Taco van der Hoorn proved the strongest of the breakaway as he won Stage 3 of the Benelux Tour in Hoogerheide.
On a day that was expected to be for the sprinters, it was Van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) who took the honours in similar fashion to his solo victory at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year.
The Dutchman was part of a group of six riders who attacked early and broke away from the peloton.
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With Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) both suffering mechanical issues, the sprint teams had to hold back as they tried to close the gap.
The pace quickened inside the final 10km but the breakaway held on and Van der Hoorn sprinted clear to win from Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar) and Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) third.
"I'm actually quite slow," joked Van der Hoorn after the win. "So I did not expect that I would be able to finish it in the sprint. Yesterday I had already devised the tactic that I would go full on the last hill before the line.
“I saw yesterday that some riders wanted to go in the breakaway today. There wasn’t a big gap but the final was difficult for the peloton to control.
“When I saw the break going, I knew I had to be in it. Then we did everything tactically perfect, with some strong guys in there. In the end, I finished it off in the sprint, which I didn’t really expect but it worked out for me.”
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the bunch sprint, three seconds behind van der Hoorn, to take sixth place.
Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) remains in the overall lead, 19 seconds ahead of Asgreen and 20 seconds clear of Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ).
Stage 4 of the seven-day race sees riders travel 166.1 km from Aalter to Ardooie.

'We needed to be tactically perfect' - Van Der Hoorn on winning stage 3 of Benelux tour

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