Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne: Tim Merlier wins ahead of Dylan Groenewegen in photo-finish

Nacer Bouhanni takes third in Belgium, Mark Cavendish boxed in during crash-marred finale.

Photo: Getty

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) edged out Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) to win the Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne on Wednesday.

The pair could only be separated in a photo finish, with Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) taking third.

In a messy and frantic finish with several crashes, a number of the pre-race favorites were either boxed-in or held up. Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) hit the deck with 1.5km to go, while Mark Cavendish found himself too far back after the final corner. The British sprinter ran out of gas in the finale and sat up when he realized that he was too far back.

At the front of the race Merlier benefited from a near-perfect lead-out with Jonas Rickaert taking a huge turn on the front. That helped set up Merlier, although BikeExchange did everything they could to keep Groenewegen in contention.

When Merlier opened his sprint he already had a slight advantage on the right hand side of the road. Groenewegen, coming through the middle, battled back but was unable to close the gap before the line. Bouhanni did an excellent job of surfing the wheels and making sure that he was positioned well. He too had a powerful finish but he started his sprint from slightly too far back.

The win marked Merlier’s third victory of the season.

“I was a really hectic final. I was already happy to get safely over the finish line and then I crossed the finish line, and I didn’t know that I’d won the race. It was the same for Dylan. We asked each other but nobody knew. We were waiting a long time, which is never nice,” Merlier told VeloNews at the finish.

The day’s early break involving Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Dmitri Peyskens (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB), and Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) was brought back inside the final 30km.

Several teams attempted to take charge of the race once the break had been caught with Cofidis, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, and Bora-Hansgrohe leading the charge.

Road furniture played a huge role with several crashes in the closing stages. A Movistar rider hit a race marshal in one incident but heading into the final 10km most of the sprinters were still well supported.

Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne Results

1MERLIER TimAlpecin-Fenix4:45:41
2GROENEWEGEN DylanTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:00
3BOUHANNI NacerTeam Arkéa Samsic0:00
4WALSCHEID MaxCofidis0:00
5KOOIJ OlavJumbo-Visma0:00
6DÉMARE ArnaudGroupama - FDJ0:00
7CONSONNI SimoneCofidis0:00
8DE LIE ArnaudLotto Soudal0:00
9STUYVEN JasperTrek - Segafredo0:00
10HAUSSLER HeinrichBahrain - Victorious0:00
11ANIOŁKOWSKI StanisławBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB0:00
12MØRKØV MichaelQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:00
13KANTER MaxMovistar Team0:00
14DUPONT TimothyBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB0:00
15MANZIN LorrenzoTotalEnergies0:00
16ZABEL RickIsrael - Premier Tech0:00
17BENNETT SamBORA - hansgrohe0:00
18MAS LluísMovistar Team0:00
19WÆRENSKJOLD SørenUno-X Pro Cycling Team0:00
20EINHORN ItamarIsrael - Premier Tech0:00
21GIRMAY BiniamIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux0:00
22VAN POPPEL DannyBORA - hansgrohe0:00
23MOZZATO LucaB&B Hotels - KTM0:00
24VAN LERBERGHE BertQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:00
25BARBIER RudyIsrael - Premier Tech0:00
26CAVENDISH MarkQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:00
27MARIT ArneSport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00
28BJERG MikkelUAE Team Emirates0:00
29THIJSSEN GerbenIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux0:00
30FRETIN MilanSport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00
31VAN ROOY KennethSport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00
32VAN DEN BERG MarijnEF Education-EasyPost0:00
33VAN GESTEL DriesTotalEnergies0:00
34MÄRKL NiklasTeam DSM0:00
35WELSFORD SamTeam DSM0:00
36BIERMANS JentheIsrael - Premier Tech0:00
37REYNDERS JensSport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00
38STEIMLE JannikQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:00
39MILAN JonathanBahrain - Victorious0:00
40MULLEN RyanBORA - hansgrohe0:00
41SCULLY TomEF Education-EasyPost0:00
42ELOSEGUI IñigoMovistar Team0:00
43MARTINELLI DavideAstana Qazaqstan Team0:00
44DUJARDIN SandyTotalEnergies0:00
45SINKELDAM RamonGroupama - FDJ0:13
46NORSGAARD MathiasMovistar Team0:13
47BARBIER PierreB&B Hotels - KTM0:13
48SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ0:13
49VAN DER SANDE ToshJumbo-Visma0:13
50FIORELLI FilippoBardiani-CSF-Faizanè0:17
51PÖSTLBERGER LukasBORA - hansgrohe0:18
52HALVORSEN KristofferUno-X Pro Cycling Team0:18
53ROOSEN TimoJumbo-Visma0:18
54STEWART CampbellTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:18
55STEELS StijnQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:18
56RESELL Erik NordsæterUno-X Pro Cycling Team0:18
57PAJUR MarkusTeam Arkéa Samsic0:18
58NORMAN LETH Lasse Uno-X Pro Cycling Team0:18
59CAPIOT AmauryTeam Arkéa Samsic0:18
60WELTEN BramGroupama - FDJ0:18
61RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost0:18
62GROß FelixUAE Team Emirates0:18
63ERVITI ImanolMovistar Team0:18
64MACIEJUK FilipBahrain - Victorious0:18
65ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Qazaqstan Team0:28
66MODOLO SachaBardiani-CSF-Faizanè0:28
67KREDER WesleyCofidis0:28
68MEURISSE XandroAlpecin-Fenix0:28
69RICKAERT JonasAlpecin-Fenix0:28
70SELIG RüdigerLotto Soudal0:28
71OLIVEIRA RuiUAE Team Emirates0:37
72SAGIV GuyIsrael - Premier Tech0:37
73JAUREGUI QuentinB&B Hotels - KTM0:37
74WEEMAES SashaSport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:37
75JACOBS JohanMovistar Team0:37
76FELLINE FabioAstana Qazaqstan Team0:37
78LAENGEN Vegard StakeUAE Team Emirates0:37
79LEDANOIS KévinTeam Arkéa Samsic0:37
80BOHLI TomCofidis0:37
81JOHANSEN JuliusIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux0:37
82VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal0:37
83KIRSCH AlexTrek - Segafredo0:42
84BOARO ManueleAstana Qazaqstan Team0:45
85ZANONCELLO EnricoBardiani-CSF-Faizanè0:47
86GAZZOLI MicheleAstana Qazaqstan Team0:47
87DAINESE AlbertoTeam DSM0:47
88VERMEERSCH FlorianLotto Soudal0:49
89THWAITES ScottAlpecin-Fenix0:49
90MEZGEC LukaTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:49
91BALLERSTEDT MauriceAlpecin-Fenix0:49
92THEUNS EdwardTrek - Segafredo0:49
93VERGAERDE OttoTrek - Segafredo0:49
94JONES TajIsrael - Premier Tech0:54
95DEBUSSCHERE JensB&B Hotels - KTM0:54
96DECLERCQ BenjaminTeam Arkéa Samsic0:54
97NOPPE ChristopheTeam Arkéa Samsic0:54
98EDMONDSON AlexTeam BikeExchange - Jayco1:04
99GOGL MichaelAlpecin-Fenix1:07
100LAUK Karl PatrickBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB1:08
101REX LaurenzBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB1:08
102WRIGHT FredBahrain - Victorious1:08
103ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain - Victorious1:08
104RICHEZE MaximilianoUAE Team Emirates1:08
105BODNAR MaciejTotalEnergies1:08
106WARLOP JordiB&B Hotels - KTM1:08
107DOULL OwainEF Education-EasyPost1:10
108EENKHOORN PascalJumbo-Visma1:10
109HESTERS JulesSport Vlaanderen - Baloise1:10
110URIANSTAD MartinUno-X Pro Cycling Team1:10
111GUARNIERI JacopoGroupama - FDJ1:10
112DE GENDT AiméIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:10
113BASSO LeonardoAstana Qazaqstan Team1:10
114HEINSCHKE LeonTeam DSM1:10
115O'BRIEN KellandTeam BikeExchange - Jayco1:10
116WIRTGEN TomBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB1:10
117GRIGNARD SébastienLotto Soudal1:17
118KONYCHEV AlexanderTeam BikeExchange - Jayco1:29
119TERPSTRA NikiTotalEnergies1:29
120VAN MELSEN KévinIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:29
121ABERASTURI JonTrek - Segafredo1:29
122COLNAGHI LucaBardiani-CSF-Faizanè1:29
123PETIT AdrienIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:29
124VANBILSEN KennethCofidis1:29
125KOCH JonasBORA - hansgrohe1:29
126HEALY BenEF Education-EasyPost1:29
127DAVY ClémentGroupama - FDJ1:29
128DENS TuurSport Vlaanderen - Baloise1:29
129LANGEVELD SebastianEF Education-EasyPost1:29
130KEISSE IljoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:29
131DE BUYST JasperLotto Soudal1:29
132TONELLI AlessandroBardiani-CSF-Faizanè1:29
133GRADEK KamilBahrain - Victorious1:29
134MOSCON GianniAstana Qazaqstan Team1:29
135BOL CeesTeam DSM1:29
136ROBEET LudovicBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB1:29
137VERMOTE JulienAlpecin-Fenix1:50
138EGHOLM JakobTrek - Segafredo2:03
139VAN EMDEN JosJumbo-Visma2:03
140WIŚNIOWSKI ŁukaszEF Education-EasyPost2:25
141TROIA OlivieroUAE Team Emirates2:25
142DURBRIDGE LukeTeam BikeExchange - Jayco2:25
143PEÁK BarnabásIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux2:25
144STORK FlorianTeam DSM2:25
145PEYSKENS DimitriBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB2:25
146SAUGSTAD LarsUno-X Pro Cycling Team2:25
147POLITT NilsBORA - hansgrohe3:32
148MEEUS JordiBORA - hansgrohe3:32
149ACKERMANN PascalUAE Team Emirates3:32
150BRÄNDLE MatthiasIsrael - Premier Tech4:03
151HOOLE DaanTrek - Segafredo4:03
152SCHWARZMANN MichaelLotto Soudal5:15
153LEMOINE CyrilB&B Hotels - KTM5:15
154BATTAGLIN EnricoBardiani-CSF-Faizanè5:55

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.