The first edition of the Omloop Eurometropool van de Westhoek started in Nieuwpoort. The 177 kilometres course ended with three local laps in the region of Poperinge, where the finish line was situated. The race profile was relatively flat and suited the sprinters. The peloton left Nieuwpoort at twelve o’clock and then headed towards Poperinge. There were a lot of attacks in the peloton after the start, but a very high pace made it difficult to go clear. Thirteen riders, including Tosh Van der Sande, finally established a first breakaway, but their advantage never exceeded 30’’ and therefore this breakaway was reeled in with 90 kilometres to go. Gougeard and Van Goethem accelerated 25 kilometres further and the duo quickly opened a 1’ gap but Lotto Soudal led the chase in the peloton and the two attackers were reeled in thirty kilometres from the finish. Seven riders tried to go clear in the finale but a bunch sprint was unavoidable today. Jasper De Buyst worked hard to bring André Greipel to the front in the last two kilometres and the German rider ultimately claimed Lotto Soudal’s 21st victory of the season.

André Greipel: « It was a really fast race, the average speed was around 48 kilometres per hour. It was also very uncontrolled, as we expected it to be and we sent Tosh Van der Sande up front in the main breakaway. We took the control of the peloton with thirty kilometres to go, and we made sure the race would end in a bunch sprint. Tosh, Moreno, Jens and Jasper led me out perfectly. We stayed calm and we rode strongly in the finale. »

« This victory is a relief for me. Although I won my two previous sprints, these were not for the win. I always tried to keep calm, but that’s not easy when you don’t win. I felt that the confidence between the team and me was still intact and I was sure that I would eventually get back to winning. I’m really happy with our performance today. There is another opportunity tomorrow, and we have riders, like Jasper De Buyst, who can do well in races like this. »