Sunshine and a cold biting wind met the riders as they set off from Kuurne for just over 200 kilometres of cycling excitement. Last year's winner Mark Cavendish was not among their number. A good pace was set right from the start when eleven riders escaped from the pack extending their lead to a full 8 minutes.
Riders seemed to become jumpy following their arrival in the rolling Flemish Ardennes. Only Jasper Stuyven was able to stay on world champion Peter Sagan's wheel on the Oude Kwaremont Hill. Later they were joined by thirty riders including Greg Van Avermaet and Britain's Luke Rowe.
The Lotto Soudal team then took control of the race in support of their rider, Jens Debusschere. The peloton started to thin out. Julien Vermote impressed on the Nokereberg, the last hill of the race some 50 km from the finish. Tom Boonen, Rowe, Stuyven and Van Avermaet stayed with him.
Stuyven decided not to wait for the sprint and put distance between himself and the other riders 17 km from the finish. The 23-year-old extended his lead over Boonen, Van Avermaet and Rowe to 30". Against the wind Stuyven rode to victory while Alexander Kristoff won the sprint for second place.
Stuyven's best performance until now was a stage win in last year's Tour of Spain.