Elia Viviani (Quick Step Floors) wins the 2018 Driedaagse De Panne – Brugge, the first edition of the race with the format of a single-day one. The Italian rider took the sixth seasonal victory, in this way carrying on his brilliant period. Quick Step Floors leader won over Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) and the Belgian joungster Jasper Philipsen (Hagens Berman – Axeon) at the end of the last dozen kilometers of intense racing. The group that fought for the victory, in facts, was only made of forty riders because of the selection made mostly by Bora-hansgrohe’s pace in the front of the peloton while the crosswind was blowing in a stage of racing between 10 and 6 kilometers to go.
As soon as the real start was given Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), David Boucher and Ylber Safer (Tarteletto-Isorex), Sean Bennett (Hagens Berman-Axeon), Putt Tanner (UnitedHealthCare) and Brian van Goethem (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) went clear. They touched the maximum advantage over the bunch with 158 kilometers to home when its extension was up to 8’50”. As the riders took on the Kemmelberg (119 km to go), the gap to the riders out front was quantifiable in six minutes.
As the race hit the finish circuit, Lotto Soudal took the race up together with Mitchelton-Scott and a split in the group became a 20” gap but, when the race headed to the coastline, the bunch got back together but the break remained at 1’33 with 48km to go. A dozen of kilometers later another split occurred in the main field with Quick-Step and Bora-hansgrohe having done all the damage. Due to the high pace set in the front of the peloton, the bunch was heading in a single-file line. Only 60 riders approached in the lead the last lap around De Panne and, with over 10 kilometers remaining, mostly Bora-hansgrohe and Quick Step Floors broke out the race and a group made of thirty riders resisted in the lead with the crosswind blowing.
Bennet and Van Goethem were the last of the breakaway to give up and with under 4 kilometers to home a group of forty riders led by Bora-hansgrohe was leading the race. The German team headed the lead-out for its leader Pascal Ackermann and actually the sprint was launched by the twenty-three years old sprinter. By the way within the last 100 meters Elia Viviani overcame Ackermann and took the victory of the first Driedaagse
Driedaagse De Panne – Brugge 2018 Results
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
2 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Hagens Berman Axeon
4 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7 Roy Jans (Bel) Cibel-Cebon
8 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
9 Adam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
10 Eduard Michael Grosu (Rou) Nippo Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini