The GP Samyn saw an exciting finale that had Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) out-sprint Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quickstep) and Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) for the victory. Tyler Farrar was the highest placed Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung rider in 11th position.
The day started out with a 3 rider break going clear just after an hour of racing had gone by. The trio built up a lead of close to 7 minutes before Etixx-Quickstep decided to take control of the peloton. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) then decided to head off alone with around 60km to go and attacked his 2 breakaway companions.
With De Gendt solo by 5 minutes and 50km to go, the pressure rocketed in the peloton and on the tough 24km lap that included 3 cobble sections, the main group dwindled down significantly. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung lost a number of riders to punctures once again, including Kristian Sbaragli, but Tyler Farrar, Johann van Zyl and Jaco Venter were able to make the select front group of 50 odd riders that formed just before the final lap.
Heading into the final 24km lap, De Gendt was reeled in after Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had assisted the Etixx-Quickstep team with the chase. Tyler was then left to fend for himself as a number of attacks went clear during the final lap. At the last cobble section with 2.4km to go, Tyler had done well to cover all the dangerous moves and hit the pave in 13th wheel. Unfortunately the front 8 got clear and went on to decide the stage.
J.P Heynderickx – Sport Director
Today was a really hard race with some tough cobble sections to contend with. We had 4 riders heading for the finale but then Kristian punctured on the 2nd last lap. A teammate stopped to give him a wheel but the speed was so high and we ended up losing the two riders at this point. Tyler was always in the front positions but it was a bridge too far for him in the end.