A day to neglect for Naesen, Van Avermaet at E3 Saxo Financial institution Basic

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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad delivered an Opening Weekend efficiency that boded nicely for a powerful Classics displaying from AG2R Citroën in 2022, with each Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen within the prime 4, although it actually wasn’t a efficiency that carried by means of to the E3 Saxo Financial institution Basic on Friday. The group not solely fell out of the highest 10 on the race for the primary time since 2016 however had been additionally utterly absent from the highest 20 after lacking the principle strikes. 

It was way back to 80km from the end line that the race to Harelbeke was all however over for the French squad. Firstly none of their jerseys had been seen within the small group that eventual race winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) drove off the entrance with a robust acceleration on the cobbled climb of the Taaienberg. Then the group additionally failed to affix the handful of riders that bridged from the chase to that entrance group after Ineos Grenadiers charged up the cobbled Eikenberg, establishing Jhonatan Narváez to spark a transfer which crossed the hole.

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