Pedersen Wins Gent-Wevelgem 2024

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03/24/2024| 0 comments

Pedersen Wins Gent-Wevelgem 2024

Mads Pedersen has won Gent-Wevelgem 2024 ahead of Mathieu van der Poel and Jordi Meeus

The 2024 edition of the legendary Gent-Wevelgem Classic was contested in chilly and foggy Spring weather conditions.  The 253.1-kilometer route presented the riders with a hilly ride from Ieper to Wevelgem that included the notorious Kemmelberg, which would be climbed three times.

The pressure was high for team Soudal-QuickStep as their riders, including Julian Alaphilippe, had delivered very disappointing performances in Friday’s E3 Saxo Classic. Team CEO Patrick Lefevere even criticized their results openly in the media following the E3 Saxo Bank race.

With approximately one hundred kilometers left of today’s Gent-Wevelgem race, the peloton was split into multiple groups. The Lidl-Trek team appeared to have played their cards right as they had several riders at the front of the race. 

Jonathan Milan went into a solo attack for Lidl-Trek. He successfully built a lead of almost half a minute and he managed to stay in front of the chasers for several kilometers.

With 64 kilometers left Milan was caught by the three-man chase group featuring Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Laurence Pithie (Groupama-FDJ) and not least Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Mathieu van der Poel. Pedersen immediately launched a counter-attack, but failed to form a viable gap. Milan clung onto the front trio.

With 54 kilometers left of the race Milan launched an attack. This forced Van der Poel to try to close the gap while Milan’s teammate Pedersen could conserve energy for the race finale.

Pedersen attacked on the Kemmelberg and was followed by Van der Poel and Pithie. The trio passed Milan. 50 kilometers remained. Meanwhile, Alex Kirsch (Lidl-Trek) crashed in the chase group while passing through a forest on narrow roads.

Tudor Pro Cycling Team’s Matteo Trentin proudly launched a solo attack from the chasing peloton, hoping to bridge the gap to the front trio. Alas it did not take long before he was caught by the chasers.

With 42 kilometers left the front group had a lead of 25 seconds over the furiously chasing main peloton.

Hugo Page (Intermarche-Wanty) and Ben Turner (Ineos-Grenadiers) initiated an attack to catch the front group. They managed to build a lead on the main peloton of approximately 15 seconds, but they still had 30 seconds to the front trio.

The front trio initiated the third and final climb up the Kemmelberg. Pedersen was first into the climb, and van der Poel stuck to his rear wheel. Pedersen was also first across the top and received a bottle from a team staff member. Pedersen was closely followed by Van der Poel, while Pithie was dropped – following his impressive performance this far in the race, he now almost stood still on the cobbles.

Pedersen and van der Poel now had a fifteen second lead on Pithie who was chasing solo. Page, Turner and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) followed one minute behind the front men.

25 kilometers from the finish line in Wevelgem the Page-Turner-Turgis trio had almost caught Pithie. They were now one minute behind Pedersen and van der Poel.

The riders passed though the beautiful historic town of Ypres – known for its linen production, its Kattenstoet Cat Parade, and the Battles of Ypres. 

Fifteen kilometers remained and the scene was now set for the grand finale of this year’s Gent-Wevelgem race. 

The three chasers were caught.

Pedersen and World Champion Van der Poel remained in front. The chasing main peloton was led by the Soudal-QuickStep and Bora-Hansgrohe teams. Team Visma-Lease a Bike’s Tiesj Benoot joined the front of the main peloton to increase the speed. They were 53 seconds behind the front duo.

With just two kilometers remaining, the front duo was still together. The riders were closely watching each other while maintaining a high pace to keep the chasing peloton away.

The final kilometer began.

With 200 meters left Pedersen attacked from the front. Van der Poel tried to counter, but it was Denmark’s Mads Pedersen who was the strongest man on the day. What an amazing win. Van der Poel had previously won 80% of all two-man sprints since 2019. Bora-Hansgrohe’s Jordi Meeus completed the race podium.

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