Tiesj Benoot has finished fifth in E3 Harelbeke. Despite the chase of among other a strong Tiesj Benoot, Niki Terpstra succeeded in finishing off a solo effort.

A crash with 110 kilometres to go caused a split in the bunch. Benoot, De Buyst, Hofland and Sieberg were all part of the first peloton of about forty riders. On the Taaienberg, at about seventy kilometres from the end, also the first peloton fell apart. Lampaert and Terpstra jumped away after the top. They caught Gaudin and Lighthart, two members of an early break of eight. Not much later the duo from Quick-Step left them behind. Tiesj Benoot tried to close the gap with the help of Greg Van Avermaet, but with thirty kilometres to go, they got caught by a group of about ten riders, including Oliver Naesen and Sep Vanmarcke. On the cobbles of the Varent Terpstra distanced his teammate Lampaert. The chasing group with Benoot reduced the gap on Terpstra up to twenty seconds, but there were lots of attacks and the pace decreased afterwards. Terpstra won ahead of his teammate Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet. Tiesj Benoot sprinted to the fifth place.

Tiesj Benoot: “I hadn’t participated in any races for ten days, but I was happy with today’s condition and I felt strong. I gave everything I had, all day long, but unfortunately we never had the perfect composition in the chasing group to close the gap. Terpstra was obviously very strong today, otherwise you can’t ride at the front for tens of kilometres and hold off a chasing group.”

I just escaped the crash. At that moment we were pretty well organised as a team. Together with three teammates I was part of the first group when the bunch split. We immediately took control to stay ahead with that group. I tried several times to bridge to Lampaert and Terpstra. It was a pity the plans of BMC weren’t clear, because that could have been the key to catching Terpstra at the end. Anyway, I am satisfied with this fifth place.”

It was a hard race and that suits me much better than a race where there’s a lot of speculation and an explosion at the end. Next week it’s the Ronde van Vlaanderen, a race that should suit me even better. I’m ready for it.”

This afternoon Bjorg Lambrecht finished tenth on the fifth stage of Volta a Catalunya. He finished in the reduced peloton, fourteen seconds after stage winner Jarlinson Pantano. Pantano was a member of the early breakaway, of which Maxime Monfort had also been part of.