Theo Bos (Rabobank) hit out early in the sprint but held on to take victory on stage three at the Eneco Tour.
The Dutchman put his track background to good use with a huge burst of speed on the finishing straight, holding off his rivals to claim one of the biggest wins of his career.
Bos fended off John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) and Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Sharp) at the line in Genk after a hectic finish in the cycling hotbed.
A technical finishing circuit littered with road furniture saw riding reminiscent of the Spring Classics, with riders using every available piece of road or path or move up in the bunch.
A sprint finish played into the hands of Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEDGE) who maintained race lead carved out by his squad in Tuesday’s team time trial.
The stage saw the riders cover some of the most famous terrain in the Low Countries, including a preview of one-and-a-half laps of the upcoming World Championships course in Limburg.
Four riders went away in the early going including Alex Dowsett (Team Sky), the Brit joined in the day’s break by James Vanlandschoot (Accent.Jobs), Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Matteo Bono (Lampre-ISD).
Dowsett was the main man to profit from the break, taking the maximum points and bonus seconds on offer to reduce his overall deficit to 27 seconds on Keukeleire.
Behind it was Orica-GreenEDGE who took up the gauntlet, controlling the pace on the front for most of the day before being joined by other teams as the sprint closed in.
The final time across the line the gap stood at just 55 seconds, the quartet finally swept up with 8km to go.
Stage one winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) was not able to influence the outcome after puncturing out of the lead-out, with Bos the man to seize the initiative at the finish.