Van Avermaet wins E3 Harelbeke after 3-man sprint

Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet, center, of the BMC Racing Team, sprints to win the E3 Harelbeke cycling race in Harelbeke, Belgium on Friday, March 24, 2017. Olympic road champion Avermaet came out on top of a three-man tactical sprint to win the E3 Harelbeke on Friday as Belgian riders secured a 1-2-3 finish in the one-day cobbled race. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet came out on top of a three-man sprint to win the E3 Harelbeke as Belgian riders secured a 1-2-3 finish in the one-day cobbled race on Friday

HARELBEKE, Belgium — Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet came out on top of a three-man sprint to win the E3 Harelbeke as Belgian riders secured a 1-2-3 finish in the one-day cobbled race on Friday.

Van Avermaet edged former world champion Philippe Gilbert. Oliver Naesen completed the podium.

Tom Boonen broke up the peloton when he attacked on the Taaienberg hill. A small group followed, and the Belgian trio pulled away on the steep cobbled slopes of the Oude Kwaremont, and stayed ahead all the way to the finish.

The Belgians sized each other carefully in the final kilometer. Naesen ignited the sprint 250 meters from the line. He made his move too soon, and Van Avermaet caught him with ease, then resisted Gilbert's response to claim his first win in the E3.

It was Van Avermaet's second important win this season following his success in the Het Nieuwsblad in February.

Gilbert, who was runner-up to Yves Lampaert in the Dwars doo Vlaanderen race midweek, looked strong in the finale but maybe chose too big a gear, failing to catch his rival.

"It gives me a lot of confidence for Flanders," Van Avermaet said, referring to the Tour of Flanders, the region's big race on April 2.

The race was marred by crashes, and Tony Gallopin of France was forced to withdraw with a suspected left wrist injury. His Lotto Soudal team said he would be taken to hospital for a medical checkup. World champion Peter Sagan was also caught up in a crash 42 kilometers from the finish but appeared uninjured.

Related News

World ski body unable to stop Russians racing in WCup opener

Nov 23, 2017

The International Ski Federation says it cannot stop Russian cross-country skiers found guilty in the Sochi Olympic doping program from competing in World Cup races this weekend

Vonn revives request to race in men's World Cup downhill

Sep 27, 2017

Lindsey Vonn's request to race against men in a World Cup downhill will be studied again by the International Ski Federation next week

Vonn criticizes ski officials after pulling out of race

Feb 24, 2017

Half of the U.S. ski team, including overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, pulled out of the Alpine combined race on Friday because of dangerous conditions on the course

You may also like these

World ski body unable to stop Russians racing in WCup opener

Nov 23, 2017

The International Ski Federation says it cannot stop Russian cross-country skiers found guilty in the Sochi Olympic doping program from competing in World Cup races this weekend

Vonn revives request to race in men's World Cup downhill

Sep 27, 2017

Lindsey Vonn's request to race against men in a World Cup downhill will be studied again by the International Ski Federation next week

Vonn criticizes ski officials after pulling out of race

Feb 24, 2017

Half of the U.S. ski team, including overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, pulled out of the Alpine combined race on Friday because of dangerous conditions on the course

Daily Extreme is created to share our experience on the amazing extreme outdoor activities in the world. We play it extreme, but safe.

Contact us: sales@dailyxtreme.com

Motorcycle Racing Skateboarding Skiing Snowboarding Surfing Wind Surfing Cycling Canoeing & Kayaking Press