After the traditional double arduous climb of the Kemmelberg in West Flanders, a breakaway group of four formed, including Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Belgium's Sep Vanmarcke, Viatcheslav Kuznetsov (Russia) and the reigning world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia.
The four had to fight hard in the final 20 (mainly flat) kilometres to keep ahead of the peloton. While a battering wind made the race hard, the four managed to stay ahead. They gambled in the final kilometre, as nobody wanted to start the final sprint in first position.
Kuznetsov finally jumped, and Sagan (Tinkoff) managed to catch him back. Vanmarcke beat Kuznetsov on the finish line to claim second place. Cancellara, one of the driving forces in the breakaway group, came 4th but proved again that he is ready for the Tour of Flanders next Sunday. Cancellara also impressed in last Friday "mini-Tour of Flanders", as the E3 Harelbeke is dubbed.
Sagan (26) was downed last Friday in Harelbeke, where former world champion Michael Kwiatkowski beat him in the sprint.