Oudenaarde, Belgium – Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland won a four-way power sprint to the finish line to repeat as Tour of Flanders champion and win one of the year's toughest classics for the third time.

In the sprint, Cancellara beat a trio of Belgians, with Greg Van Avermaet taking second place ahead of Sven Vanmarcke and Stijn Vandenbergh.

Last year Cancellara won the classic by relying on his overwhelming time trial talents, and this time he won with an explosive finish that no one could match.

“It was man against man, and (I) just kept pushing,” Cancellara said.

With his victory, he joined five other greats of cycling who won the Tour of Flanders three times.

It makes Cancellara the overwhelming favourite to also win the Paris-Roubaix World Tour classic next week. – Sapa-AP