The Frenchman was part of a late attacking move that also included Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), which went away on the cobbled final climb of the Bekestraat 22km from the line.
The sprint teams of of Alpecin-Deceuninck, Lotto Soudal and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert gave chase behind. However, there was nothing that could be done as the group built a half minute lead before Louvel took his chance on the final, cobbled, climb of the Moskesstraat, 7km out.
He seized his opportunity while he could and powered away to the finish to cross the line alone. Démare led Dries Van Gestel (TotalEnergies) across the line for second and third place while Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) led the peloton home.
Louvel’s win delivered a valuable 125 UCI points to his team at a time when they’re awaiting the outcome of Nairo Quintana’s appeal against his Tour de France disqualification – a decision which could cost Arkéa-Samsic 450 points in the WorldTour promotion/relegation battle.
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Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.
Daniel has reported from the world’s top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport’s biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.
As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.