By Bjorn Haake with additional reporting by Julien Gillebert
Sébastien Rosseler added another win for the Quick Step team at the Circuit Franco-Belge when he beat his escape companion Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) in horrible conditions for the race's final stage in Tournai. Flecha was not unhappy with second, as he had gained enough time to win the overall title.
Flecha made the decisive move with a potential overall win on his mind, and he was happy to finally deliver for Rabobank. "I am so happy to finally win a race for my team." Flecha explained that he wasn't always so fortunate the past few years. "It is my third season for this team but, despite good results, I have never won a race for them." The last victory for Juan Antonio Flecha was a stage in the Vuelta Valenciana, in 2005.
To win, Flecha had to do what he does best. "To win the general classification, I knew I had to attack, to surprise the sprinters." He felt he had the form. "I knew I was in good condition since the Vuelta. I expected to go to the World Championship of Varese but I was not taken in the Spanish selection. It was a disappointment for me. But I managed to focus on other goals: the Franco-Belge, but also Paris-Tours."
The riders had to fight the elements for another time, with cold rain being prevalent all day. The organisers shortened the final stage by two finishing laps or around 30 kilometres. It was appreciated by the day's winner. "The weather today was absolutely awful!" Rosseler said.
Rosseler raced very actively in the final part of the race and explained his tactics. "During the finale I made my attack, taking seven other riders along with me. On the final Côte about 15 kilometres from the finish line I decided to up the pace. The bunch was gaining time and catching up with our small group. I didn't want them to catch up with me, without attempting another attack."
See the full report, results and photos.