The Dutchman was forced to regain his position at the head of the race after a trip into a ditch on the approach to the famed Muur van Geraardsbergen.
Undeterred, Van Baarle was in prime position to attack ahead of the Koppenberg with 48 kilometres to go. Despite being hauled back by the leaders the final time over the Paterberg, he clung on to an elite group and eventually sprinted it out in Oudenaarde in a bunch that were fighting for third place.
Gianni Moscon impressed once again and finished a few moments later, 21st in a second chase group. The Italian slipped back on the third and final ascent of the Oude-Kwaremont, with the climb also putting an end to Michal Kwiatkowski’s hopes on the day.
The day’s decisive attack came with around 25km to go, with the front group trading blows following the Kruisberg. Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step) jumped onto a move from Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) and the Dutchman was eventually able to forge clear. Mirroring his victory from E3 Harelbeke Terpstra came home solo, holding off lone chaser Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), with team-mate Philippe Gilbert jumping out of the pack to take third.