The 103rd instalment of the Tour of Flanders was won by an outsider. 'I just closed my eyes and attacked' said Italy's Alberto Bettiol, whose victory in Belgium signals his first ever professional win.
Italian cyclist Alberto Bettiol won the Tour of Flanders, producing one of the biggest surprises in the long history of the spring classic.
The 25-year-old outsider from the EF Education First-Drapac team won the 270.1 kilometer race between Antwerp and Oudenaarde on Sunday in 6:19:00 hours with 14 seconds ahead of the Danes Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
"I can not believe what I did, I just closed my eyes and attacked," said Bettiol, who had attacked about 30 kilometers from the finish to win his first professional victory.
Behind Bettiol and Asgreen, favorites Alexander Kristoff of Norway (UAE Team Emirates) and Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) came in third and fourth. The best-placed German was Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), who claimed a very respectable fifth-place finish.