Cycling

Gilbert seals Tour of Flanders warm-up

Philippe Gilbert (AFP)
Philippe Gilbert (AFP)

De Panne - Belgian Philippe Gilbert sealed victory in the Three Days of De Panne after Australian Luke Durbridge won Thursday's fourth-stage time trial.

Gilbert had led the final warm-up event ahead of Sunday's prestigious Tour of Flanders since taking the opening stage.

The 34-year-old Quick Step Floors rider is targeting the cobbled classics this season as he bids to win Sunday's race known as the "Monument" for the first time.

"There is no better preparation for the Tour of Flanders," declared the Belgian champion, who finished 38sec clear of Matthias Brandle in the overall standings.

The closing 14.2 kilometre race against the clock was dominated by Durbridge after the morning's third stage, also in De Panne, Belgium, was annexed by Marcel Kittel.

The German beat off Alexander Kristoff, who took third overall, and Sacha Modolo in a sprint.

Results from the fourth stage of Three Days of De Pann(14.2km time trial)

1. Luke Durbridge (AUS/Orica) 17min 38sec, 2. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) s.t., 3. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) at 2sec, 4. Marcel Kittel (GER) 3, 5. Matthias Brandle (AUT) 5, 6. Alexander Edmondson (AUS) 9, 7. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 17, 8. Nils Politt (GER) 31, 9. Peter Koning (NED) 36, 10. Olivier Pardini (BEL) 39.

Overall standings

1. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/Quick-Step Floors) 12hr 08min 57sec, 2. Matthias Brandle (AUT) 38s, 3. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) 43, 4. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) 58, 5. Pierre-Luc Perichon (FRA) 1:39, 6. Maxime Vantomme (BEL) 1:50, 7. Edward Theuns (BEL) 1:54, 8. Pim Ligthart (NED) 2:10, 9. Boy van Poppel (NED) 2:24, 10. Jasper De Buyst (BEL) 2:46.

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