John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) bounced back from his Milan-San Remo disappointment by flying to victory at Gent-Wevelgem.
But while Degenkolb, who outsprinted Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) to win the “sprinters’ Classic” was celebrating a day to remember, heavy crashes made it one to forget for many others.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was among the major casualties, suffering a broken collarbone and torn ligaments having been well-placed to win before his late crash.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) emerged unscathed from a crash of his own, but team-mate Ian Stannard suffered a back injury after falling into a ditch.
Sagan, of course, stayed upright but he too will rue a missed opportunity after being beaten in a sprint once more and being unable to follow up his E3 Harelbeke victory with a second straight Gent-Wevelgem win.
Nevertheless, for Sagan, and another rider in green – Belkin’s Sep Vanmarcke – the signs are good as they build towards the Monuments of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
What else did we learn from the 2014 edition of Gent-Wevelgem? Read our five observations from over the following pages.