Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X) claimed a second profession victory at Dwars door Het Hageland, ending from a bunch of three after Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceunick) marked his return to competitors with an aggressive however ill-fortuned show.
Stan Van Tricht (Soudal-QuickStep) completed runner-up, with Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Dstny) claiming the ultimate spot on the rostrum because the trio hit the punchy last Citadel climb collectively.
Van der Poel had opened the race, a 177km affair with over 40km of gravel and cobbles, with greater than 100km nonetheless to run, and made it alongside Tiller into the important thing choice on the penultimate ascent of the Citadel (330m at 7.7%), which that closed the ending circuits round Diest.
Nonetheless, the Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix champion quickly punctured, and was pressured right into a livid chase alongside his teammates on the ultimate lap.
Up entrance, 2021 champion Tiller discovered himself in an eight-man main group, though Uno-X’s tactical choices had been diminished when Soren Waerenskjold grew to become the most recent rider to puncture on the dry and dusty gravel.
As a substitute, it was Soudal-QuickStep who had the numerical benefit, with Yves Lampaert and Casper Pedersen alongside Van Tricht, whereas Vermeersch, Loic Vliegen (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) had been the opposite members of the lead group.
Van der Poel fought furiously to get himself again into the chase group for the 4km gravel sector on the ultimate lap, and his teammates Timo Kielich and Gianni Vermeersch buried themselves to diminished the arrears to only 10 seconds heading into the ultimate 5km.
On the Grasbos climb (500 metres at 5.8%), Florian Vermeersch accelerated to attract Tiller and Van Tricht as a trio into the finale and so they rode, regardless of Tiller’s frustrations with the sandbagging Van Tricht, to the foot of the Citadel because the Van der Poel group exploded and misplaced all hope behind.
Tiller took cost and stormed up the climb, with Van Tricht mounting a robust response however unable to get on phrases with Tiller on the very brief ending straight.
“I had good legs and the crew did a extremely good job, conserving me within the entrance on a regular basis,” mentioned Tiller.
“Mathieu punctured – that was a bit unhappy. After all, when he is not there it is simpler. We had been a bit fortunate when he punctured. However I am actually pleased to complete this off for the crew.”
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