1 stages, 171 km
Lampaert solos to victory at Gullegem Koerse
Yves Lampaert became the first rider in a decade to win Gullegem Koerse twice, after launching a clever attack on the last of the 18 laps of the day and powering away from a strong group which featured teammates Alvaro Hodeg, Fabio Jakobsen and Michael Mørkøv.
The race had been fast and frantic from the very beginning, when eight riders extricated themselves from the peloton and traded pulls in order to build a two-minute advantage over the chasers. The group, where we had both Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar, was joined with six laps to go by twenty-one riders, increasing the number of Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider at the front to five. That allowed the Wolfpack to cover every attack and shape the race to their liking, making sure that they had numerical advantage each time when riders from the leading group were on the move.
Whittled down to twelve men, the elite group entered the last lap with a comfortable gap over the chasers; a lull among the leaders convinced Yves to test the waters with an attack that soon saw the Belgian Champion put some distance into his former companions. That buffer was more than enough for the 28-year-old to arrive alone at the finish and celebrate his first victory since triumphing at the National Championships last year, in Binche.
Danish Champion Michael Mørkøv rounded out the podium on Tuesday afternoon, while Alvaro Hodeg and Fabio Jakobsen sprinted from the small bunch to make it four Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the top 10.
“It was my last race in Belgium in the beautiful national champion jersey and that’s why this win gives me a lot of joy. It wasn’t easy today, but the team rode a perfect race, always in the key moves and always with many riders, in order to make sure we had several cards to play. On the last lap, I waited for the others to attack and be reeled in before making my move when I felt it was the best moment. It was a great day for our team and I’m happy that I could bring it home for the Wolfpack”, said Yves, whose previous win at Gullegem Koerse came in 2017.