Tour of Flanders 2018: Niki Terpstra wins Flemish Fiesta

The Tour of Flanders takes place on Resurrection Sunday - an apt combination. At 266.5 kilometres, the race takes in eighteen hills and five stretches of pavé. Niki Terpstra goes after the front group on the Kruisberg with 28 kilometres to go. He gobbles up the leaders before he continues solo. He wins in brilliant style, while 22-year old Mads Pedersen comes in second and Philippe Gilbert sprints to third place. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 2018 Tour of Flanders

1. Niki Terpstra (nld)
2. Mads Pedersen (den) + 0.12
3. Philippe Gilbert (bel) + 0.17
4. Michael Valgren (den) + 0.20
5. Greg Van Avermaet (bel) + 0.25
6. Peter Sagan (svk) s.t.
7. Jasper Stuyven (bel) s.t.
8. Tiesj Benoot (bel) s.t.
9. Wout Van Aert (bel) s.t.
10. Zdenek Stybar (cze) s.t.

Race report
Following a fast opening it takes 70 kms for a group of riders to open up a gap. Eenkhoorn, Ligthart, Floris Gerts, De Gendt (Aimé), Goolaerts, Peyskens, Turgis, Ganna, Haller, Garcia Cortina and Gibbons race to a maximum lead of more than 5 minutes.

A huge crash takes down Oliver Naesen with 100 kms to go. The Belgian champion tracks the main group down in a 15 kms chase.

Devriendt, Weening, Pedersen and Van Emden rejoin the front group, but the joy is short-lived. At Kanarieberg most of them are brought back. Only Iván Garcia Cortina and Tom Devriendt survive the steep slopes. They tackle the Oude Kwaremont for the second time 1 minute ahead of the main group.

Pedersen rejoins the front group with almost 50 kms to go. Langeveld, Van Baarle and Cort Nielsen hook on a little later before Devriendt, Garcia Cortina and Cort Nielsen are dropped on Koppenberg.

Nibali strikes on the Kruisberg and Terpstra counter-attacks. He tracks down the leaders at the Oude Kwaremount and drops Langeveld and Van Baarle. Pedersen can’t follow the pace, either. The main group crests 45 seconds after Terpstra.

Just before the top of the Paterberg Peter Sagan heads out alone, some 30 seconds behind Terpstra. Sagan is caught with 9 kms to go.

Meanwhile, the Dutch flyer powers on to win the second Monument of his career. Mads Pedersen holds off the chasers to finish in second, while Michael Valgren attacks in the last kilometre with Philippe Gilbert on his wheel. The 2017 winner sprints to third place.

Read also: route 2018 Tour of Flanders

Tour of Flanders 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Niki Terpstra

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