The final three one-day spring classics in Belgium make up Holy Week. Typically the last of the three races, Tour of Flanders, is held on Easter, but the name is a nod to more than the holiday. The three races, collectively considered the Holy Trinity of the spring classics, cover cycling’s sacred ground
EF Education First Pro Cycling opened Holy Week with the respect and reverence the races command. Although the team rolled out from Gent-Wevelgem without Classics captain Sep Vanmarcke, who was sidelined due to a knee injury sustained at E3 Harelbeke, recent performances by and Sebastian Langeveld buoyed the team’s confidence. The seven-man squad lined up with options and a plan to target the top step of the podium. Alberto Bettiol
ultimately played the protagonist. One kilometer from the Gent-Wevelgem finish line, the Dutchman had a shot at a podium. He had followed the right attack, the right wheel in the aggressive finale and managed to slip away from the bunch alongside Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott), Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Jumbo-Visma) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). The second group on the road was slow to organize and a lack of cooperation initially impeded the chase, but the breakaway hadn’t fully committed. Langeveld
With 600 meters left to race, the chase group swallowed up the leaders. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Emirates) burst out from the bunch to claim victory in Wevelgem.
“We rode for victory today, nothing less,” said Langeveld. “I think we can be proud of our performance. I felt good in the final. For sure I’m a little disappointed that I’m not going home with the podium, but I’m happy with how I raced and the way the team raced.”