Belgian hope Tim Merlier of Alpecin-Fenix was all smiles Wednesday after clinching victory in a photo-finish at the Brugge-De Panne one day cycling classic. The race is known as a kind of unofficial world sprinters’ championships and is the first big race of the season in Belgium. Merlier had been among the pre-race favourites, along with veteran Mark Cavendish. But in the final stretch the Briton sat up early.

In the crash-marred dash for the line Dutch fast-man Dylan Groenwegen came closest finishing second and Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni took third. Merlier won a stage at the Tirreno-Adriatico in March and was also a stage winner at both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France last season.

This 46th edition of the race was run over narrow roads over 130 miles from Brugge to De Panne on a bright day through flat, green fields.


1 MERLIER Tim Alpecin-Fenix 4:45:41
2 GROENEWEGEN Dylan Team BikeExchange – Jayco 0:00
3 BOUHANNI Nacer Team Arkéa Samsic 0:00
4 WALSCHEID Max Cofidis 0:00
5 KOOIJ Olav Jumbo-Visma 0:00
6 DÉMARE Arnaud Groupama – FDJ 0:00
7 CONSONNI Simone Cofidis 0:00
8 DE LIE Arnaud Lotto Soudal 0:00
9 STUYVEN Jasper Trek – Segafredo 0:00
10 HAUSSLER Heinrich Bahrain – Victorious 0:00


RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.