The 2018 edition of Dwars Door Vlaanderen took place in classic Classics conditions, with wind and rain battering the riders throughout the day and large number of riders abandoning.
Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) went into the race as the defending champion having led home a Quick-Step Floors one-two ahead of Philippe Gilbert in 2017, and once again took victory this time around.
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For much of the day, the race was a war of attrition, with no breakaway able to get away despite numerous attacks and a high average speed in the first two hours.
However that didn’t mean there weren’t casualties at the back of the group, as numerous riders were dropped before attacks by Zdenek Stybar on the Taaienberg and Alejandro Valverde and Greg Van Avermaet on the Kluisberg began to cause splits at the front of the race.
Those attacks put all but around 30 riders out of contention, before the flat Varentstraat section of cobbles with just over 25km to go saw the decisive attack as Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) pulled a group of five riders clear, with Lampaert, Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) making the move.
That group worked well together until the attacking started in the final four kilometres, but in the end Lampaert managed to gently roll off the front and find himself with daylight in the final kilometre, pushing on to win by two seconds ahead of Teunissen to successfully defend his Dwars Door Vlaanderen crown.
The race was the final warm up event ahead of the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, which will see the riders cover a significantly longer distance at 265km, but feature many of the same climbs as well as a few extras including the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg which will provide the race finale.