The cobbled classics continued today with the 204 kilometre long E3 Binckbank Classic. With numerous hills and cobbled sections to contend with, including the brutally tough Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont combination at around 45 kilometres of the day remaining, it was set to be a hard day out for all the riders.
Team Sunweb’s Marc Hirschi managed to escape the bunch along with seven other riders to form the day’s breakaway. Given the nature of the course and the attentiveness of the peloton behind, the group was only ever allowed a maximum of five minutes. As attacks started to fly from the bunch and a relentless pace set, the gap to the group had closed to only 30 seconds with 55 kilometres left. The break continued to push on though and with some riders bridging from behind, they managed to increase the gap again.
Over the Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont, Hirschi put in a very strong performance to ensure he was the last remaining member from the morning breakaway out front. He remained at the head of the race before just losing touch on the Karnemelkbeekstraat. However, after digging deep he continued to impress and managed to join the second group of five on the road, ultimately finishing in 10th place after a hard day out.