Procycling - - Debrief -

Rather than po­ten­tially try­ing to beat the likes of Peter Sa­gan and Greg Van Aver­maet in a sprint fin­ish, Quick-Step in­stead used their strength and depth to break up the race from the off. Tom Boo­nen was first, up­ping the pace on the Muur van Ger­aards­ber­gen, forc­ing a 14-rider split that fea­tured his team-mates Mat­teo Trentin and Philippe Gil­bert but cru­cially not Sa­gan or Van Aver­maet. Gil­bert fol­lowed the same ap­proach on the Oude Kware­mont with 55km to go. He ac­cel­er­ated, and upon re­al­is­ing no one else was strong enough to stay with him sim­ply car­ried on alone, a move that took him out of reach all the way to the fin­ish. Quick-Step have of­ten been crit­i­cised for hav­ing the num­bers but get­ting their tac­tics wrong at the big­gest Clas­sics: this time there wasn’t a mis­take in sight.

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