Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux came into Gent-Wevelgem with strong ambitions and they have surprised with a brilliant win as Biniam Ghirmay put on another brilliant performance, winning the sprint from the attacking group that ent clear in the final part of the season.
A day where the breakaway regularly has no chances due to it's long distance as hard pace, a group containing Johan Jacobs (Movistar Team), Jelle Wallays (Cofidis), Alexander Konychev (Team BikeExchange - Jayco), Nikias Arndt (Team DSM), Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Lindsay de Vylder (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise) and Lars Saugstad (Uno-X Pro Cycling
Team). Of those Jacobs was the last survivor, as he was absorved within the gravel sectors with 66 kilometers to go.
The race could be decided in a sprint, however plenty attacks came and one stuck as Laporte, Ghirmay, van Gestel and Stuyven made a move with 24 kilometers to go. The group collaborated well and put in over 30 seconds in the chasing group that relied on Groupama to do most of the work. Alpecin and Movistar put riders in front aswell despite evident struggles. Although the gap came below 20 seconds in the final kilometers, the peloton didn't have the legs to close the gap as many riders sat on.
As the peloton got to the hilly section Jumbo-Visma stepped up the pace. On the first time up the Kemmelberg some cracks appeared as Asgreen pushed the pace, but several gaps that opened up were closed as the peloton remained bunched up in several big groups. The second ascent of the Kemmelberg saw a similar situation, but a relatively compact peloton arrived at the final ascent.
There, it was Wout van Aert who turned up the pace, going solo however being reeled in by a small group afterwards, and with the headwind and lack of collaboration a group of around 25 riders came together.
Laporte had the front of the group into the final meters, and Biniam Ghirmay launched his sprint from behind early on. Despite the surge of Laporte, the 21-year old has taken a career-marking win which not only confirms his potential in the cobbled classics, it also puts him in a position where he not stick to his initial plan and go for the Tour de Flandres. He beat Christophe Laporte and Dries van Gestel.