Stannard in the mix at Gent-Wevelgem

26 Mar 2017

Stannard in the mix at Gent-Wevelgem

Related riders

Share this article

Ian Stannard led the line for Team Sky, finishing in a reduced peloton as escapees went on to contest the win at Gent-Wevelgem.

The Brit came home 21st in Wevelgem as the chasers were forced to give second best to a rampant Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing). The Belgian turned the screw the final time up the famed Kemmelberg, forcing an elite five-man selection and then riding hard into the finish.
 
Van Avermaet bested Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) in a two-up sprint to take an incredible Classics triple, following wins at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke this year.
 
It wasn't to be for Team Sky on the day, despite a strong start which saw Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Christian Knees patrolling the front of the race.
Gravel sectors saw the dust kick up and the race split (Photos: TDWSport)

Gravel sectors saw the dust kick up and the race split (Photos: TDWSport)

After early echelons, the action began to split across three new gravel sectors, with Luke Rowe and Knees slipping back. Gianni Moscon had showed impressive legs to lead the peloton over the first ascent of the Kemmelberg, but the Italian was caught up in a nasty looking crash with 44km to go, ending his challenge.
 
That left Stannard at the head of the race, but he was unable to influence the race as the action split ahead of the final run-in. 
 
Van Avermaet and Keukeleire were joined by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) out front. As the gap to the chasers fluctuated, a momentary stand-off saw Sagan sit up, allowing GVA and Keukeleire to make good their escape.
Moscon pushed hard over the Kemmelberg

Moscon pushed hard over the Kemmelberg

Servais Knaven

Servais Knaven

It was a tough race, really full gas racing all day across the 250 kilometres - a proper Classic!
After the race, Sport Director Servais Knaven talked TeamSky.com through the day: "Ian felt good in the front group. It was a case where he wasn't in the best position towards the Kemmelberg. Then he was unable to make it across into the first group, so that was a shame. Gianni was trying to move him up but then he went down. Ian was just behind and was able to narrowly avoid the crash. He was on his own after that which is not an easy position. 
 
"Gianni has some bruises and took some skin off. He was able to finish the race but we will take a look at him now."
 
On the new-for-2016 gravel sectors, Knaven added: "The gravel sectors made it a little bit harder but without them the race was hard enough in itself. So I'm not sure it made too much of a difference."

Race result:
1. Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 5:39:05
2. Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) s.t.
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) +6"
4. Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors)
5. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)
12. Ian Stannard (Team Sky)

Share this article