By Gregor Brown in Harelbeke
Kurt-Asle Arvesen topped a day of hard work by Denmark's Team CSC. The 33 year-old Norwegian, winner of the stage eight in last year's Giro d'Italia, profited from team-work in the closing kilometres of the E3 Prijs to capture his first win in Belgium after he darted clear of his escape companions on the Gentsestraat.
"It is always good to win a bike race; this is my first win in Belgium. It is great," said a content Arvesen at the end of the 200-kilometre E3 Prijs in Flanders.
Arvesen made the 14-man escape group that took shape at kilometre 42. Team CSC made a smart tactical move by placing not only Arvesen in the move, but Dane Lars Bak.
"It was a tactical move on the team's part to get guys in the escape, so we could have Fabian [Cancellara] and the others protected behind. I thought this break could go well, we had a good combination of riders from the major teams. At least it was good to take the climbs in the front," he laughed. "For me, I am always fighting go to be at the front on the climbs, so it was a relief to be in the escape.
"I am good shape at the moment, and I showed that last week in Milano-Sanremo. Tirreno-Adriatico helped me get to the form. I put myself in a position to win when I got in the break. It was not an individual effort; there were a lot of guys who could win. [Team-mate] Matti Breschel won the sprint behind [for seventh], and we had Bak in the move with me."
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