For Fabian Cancellara this was his third win in the race that includes notorious cobblestoned stretches and has been dubbed 'Hell of the North'.
Fabian Cancellara: "At the end it was between Vanmarcke and me. I had to battle for every last millimeter. This must have been the worst struggle of my cycling career."
Dirk Demol, Cancellara's Belgian team manager told the VRT: "I knew that Vanmarcke would keep on fighting until the finish. Good for him because in a hard race like this only the strongest survive."