Wout van Aert secures first victory of the season with E3 Classic
Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert won the 65th edition of the Flemish E3 Classic on Friday. After a 204-kilometre-long race, he held off Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel and Slovenian Tadej Pogacar in a sprint at the finish line in Harelbeke. It's Van Aert's first win of the season and the third E3 victory of his career.
"I think I was the strongest of the three in the sprint. We started at the same time, but I quickly felt I got the upper hand," Van Aert said after the race. "This is a very important victory for me." His Dutch rival Van der Poel added that he will be able to live with his second place: "I'd much rather come second today than next week in the Tour of Flanders."
The E3 Classic is seen as the dress rehearsal for the Tour of Flanders. The most important cycling race in Flanders will take place next Sunday, and the trio will likely play leading roles there as well.
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