23-year-old De Plus (he turns 24 on 4 September) snatched the leader's jersey from another Belgian, Tim Wellens, in a surprise turnaround in the final stage, a 178 kilometre ride through the Flemish Ardennes.
De Plus set up a breakaway with two other riders: the Belgian veteran and Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen. De Plus won the Golden Kilometre at the Bosberg, grabbing 7 bonus seconds and moving closer to Wellens in the GC (just 5 seconds behind). Wellens did what he could in the peloton, but did not have enough support to close the gap.
It was Naesen who won the uphill sprint on the Vesten in Geraardsbergen (photo below), the early part of the famous "Muur" (Wall) of Geraardsbergen. Van Avermaet was yet again beaten and took second place. De Plus came third, but became the overall winner, confirming his excellent Tour de France where he made fame in the mountain stages, working hard for Steven Kruijswijk.
De Plus follows in the footsteps of last year's winner Matej Mohoric. Tim Wellens, who was poised to win this 15th edition, already won the race in 2014 and 2015.