Tim Merlier scores a hattrick!

Despite some adjustments to the race route, which should make it tougher for the pure sprinters, Tim Merlier set his sights on another win in his favourite Nokere. And whether it turned out to be a tough race... .

A lot of teams took their top sprinter to Nokere, hoping to turn it into another (mass) sprint on Nokereberg. However, teams like UAE Team Emirates and Groupama-FDJ thought otherwise and tried to make the race as hard as possible to shake off the sprinters and increase the chances of their classic riders.

So it was with that aim that attacks rained down on the various climbs and cobbled sections of the local lap. In vain, as it turned out, because even an ultimate attack by Tim Wellens on the last lap was neutralised by the sprinters' teams.

So another sprint on Nokereberg, although a crash in the last kilometre threw a spanner in the works for some riders. This included Tim Merlier himself, who struggled with a chain problem and risked losing the win. Handy as he is, however, he managed to react quickly and leave Fabio Jakobsen and Jasper Philipsen behind in a stunning sprint. His third win in a row was a fact!

Abram Stockman (TDT-Unibet) got to join the podium as winner of the CAPS Mountain prize, seeing his attacking spirit rewarded.