Quick-Step's E3 Harelbeke dominance sets the tone for cobbled Classics

Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) wins the 2018 E3 Harelbeke

Much of the build-up centred on the chances of rainbow jersey Peter Sagan and ‘golden’ Greg Van Avermaet , the outstanding performers on the cobbles these past two years, but blue was the colour in the aftermath of E3 Harelbeke , as Quick-Step Floors delivered a strikingly dominant showing in the dress rehearsal for next weekend’s Tour of Flanders. Niki Terpstra soloed to victory while Philippe Gilbert won the sprint for second place behind him, but the podium photographs and the results sheet told only a portion of the story. Quick-Step’s blue jerseys massed on the front a little under halfway through the race and there they stayed in various configurations all the way to the finish in Harelbeke. “Racing as racing should be,” read the enthusiastic headline in Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, and the lead article was no less rapturous. “If every team raced like Quick-Step did between Harelbeke ...

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