- - Dwars door Vlaanderen 2023

Dwars door Vlaanderen 2023

photo credits @ WTFK

Christophe LaPorte (Jumbo-Visma) continue his winning ways, after the French rider claimed today’s Dwars door Vlaandren, beating Oier Lazkano (Movistar) and Neilson Powless in a sprint finish in Waregem, just days after triumphing in the Gent-Wevelgem Classic.

Laporte attacked with 4 kilometers to go, a move that prove insurmountable for the chase to reel-in the Jumbo-Visma rider, who later crossed the finish some 15-seconds ahead of Lazkano and Powless, adding another tally to the Dutch squad’s victories in this year’s Spring Classics calendar.

Earlier, Lazkano had spent most of the day in the breakaway group. However, despite being reined-in alongside his fellow escapees, the young Basque rider had the legs to stay in the fray for the remainder of the stage, ultimately grabbing the second spot on the podium, while the American Powless finished third.

Race Highlights

A small breakaway group containing Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), Oier Lazkano (Movistar), Ward Vanhoof (Flanders-Baloise), Nickolas Zukowsky (Q36.5) and Yevgeniy Gidich (Astana Qazaqstan) got underway at the drop of the flag, subsequently opening up a sizable gap of around four minutes. 

With 70 kilometres to go, the cobbled climbs were beginning to cause havoc in the peloton, with few riders being involved in a series of small crashes. 

On the Kanieberg climb, Tiesj Benoot and Jumbo-Visma were pushing the pace on the front, with Julien Alaphilippe, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) in the mix.

In an effort to bridge across to the leaders, Benoot launched an attack, taking his teammate Laporte with him, while the Alpecin-Deceuninck duo of Quinten Hermans and Jasper Philipsen were quick to mark their move.  

After his initial move came to nothing, Benoot decided to animated things again with another attack on the second ascent of the Knokteberg climb. This time Hermans was able to follow, as well as Powless.

As a result, Benoot’s acceleration shredded the breakaway’s lead to just 45 seconds, while Laporte, Stefan Küng and Valentin Madouas (Groupama FDJ), Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Mikkel Honoré (EF Education-EasyPost) were able to join the group led by Benoot.

With 39 kilometers to go, Quick-Step’s hopes were resting firmly on the shoulders of Alaphilippe.  

Back up front, the breakaway group was still clinging to a 30-second advantage, while Jayco-AIUla, Soudal Quick-Step and Lotto DSTNY were trying to organize the chase.

As the riders entered the final phase of racing, Tim Wellens (UAE Team Emirates) accelerated away from the front of the peloton on the cobbled sector at Doorn. Alaphilippe was frantically trying to go with him, but was unable to. Wellens soon swept up several riders caught in no man’s land between the peloton and chasing group, and was on the way to the second group on the road.

Wellens would eventually fade, and was reeled back into the peloton himself.

With seven kilometers to go, Kristoff and Lazkano were finally caught by the chase group thanks to two brutal turns from Honoré. The Danish rider would soon go again, looking to split things up with just five kilometres to race. Benoot and Madouas were attentive to every kick from the EF Education-EasyPost rider.

Eventually, Laporte would launch a huge acceleration which soon opened up a massive gap. Powless and Lazkano desperately tried to follow, but were no match for the Frenchman’s turn of speed.

Behind Laporte, the peloton swept up the remnants of the breakaway, but the Frenchman held on for another impressive victory. Lazkano took second, with Powless in third.  

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