After a fast and hard race, Van Aert, Trentin and Pidcock sprinted for victory in Overijse. The British rider had the most power in his legs. He beat Van Aert and Trentin.
There were nine of them, the men of the classic early breakaway after the start in Leuven. First, Coquard (B&B Hotels P/B KTM), Leknessund (Team DSM), Meeus (Bora-hansgrohe), Mertens (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Robeet (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Skaarseth (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) and Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) got away from the peloton. A little later, Morin (Cofidis) and Van Melsen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matérieaux) were also able to join. Their maximum lead was about 6'18".
At a bit more than 60 km from the finish Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Cavagna (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Bystrom (UAE Team Emirates) and Stannard (Team BikeExchange) set up a counterattack. In the back, Teuns (Bahrain Victorious), Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën Team) and Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix) also attacked.
In the meantime the gap with the leaders was shrinking. First Van Melsen had to drop out of the lead and at the second climb of the Moskesstraat it also went too fast for Coquard. At about 45 km from the line the two chasing groups merged while the leading group was on its way to the second climb of the S-curve. There the leading group broke up, with 5 riders remaining at the front.
At the third climb of Rue Ducale, Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) thought his moment had come. He got Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) and Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) with him. On the way to the third time Moskesstraat, the group Teuns-Cosnefroy joined at the front and shortly afterwards the trio Pidcock-Trentin-Van Aert could also join them. At the top of Moskesstraat the gap was about one minute.
At approximately 30 km from the finish line, the front started crimping. Cosnefroy accelerated on the Holstheide. Trentin and Van Aert quickly followed, while Pidcock had more difficulty. Not much later it was Trentin who attacked again in the descent to the S-curve. The Italian had an 18-second lead on the chasers when the final lap began. One rider was able to join the Van Aert group from the back: Ide Schelling (Bora-hansgrohe).
With 15km to go, Pidcock accelerated again on Hertstraat. Van Aert went in search of the lone leader Trentin together with the Brit. On the fourth and final Moskesstraat, nothing happened at the front, but in the background it was Teuns and Cosnefroy who tried to close the gap.
On the Holstheide, the story of the chasers was over. Cosnefroy made an ultimate attempt on the final climb but fell just short. Van Aert attacked, but Pidcock passed him. The Brit of INEOS Grenadiers pocketed his first spring classic. Trentin finished in third place.