Holy Week’s mid-week tune-up is the wild card of the week. Often times the springs biggest stars opt to skip Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, leaving the door open for some of the Classics lesser-known names to take on leadership roles and embrace opportunities on offer as the race unfolds over the cobbles and bergs that pepper the second half of the 182-kilometer route.
This year was no exception. Most of the Flanders favorites were missing from the startlist of the 74th Dwars door Vlaanderern. EF Education First Pro Cycling started without Sep Vanmarcke, who remained sidelined with injuries sustained from his E3 Harelbeke crash.
Taylor Phinney, who returned to racing on Wednesday, described the race best in this Instagram caption: “Mechanical took me out of the race today about 50k m to go. Body feels good otherwise. I think we all won Darwin awards during our mid=-race “neutral”—felt like a post apocalyptic RyanAir queue; all in the name of Glory. Perhaps we can rename it the Daarwin Aawards Door Vlaanderen.”