Final KM: Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stages 3a 3b

The Three Days De Panne concluded with the traditional double header: a short, sharp sprint and tricky, tight time trial. I’m betting riders are not that keen on two stages in one day – pasta for breakfast and lunch.

Stage 3a: De Panne to De Panne, 188.5km

Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Floors) powered past Katusha-Alpecin’s Alexander Kristoff with perfect timing to take his 5th stage win of 2017.  A victory made even more impressive as he was involved in a crash with 15km to go. He chased back, was in 10th postion coming around the final corner, then unleashed his sprint from 6th on the grid. Chapeau Skittles and chapeau Quicksteppers. Philippe Gilbert goes into the final time trial with a 50sec buffer.

Highlights…

In his own words…

Full report at Cycling News.

Stage 3b: De Panne to De Panne, ITT 14.2km

The time trial at De Panne is always a special event and this one was no different. It’s tough, windy, and the corners on the course suit those who can explode out of them. Quickstep’s Marcel Kittel set a blistering time. It was beaten by Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott) and the Aussie stayed in the hotseat for the rest of the race. An impressive Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) ran him incredibly close, just 0.77secs slower. Katusha-Alpecin’s Alexander Kristoff rounded out the podium at +2secs.  Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step Floors) placed 7th on the stage ensuring he stood on top step of the GC podium by 38secs from Trek Segafredo’s Matthias Brandle with Kristoff at 3rd on +43secs.

Highlights…

The Gilbert Express, next stop De Ronde…

Chapeau Luke – “It’s been a while since I had a victory. I can’t even remember when, so it’s special. I’m looking forward to Sunday and this is a boost for my confidence. My parents are coming from Australia and it’ll be the first time they’ve ever seen me race in Europe.”

pic of the day…

HUGE fans here at De Panne.

A post shared by Dave everett (@shoddycycling) on

Full report at Cycling News.

Race Website  Race Twitter #3dpk

Header image: Philippe Gilbert  © LC/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images

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