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2018 Dwars Door West-Vlaanderen (1.1), Belgium

Johan Museeuw Classics
(formerly Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dwars door West-Vlaanderen podium history | 2017 edition | Course map

Nieuwpoort - Ichtegem, 189.3 km

Remi Cavagna

Rémi Cavagna takes the solo win with teammate Florian Senechal celebrating a few yards back.

The race: Here's the report from winner Rémi Cavagna's Quick-Step team.

Rémi Cavagna turned frustration into aggressiveness and disappointment into huge joy as he stormed to victory at the 72nd edition of Dwars door West-Vlaanderen (189.3 kilometers), making the most out of Quick-Step Floors numerical advantage and tactical acumen to land the team's second win in just four days, after the one in Le Samyn, where Niki Terpstra and Philippe Gilbert took first and second, respectively.

This time, the main protagonists were 22-year-old Cavagna and his countryman Florian Sénéchal, part of a very young Quick-Step Floors squad who compensated the lack of experience with enthusiasm, ambition and some brilliant racing, blowing the peloton apart and infiltrating four men into a nine-man escape, which got clear after the original break of the day been brought to heel. Fabio Jakobsen and Maximiliano Richeze were the other two riders of the team who booked a place in the group before entering the local laps, where the peloton's surge of pace reeled in all but three of the attackers.

Only survivors of that break were Cavagna, Sénéchal and Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal), and the trio worked well together, building a margin of 50 seconds and digging deep to hold off the peloton in the final 30 kilometers of the event which had all the main ingredients of a Flemish race: cobbles, hills, strong winds and lashing rain, which split the pack without any mercy.

Despite being dropped some 20-odd kilometers from the finish in Ichtegem, Cavagna channeled his inner Flandrien spirit and threw in a valiant effort which saw him return to the front inside the last ten kilometers. The second-year pro didn't stop there and kept on going, quickly putting a handful of seconds between him and the chasing duo, from which Sénéchal attacked with two kilometers remaining, leaving his opponent in the wake.

Rémi – the sixth Quick-Step Floors rider to put his name on the winners' list this season – had enough time to celebrate his special victory, which came under the heavy rain that had accompanied the riders throughout the day, since the start in Nieuwpoort. A rider with panache and a huge appetite for attacking and shaping the race, the Frenchman was over the moon at the finish line, where he had just signed off the team's 13th UCI win of the season.

"It was super hard and cold today, but I felt good since the start of the race. Actually, I have been feeling good since last season and have waited for this victory for a long time. I wanted this win so badly, I can't tell you how important it's for me to finally get it. I have made mistakes in the past, attacking too early, so today I said to myself 'Don't attack, wait, wait, wait!' and it worked out perfectly in the end."

"The race was full gas from the start, and in the end, after catching the breakaway, I got a gap together with Florian and Frison. We had the upper hand in that group, but Frison was really strong and at one point I even got dropped on the cobbles, but kept calm, knowing I had enough left in the tank. My legs were really hurting, but I ignored the pain and managed to come back, and then I launched a now-or-never attack, powering ahead with all I had. I needed this win and it gives me a huge boost of confidence and even more motivation for the next races, where I'll continue to give my best and help my teammates", concluded Rémi after becoming only the second French winner of the Belgian race.

Quick-Step Floors' crushing dominance in Dwars door West-Vlaanderen was completed by Fabio Jakobsen, who nabbed his best result since turning pro after sprinting to fourth place, and Ecuadorian Champion Jhonatan Narvaez, who celebrated his birthday by taking a remarkable seventh for his fourth consecutive top-10 of the season.

Sports director Tom Steels had only words of praise for the riders: "We rode like a true team today and everybody did a great job from kilometer zero, despite the heavy rain and low temperatures we had from the start. We controlled things, rode an intelligent race and proved what these young guys are capable of. Cavagna was very strong and came back after being dropped on the cobbles, Florian showcased again his solid form, Fabio confirmed the potential he has by winning the sprint of the first group, just as in Le Samyn, while Narvaez – who rode his first ever race on cobblestones – put in an outstanding effort. I am very proud of our riders!"

Complete Results:

189.3 kilometers raced at an average speed of 42.304 km/hr

1 Cavagna, Rémi Quick-Step Floors 4hr 28min 29sec
2 Sénéchal, Florian Quick-Step Floors @ 3sec
3 Frison, Frederik Lotto-Soudal + 00' 10''
4 Jakobsen, Fabio Quick-Step Floors + 00' 55''
5 Turgis, Anthony Cofidis s.t.
6 Van Keirsbulck, Guillaume Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
7 Narvaez, Jhonnatan Quick-Step Floors s.t.
8 Noppe, Christophe Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise + 00' 59''
9 Goolaerts, Michael Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
10 Duquennoy, Jimmy WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic s.t.
11 Putt, Tanner Unitedhealthcare s.t.
12 Ligthart, Pim Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
13 Petit, Adrien Direct Energie s.t.
14 Gradek, Kamil CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
15 Martinelli, Davide Quick-Step Floors s.t.
16 Godon, Dorian Cofidis s.t.
17 Planckaert, Edward Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
18 Bakker, Stephan Monkey Town s.t.
19 Lenderink, Peter SEG Racing Academy s.t.
20 Meeus, Jordi SEG Racing Academy s.t.
21 Hodeg, Alvaro Quick-Step Floors s.t.
22 Cardis, Romain Direct Energie s.t.
23 Menten, Milan Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
24 Coquard, Bryan Vital Concept s.t.
25 Offredo, Yoann Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
26 Naesen, Lawrence Lotto-Soudal s.t.
27 Trusov, Nikolay Gazprom-RusVelo s.t.
28 Janssen, Adriaan Delta Cycling Rotterdam s.t.
29 Mertz, Rémy Lotto-Soudal s.t.
30 Schulting, Peter Monkey Town s.t.
31 Bernas, Paweł CCC Sprandi Polkowice s.t.
32 Kreder, Wesley Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
33 Pichot, Alexandre Direct Energie s.t.
34 Ruyters, Brecht Cibel-Cebon + 00' 59''
35 Jans, Roy Cibel-Cebon + 02' 35''
36 Mannaerts, Jelle Tarteletto-Isorex + 02' 41''
37 Gerts, Floris Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij + 02' 42''
38 Wouters, Enzo Lotto-Soudal s.t.
39 Marchand, Gianni Cibel-Cebon s.t.
40 Van Rooy, Kenneth Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise s.t.
41 Rovny, Ivan Gazprom-RusVelo s.t.
42 Turgis, Jimmy Cofidis s.t.
43 Ginneken, Sjoerd van Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij s.t.
44 Janssens, Jimmy Cibel-Cebon s.t.
45 Van Genechten, Jonas Vital Concept s.t.
46 De Backer, Bert Vital Concept s.t.
47 Boeckmans, Kris Vital Concept s.t.
48 Goethem, Brian van Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij + 03' 58''
49 Livyns, Arjen Veranda's Willems-Crelan s.t.
50 Bugter, Luuc Delta Cycling Rotterdam + 04' 38''
51 Havik, Piotr Beat Cycling Club s.t.
52 Schelling, Ide SEG Racing Academy s.t.
53 Evensen, Henrik Joker Icopal s.t.
54 Le Bon, Johan Vital Concept s.t.
55 Dalen, Jason van Delta Cycling Rotterdam + 04' 42''
56 Claeys, Dimitri Cofidis s.t.
57 Stevens, Timothy Cibel-Cebon s.t.
58 Ruijgh, Rob Tarteletto-Isorex s.t.
59 Timmermans, Justin Delta Cycling Rotterdam s.t.
60 Meijer, Gijs Delta Cycling Rotterdam s.t.
61 Boucher, David Tarteletto-Isorex s.t.
62 Tulner, Rens Delta Cycling Rotterdam + 05' 00''
63 Kooistra, Marten SEG Racing Academy s.t.
64 Richeze, Maximiliano Quick-Step Floors + 10' 00''
65 Sellier, Simon Direct Energie s.t.
66 Luijk, Sven van Monkey Town s.t.
67 Forfang, Ole Joker Icopal s.t.
68 Tietema, Bas Beat Cycling Club s.t.
69 Bol, Cees SEG Racing Academy s.t.
70 Torres, Sergio Tarteletto-Isorex s.t.
71 Gérard, Arnaud Fortuneo-Samsic s.t.
72 Kozonchuk, Dmitry Gazprom-RusVelo s.t.
73 Berg, Julius van den SEG Racing Academy s.t.
74 Jarrier, Benoît Fortuneo-Samsic s.t.
75 Chétout, Loïc Cofidis s.t.
76 Nõmmela, Aksel Beat Cycling Club s.t.
77 Skjerping, Kristoffer Joker Icopal s.t.
78 Coenen, Dennis Cibel-Cebon s.t.

Course map:

2018 Dwars foor West-Vlaanderen map