This was as good a race as you are likely to see. Attacking from 80 km to go and it never really let up. The move only had between 20-40 seconds on the chasing groups ... but they could never quite close that gap. It wasnt until the Quickstep team mates arrived at the 1st chasing group that they gave up and allowed the 4 off the front to skip away and fight for the win.
Things we learned
1 - Quickstep finally learn some tactics. They have long been the strongest team in these races, but have rarely used their superior numbers in the final sections to any advantage.
2 - Sep VanMarcke not there yet. He missed the opening move, set his team to bring them back but never managed it. They eventually sat up and followed, relying on Sep to bridge on the Kwaremont .... but he failed to gain back anything. In fact, Stybar and Terpstra left him in their wake as they bridged
3 - Gilbert surely a contender for Flanders. Though lets face it, the competition will be another several rungs higher with the likes of Sagan and GVA to come in.
4 - Groenewegen has a future in the classics. Great ride from the young sprinter here
5 - Michael Matthews having made some pretty big statements about his goals on the cobbles .,.. has some work still to do