It’s already a career year for 25-year-old Dylan Groenewegen (NED), who won his third race of the season in the 43rd edition of Wednesday’s Drie Daagse Brugge-De Panne in Belgium.
The 25-year-old from Amsterdam had seven UCI World Tour wins coming into this season, but won the first two stages in Paris-Nice earlier in the month. Now he owns three World Tour wins this season, and we’re just getting started.
The 200.3 km race – the Three Days of De Panne, but now a one-day event – over a hilly course came down to the expected sprint at the finish. Defending champ Elia Viviani (ITA) looked like a possible repeater, but Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria sprinted with him in the final 100 m, only to find Groenewegen on his right and he steamed to the line first.
UCI World Tour/Drie Daagse Brugge-DePanne
Brugge to De Panne (BEL) ~ 27 March 2019
(Full results here)
Final Standings (200.3 km): 1. Dylan Groenewegen (BEL), 4:36:32; 2. Fernando Gaviria (COL), 4:36:32; 3. Elia Viviani (ITA), 4:36:32; 4. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA), 4:36:32; 5. Justin Jules (FRA), 4:36:32; 6. Kristoffer Halvorsen (NOR), 4:36:32; 7. Jonas van Genechten (BEL), 4:36:32; 8. Luka Mezgec (SLO), 4:36:32; 9. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), 4:36:32; 10. Mike Teunissen (NED), 4:36:32.
The World Tours are busy this week, with five events: the continuing Volta Ciclista by Catalunya in Spain, the Driedaagse De Panne now finished and three more races coming up:
● 29 March: E3 Binckbank Classic (Men)
● 31 March: Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Men and Women)
The 62nd E3 Binckbank Classic starts and finishes in Harelbeke (BEL) and is the third of eight “cobbled classics” in Belgium in March and April. The route is 204 km with 18 hilly climbs, with three returning champions: Peter Sagan (SVK: 2014); Niki Terpstra (NED: 2018) and home favorite Greg van Avermaet (BEL: 2017).
The medals from the last two races are all entered: Terpstra, Philippe Gilbert (BEL) and van Avermaet from last year, and van Avermaet, Gilbert and Oliver Naesen (BEL) from 2017. The field is excellent and if the race ends in yet another sprint, the contenders will likely include Italians Matteo Trentin. Gianni Moscon and Sonny Colbrelli, Norway’s Alexander Kristoff or Edvald Boasson Hagen or France’s Arnaud Demare.
The race used to belong to Belgian riders, but only van Avermaet and Tom Boonen have won for the home crowd in the last 11 editions. Look for results here.
On Sunday, the 81st running of Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields is here, with Sagan the defending champion, but competing against five other former winners: Van Avermaet (2017), Bernhard Eisel (AUT: 2010), Boasson Hagen (2009), Marcus Burghardt (GER: 2007), and John Degenkolb (GER: 2014).
Many of the same stars riding in Harelbeke will be on the line in Deinze on Sunday, with plenty of experience in this race, including five silver medalists: Sep Vanmarcke (BEL: 2nd in 2016), Demare (FRA: 2nd in 2014), Terpstra (NED: 2nd in 2015), Vivani (ITA: 2nd in 2018) and Jens Keukeliere (BEL: 2nd in 2017).
The 200 km route is hilly, but with a perilous descent following the final climb up the Bosberg with 13 km remaining that doesn’t end until the final line in Ninove. Look for results here.
The women’s sixth Gent-Wevelgem route runs 136.9 km from Ieper to Wevelgem, also finishing on a descent after the final climb.
Four prior winners will start: Marta Bastinelli (ITA: 2018), Chantal Blaak (NED: 2016), Lotta Lepisto (FIN: 2017) and Floortje Mackaij (NED: 2015), and three runners-up: Jolien D’Hoore (BEL: 2017 and 2018), Lisa Brennauer (GER: 2016) and Janneke Ensing (NED: 2014 and 2015).
American Coryn Rivera was third in 2017 and was eighth in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda; she could be a contender as well. Look for women’s results here.