Terrorists killed at least 34 people on Tuesday in the most deadly attacks in the Belgian capital's history and organisers considered cancelling the race.

They decided, however, that the event would go ahead as scheduled and no incidents were reported along the 199.7km course.

Most riders were wearing black armbands in memory of the victims of the attack.

Some teams, however, were affected because several riders failed to arrive on time after Brussels airport, where one of the blasts occurred, was closed on Tuesday.

Movistar only had four out of their eight riders at the start and Giant-Alpecin had none.

Brussels bombings: Dwars door Vlaanderen set to go ahead
The Dwars door Vlaanderen race will go ahead despite the terrorist Bombings in Brussels and a heightened state of alert across Belgium.

Lotto-Soudal rider Debusschere, the 2014 Belgian champion, perfectly timed his sprint to beat Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo).

“Of course I am happy with this victory," Debusschere said. "It was a race I had been looking forward to.

"Because of what happened yesterday in Brussels it wasn’t sure if the race would take place. It was strange yesterday and this morning: should we give in and cancel the race or do we race with respect for the victims and with attention for the safety? The atmosphere at the start in Roeselare was very serene.”

“It was the plan that Tiesj Benoot and Jelle Wallays would ride an aggressive race. I was the card to play if the race would end with a sprint. And it was a sprint, although the attempt of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was really strong.

"For a long time we didn’t think he would get caught but Trek-Segafredo kept chasing him until the last straight line. In the last turn I was too far behind, I wasn’t part of the first ten riders. In the last straight line I could move up and I aimed for a podium place; at the end I won.

"After Strade Bianche I was afraid that I could forget about my ambitions for the spring classics because of the rib injury I incurred. But I could finish Tirreno-Adriatico and helped out Jürgen Roelandts at Milan-Sanremo. And today I win. This is yet again a next step in my career. It’s even more nice that I win in my home region.”

Several one-day classics are scheduled in Belgium in the coming days, starting with Friday's E3 Scheldeprijs which will again suit the sprinters.

Thursday 24 Mar 2016

Wiggle High5's Amy Pieters won her third consecutive edition of the Dwars door Vlaanderen, in Waregem, West Flanders, despite the peloton pulling back the 13-rider break she was leading. Jolien D’hoore completed a one-two for the black and orange squad on an emotional day for her country, while Eileen Roe (Lares-Waowdeals) completed the podium in third place.

“The race was good. I think we did a good job as a team,” Pieters said.. “We all rode well as a team.

"After the Paterberg we had a small breakaway with Amy Roberts and me, and Dani was close behind us.

"Then later on the small local lap Dani came up to us, and then in the last kilometre and a half Jolien came back with the peloton.”