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2023 E3 Saxo Bank Classic
(World Tour), Belgium

65th edition: Friday, March 24, 2023

E3 Saxo Bank Classic podium history | 2022 edition | 2024 edition

Harelbeke - Harelbeke, 204.1 km.

Wout van Aert beats Mathieu van der Poel to the line

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Weather at the start/finish city of Harelbeke at 12:30 PM, local time: 12C (54F), rain showers, with the wind from the southwest at 24 km/hr (15 mph). The rain is forecast to continue through 5:00 PM.

The race: There were two on-starters: Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) & Cees Bol (Astana Qazaqstan).

Here's the report from winner Wout van Aert's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Wout van Aert has won the E3 Saxo Classic for the second year in a row. The Belgian held off Mathieu van der Poel and Tadej Pogacar in the sprint in Harelbeke after the trio had been riding together in the lead for some time. It was Van Aert's first victory of the road season.

Cycling enthusiasts will remember the 2023 edition of Belgium's one-day race for a long time. With seventeen climbs and five cobbled sections, the top favorites had the opportunity to put themselves to the test ahead of the challenging classics programme in the coming weeks.

Van der Poel was no exception. With just over 80 kilometres to go, the Dutchman attacked on the Taaienberg and broke open the race. Van Aert did not hesitate and made sure he stayed on his wheel. Soon after, Pogacar, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Matej Mohoric, and Soren Kragh Andersen joined Van Aert and Van der Poel in a six-man break. Pogacar, Van der Poel, and Van Aert separated from the other breakaway riders on the Paterberg, with the latter struggling. The Belgian resisted giving up and fought his way up to the wheel of his rivals.

The trio led the pursuers by more than a minute as they entered the final ten kilometres. A sprint seemed inevitable. Van Aert was the first to begin his sprint in the last few hundred metres. He quickly created a gap and kept going. The Belgian was visibly delighted when he crossed the line.

"The E3 Saxo Classic is one of the biggest races of the spring. When you can win it for the second year in a row, it's a wonderful feeling", said an elated Van Aert shortly after the finish. "To be honest, the way it went is extra special for me. It was an intense fight, which made this victory even more special for me. I can be proud of myself and the team. It is wonderful to compete at this level against such strong guys. Maybe I wasn't the best on the road, but that doesn't take away from this victory. Luckily, the prizes are only handed out at the finish."

Van Aert also praised the work of his team. "The guys did an excellent job, which allowed me to win. We were unlucky with the crashes of Tiesj Benoot, Edoardo Affini and Dylan van Baarle, but we anticipated the situation very well. It was admirable how Nathan again played such a significant role in the race until the end. He was a crucial factor in allowing me to conserve my energy at certain moments in the race. It gives me a lot of confidence that I can finish like that. It gives me extra strength and power for the upcoming races."

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Complete Results:

204.1 kilometers raced at an average speed of 42.971 km/hr

1 Wout Van Aert Jumbo-Visma 4hr 44min 59sec
2 Mathieu Van Der Poel Alpecin-Deceuninck s.t.
3 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates s.t.
4 Matteo Jorgenson Movistar @ 33sec
5 Iván García Cortina Movistar 0:44
6 Stefan Küng Groupama-FDJ 0:56
7 Matej Mohoric Bahrain Victorious s.t.
8 Valentin Madouas Groupama-FDJ 1:25
9 Kragh Andersen Søren Alpecin-Deceuninck 1:31
10 Filippo Ganna INEOS Grenadiers s.t.
11 Nathan Van Hooydonck Jumbo-Visma s.t.
12 Krists Neilands Israel-Premier Tech s.t.
13 Nils Politt BORA-hansgrohe 2:12
14 Mads Pedersen Trek-Segafredo s.t.
15 Alberto Bettiol EF Education-EasyPost s.t.
17 Sep Vanmarcke Israel-Premier Tech s.t.
18 Stan Dewulf Ag2r-Citroën 2:14
19 Luca Mozzato Arkéa-Samsic 3:33
20 Stefan Bissegger EF Education-EasyPost s.t.
21 Matis Louvel Arkéa-Samsic s.t.
22 Rui Oliveira UAE Team Emirates s.t.
23 Christophe Laporte Jumbo-Visma s.t.
24 Pascal Eenkhoorn Lotto Dstny s.t.
25 Kevin Geniets Groupama-FDJ 3:36
26 Jonas Rutsch EF Education-EasyPost 7:06
27 Luke Durbridge Jayco-AlUla s.t.
28 Davide Ballerini Soudal Quick-Step 7:37
29 Nikias Arndt Bahrain Victorious s.t.
30 Laurenz Rex Intermarché-Circus-Wanty s.t.
31 Fred Wright Bahrain Victorious s.t.
32 Robert Stannard Alpecin-Deceuninck s.t.
33 Marco Haller BORA-hansgrohe s.t.
34 John Degenkolb Team DSM s.t.
35 Julian Mertens Bingoal-WB s.t.
36 Jonas Koch BORA-hansgrohe s.t.
37 Mikkel Bjerg UAE Team Emirates s.t.
38 Thomas Bonnet TotalEnergies s.t.
39 Arjen Livyns Lotto Dstny s.t.
40 Lewis Askey Groupama-FDJ s.t.
41 Owain Doull EF Education-EasyPost s.t.
42 Clément Russo Arkéa-Samsic s.t.
43 Brent Van Moer Lotto Dstny s.t.
44 Rasmus Tiller Uno-X s.t.
45 Derek Gee Israel-Premier Tech s.t.
46 Benoît Cosnefroy Ag2r-Citroën s.t.
47 Oliver Naesen Ag2r-Citroën 7:40
48 Ben Turner INEOS Grenadiers 7:47
49 Alex Kirsch Trek-Segafredo s.t.
50 Yves Lampaert Soudal Quick-Step s.t.
51 Kasper Asgreen Soudal Quick-Step s.t.
52 Dries Van Gestel TotalEnergies s.t.
53 Axel Zingle Cofidis 8:26
54 Tom Van Asbroeck Israel-Premier Tech s.t.
55 Christophe Noppe Cofidis s.t.
56 Nickolas Zukowsky Q36.5 Pro Cycling s.t.
57 Filippo Colombo Q36.5 Pro Cycling s.t.
58 Dries De Bondt Alpecin-Deceuninck s.t.
59 Kim Heiduk INEOS Grenadiers s.t.
60 Sandy Dujardin TotalEnergies s.t.
61 Luca Van Boven Bingoal-WB s.t.
62 Toms Skujins Trek-Segafredo s.t.
63 Ward Vanhoof Team Flanders-Baloise s.t.
64 Johan Jacobs Movistar s.t.
65 Jenno Berckmoes Team Flanders-Baloise s.t.
66 Olivier Le Gac Groupama-FDJ s.t.
67 Mike Teunissen Intermarché-Circus-Wanty s.t.
68 Tim Declercq Soudal Quick-Step s.t.
69 Silvan Dillier Alpecin-Deceuninck s.t.
70 Sébastien Grignard Lotto Dstny s.t.
71 Tobias Bayer Alpecin-Deceuninck s.t.
72 Alex Colman Team Flanders-Baloise s.t.
73 Luka Mezgec Jayco-AlUla s.t.
74 Mathias Norsgaard Movistar s.t.
75 Martin Urianstad Uno-X s.t.
76 Ivan Romeo Movistar s.t.
77 Damien Touzé Ag2r-Citroën s.t.
78 Kevin Vermaerke Team DSM s.t.
79 Kelland O'Brien Jayco-AlUla s.t.
80 Quinten Hermans Alpecin-Deceuninck s.t.
81 Loic Vliegen Intermarché-Circus-Wanty s.t.
82 Jhonnatan Narvaez INEOS Grenadiers s.t.
83 Ben Swift INEOS Grenadiers s.t.
84 Alex Edmondson Team DSM s.t.
85 Jens Keukeleire EF Education-EasyPost s.t.
86 Zdenek Stybar Jayco-AlUla 8:31
87 Tosh Van Der Sande Jumbo-Visma s.t.
88 Hugo Page Intermarché-Circus-Wanty s.t.
89 Sjoerd Bax UAE Team Emirates s.t.
90 Madis Mihkels Intermarché-Circus-Wanty 11:54
91 Kamil Malecki Q36.5 Pro Cycling s.t.
92 Jack Bauer Q36.5 Pro Cycling s.t.
93 Wesley Kreder Cofidis 11:58
94 Lawrence Naesen Ag2r-Citroën s.t.
95 Elmar Reinders Jayco-AlUla s.t.
96 Dmitriy Gruzdev Astana Qazaqstan s.t.
97 Elias Maris Team Flanders-Baloise s.t.
98 Matevz Govekar Bahrain Victorious s.t.
99 Alan Riou Arkéa-Samsic s.t.
100 Yevgeniy Fedorov Astana Qazaqstan s.t.
101 Thomas Scully EF Education-EasyPost s.t.


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