Matteo Trentin sprinted from the front of a lead group to take his first victory of the season at Le Samyn.
The UAE Team Emirates rider held his speed to beat Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic) and Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) in Dour.
On a hard day in Wallonia, the lead group just lasted long enough to beat the onrushing peloton, the opposite outcome to Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
It meant Trentin’s second win for UAE Team Emirates, just his second since the 2019 season, when he finished second at the World Championships.
How it happened
For the 54th edition of Le Samyn, the peloton rolled out of Quaregnon facing 209km of racing, which included 20 sectors of cobbles and some punchy climbs.
An breakaway of six riders was established, with Sam Welsford (DSM), Nickolas Zukowsky (Human Powered Health), Bram Dissel (BEAT Cycling), Kasper Saver (Minerva Cycling), Sander Lemmens (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Samuel Leroux (Go Sport -Roubaix Lille Métropole) all working together to establish a lead of over two minutes.
In between the leading break and the peloton were two riders, Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Stijn Daemen (BEAT Cycling), who missed the early move but still attacked.
The second group on the road was caught with 54km to go, before Dissel and Lemmens were dropped from the break. The remaining four riders out front were caught with 44km to go.
Attacks started happening from the bunch as soon as there were no leading groups, with Lotto-Soudal and AG2R Citroën involved.
The peloton was continuously reduced on the first two laps of the finishing circuit around Dour, before Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) attacked ahead of the final lap, taking an eight-man group clear.
Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal), Bert Van Lergberghe (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl), Loïc Vliegen (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Dries Van Gestel (TotalEnergies), Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix ) and Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën) formed the final group along with Trentin.
They worked hard together, ensuring they had a 25 second advantage at the end of the final cobbled sector with 2.1km to go.
While the peloton, which included fast men like Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl), was approaching quickly, the leading group managed to hold them off.
Trentin was forced to be on the front into the final, as rivals were wary of his sprint. Van Gestel opened things up from behind him before the Italian launched. While De Bondt and Hofstetter attempted to close him down, it was victory for the UAE Team Emirates rider in the end.
LE SAMYN 2022: QUAREGNON TO DOUR (209KM)
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, in 4-49-29
2. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic
3. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën
5. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert
6. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
7. Dries Van Gestel (Call) TotalEnergies
8. Bert Van Lergberghe (Bel) QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl, all at the same time
9. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X, at 4s
10. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, same time