Four days after coming on the podium of Le Samyn, the Belgian rode to the top 10 at another one-day race.
Remember last Wednesday's Le Samyn, a race which had as main course cobbles and hills served with a garnish of strong winds and drizzling rain? Well, the scenario was pretty much the same in Sunday's 203.6km-long Dwars door West-Vlaanderen, which this year was rode as a one-day race for the first time in nearly two decades.
Right from the start, due to the harsh weather conditions, the peloton got fragmented, and more and more riders struggled to stay in touch with the elite group, which had around 30 men as the race was approaching its halfway mark. In the second part of the day, Dwars door West-Vlaanderen witnessed attacks galore and more reshuffling than a Las Vegas casino on a Saturday night, and the favourites' group got considerably reduced in numbers.
The key move came in the final hour of racing, when Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Silvan Dillier (BMC) opened a gap which they carried all the way to the line in Ichtegem, where the Dutchman outsprinted his breakaway companion. Iljo Keisse, who was part of the third group, never gave up the chase, not even when it became clear the two attackers were out of reach.
Eventually, Keisse rolled over the line 1:16 down on the winner and notched his second straight top 10 of the week, on a day which saw only 39 riders complete the 71st edition of Dwars door West-Vlaanderen.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele