Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) scored the biggest win of his career, taking out a daring solo victory in the Dwars door het Hageland. The Latvian champion escaped on a section of gravel with Veranda’s Willems-Crelan rider Sean De Bie, but when the Belgian punctured, Neilands was forced to go it alone.
Neilands also punctured with 20km to go, but still managed to hold onto a 33-second advantage at the line – plenty of time to put on an extended victory salute – to take the win.
Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) distanced Gianni Vermeersch (Beobank-Corendon) to claim second place.
“What a day, what can I say – it was a great day for the team, and we rode really strong today. I felt really good. It’s one of the best days of my career,” Neilands said.
The Latvian was part of a large breakaway that went early in the race, and still with 50km to go, he went on the attack.
“The first part was really hard for me, and I didn’t know how it would be later,” Neilands said. “But I felt better and better. We were there around 15 to 20 guys in the last two hours, and then Sean De Bie attacked, and I saw that the guys were not interested to work in the breakaway – so I saw him attack and said I would follow.”
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