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Van Aert sprints after a long flight to victory in Gent-Wevelgem | NOW

Wout van Aert wrote the 83rd edition of Gent-Wevelgem on his side on Sunday. The Jumbo-Visma rider was the fastest in a sprint of a leading group of seven riders.

The 26-year-old Van Aert recorded his third victory of the season. The Belgian was early in the decisive leading group due to fans and was Giacomo Nizzolo and Matteo Trentin in the sprint. It was the fiftieth time that a Belgian triumphed in Ghent-Wevelgem.

The race was startled by a major fire at a recycling company near the finish. The organization therefore decided to replace the last 5 kilometers with an alternative route. The part of the route that goes through the center of Menen has been canceled. The finish remained in Wevelgem.

Mathieu van der Poel was missing in Ghent-Wevelgem. The Dutchman preferred the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, where he finished third on Friday. BORA-hansgrohe and Trek-Segafredo were completely missing from the Belgian race. At Trek it was announced on Saturday that there were two positive corona tests. BORA even got a start ban on Sunday morning due to an earlier positive test with rider Matthew Walls.

Van Aert part of early flight through fans

Shortly after the start, four riders took off, but due to the weather conditions, they could not enjoy their escape attempt very much. At 180 kilometers from the finish, fans formed and the peloton broke. A group of 25 riders, with big names such as Van Aert, Sam Bennett, Michael Matthews and Danny van Poppel, drove away and quickly overtook the leading group.

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The peloton gave chase, but could no longer close the gap with the large leading group. At 52 kilometers from the finish, Van Aert accelerated on the Kemmelberg. The front group thinned out and nine riders remained: Van Aert, Van Poppel, Matthews, Bennett, Sonny Colbrelli, Stefan Küng, Trentin, Nathan van Hooydonck and Nizzolo.

The nine stayed together for a long time, but after a speed acceleration by Van Hooydonck (Van Aert’s teammate), Van Poppel and Bennett had to release 16 kilometers from the finish. The seven remaining leaders made a sprint for the victory. Van Aert turned out to be the fastest.

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