra crosses the line solo at the 2018 Tour of Flanders.

In what was a far from vintage spectacle, the Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet (BMC) led home an elite group containing the frustrated world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) for fifth place. 

Sagan completed the top ten ahead of Belgians Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and Wout van Aert (Verandas Willems-Crelan), and the Czech national champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors).

Terpstra's win made it a double Dutch day of glory on Easter Sunday following compatriot Anna van der Breggen's victory for Boels-Dolmans in the women's race hours earlier.

Winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2014, the in-form Terpstra finished last year's Ronde van Vlaanderen in third place and finished runner-up in 2015.

"It's a dream," Terpstra said after finally winning the Ronde on his tenth attempt – becoming the first Dutchman to stand atop the Flanders podium in 32 years.

" To win Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders was a dream of me as a young kid when I was already crazy about these races. I cannot describe how happy I am to have these victories on my palmares."

 

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