The first split formed today after about forty kilometres, with last year’s third Gianni Marchand and Kobe Vanovershilde over the Tartelito Isurex, Juri Depay (Minerva), New Zealander Luke Mudgway (Bolton Equities BlackSpock) and Dutchman Nick van der. Meyer (Volker Wessels).
After the general reassembled 60 km from the finish, Canadian Mark Donovan (DSM) tried his luck.
30 km from the finish, after an acceleration by Italian Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Frenchman Florian Sénéchal (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), a group of about fifteen passengers broke off and headed back to Donovan. But it was a frozen peloton that approached the last of the four laps at a local 20km circuit.
Various bumps caused selection and about fifteen contestants could play for victory in the race. Mads Pedersen made his power speak to win, at age 26, the 23rd success of his career, the fifth of the season. He was preceded by Tim Wells, Jasper Philipsen, Quentin Hermanns (Intermarchy and Ante Jubert) and Robbie Geese (Sport Flanders-Palais).
Thursday, the second stage will connect Beveren to Knokke-Heist (175.6 km). Missed this year, Remco Evenepoel won the last two editions of the Tour of Belgium, contested in 2019 and 2021.
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