Although Czech Zdenek Stybar got the victory in Friday’s E3 Binckbank Classic in and around Harelbeke (BEL), it was Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels who broke the race open and paved the way for the final sprint.
Jungels broke away with about 30 km remaining on the 204 km course, but on the final climb of the day, Belgium’s Olympic champ Greg van Avermaet made a dash to catch up and was followed by countryman Wout van Aert and Italy’s Alberto Bettiol.
Those three caught Jungels with less than 7 km remaining and while multiple attacks in the final 3 km failed, Stybar was able to sprint best to the line and cross just ahead of van Aert, van Avermaet and Bettiol, with Jungels fifth.
It was Stybar’s 10th World Tour win and second in March after winning the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite on 2 March and continues an excellent season which also includes a fourth at the Strade Bianche. He now must be counted among the favorites for Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, next week’s Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix on 14 April. Summaries:
UCI World Tour/E3 Binckbank Classic
Harelbeke (BEL) ~ 29 March 2019
(Full results here)
Final Standings (204 km): 1. Zdenek Stybar (CZE), 4:46:05; 2. Wout van Aert (BEL), 4:46:05; 3. Greg van Avermaet (BEL), 4:46:05; 4. Alberto Bettiol (ITA), 4:46:05; 5. Bob Jungels (LUX), 4:46:08; 6. Nils Politt (GER), 4:47:09; 7. Matteo Trentin (ITA), 4:47:09; 8. Oliver Naesen (BEL), 4:47:09; 9. Jasha Sutterlin (GER), 4:47:09; 10. Marc Hirschi (SUI), 4:47:09.