Early celebration costs Bryan Coquard victory in Belgian one-day classic

Frenchman Bryan Coquard (left, in yellow trim) pulled up early and allowed Belgian Jens Debusschere (right, in red) to claim the Dwars door Vlanderen in a photo finish. Luc Claessen/AFP/Getty Images

The international peloton is spread across Europe this week, with the first true mountain tests of the season taking place at the Volta a Catalunya, and other riders are kicking off a series of one-day classics at the Dwars door Vlaanderen in Belguim.

It's the latter of those races that provided the most intrigue Wednesday.

The field shrunk in the wake of Tuesday's terror attacks in Brussels and a somber ceremony at the start paid tribute to victims of those attacks. But once the racing began there was plenty to talk about.

The chaotic final kilometers gave way to a sprint finish that appeared to give Frenchman Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) the victory. Coquard pulled up to celebrate just before the finish line, though, and Belgian rider Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal) pedaled all the way through and ended up winning by the slimmest of margins.

Skip ahead to the 2:02 mark of the video below and watch as Coquard (in black and yellow) lets go of his handlebars too soon, and then appears shocked as Debusschere (in red) nips him at the line.

Just how close was the finish? Race cameras captured the miniscule final margin.

For his part, Coquard was gracious in defeat, giving a nod to what seemed like an appropriate victory for a Belgian rider on a dark day in the country.