Bone shaking cobbles combined with punchy climbs, the fourth Monument of the season lay in wait for the peloton as they rolled out of Brugge on Saturday morning for Ronde van Vlaanderen. With a strong tailwind at the beginning of the day, it was a rapid start to proceedings with the peloton constantly rolling attacks; and the team were well represented in each initial move. After more than 85 kilometres of hard fought racing, a breakaway eventually went clear with all of the Team DSM riders in the bunch.
Riding as a group, the team stayed well positioned towards the front although unfortunately Nils Eekhoff and Tim Naberman were involved in one of the many crashes throughout the day. The counter attacks started over once more with Alex Edmondson making it into a group. Yet, they were soon brought and the counter attack that would stick went clear.
Behind in the reduced peloton, Edmondson and Pavel Bittner helped look after John Degenkolb, bringing him towards the front ahead of the Oude Kwaremont at 60 kilometres remaining. Here the race in the peloton would explode with the strongest classic riders coming to the fore and powering on. Degenkolb would fight as hard as he could in one of the many chase groups over the remaining climbs and cobble sections, before producing a good sprint to come second, in what could be described as the peloton, for a 19th place overall.