For the second time in a less than a week Oscar Freire (Team Katusha) was left frustrated in a bunch sprint finish, taking 4th place in Gent-Wevelgem. Three days prior to today’s result, the Spaniard had come out second best to Tom Boonen (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) in the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke and once again it was the Belgian who made the trip to the top step of the podium in Wevelgem.
And just as in Harelbeke, Freire was a victim of his own mistimed sprint. In E3 he had left it too late before a final surge for the line almost had Boonen relegated to second.
This time around Freire was too aggressive, jumping out from the wheel of Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini - Selle Italia) in the final 200 meters but tiring in the headwind finish. Boonen came through for the win with Peter Sagan (Liqugas-Cannondale) and Matti Breschel (Rabobank) picking up the final podium places.
“There was a lot of headwind. I was in front and started to sprint but from too far out,” he said at the finish.
“Today I didn’t have really good legs like two days ago.”
“Boonen was strong and raced really well. He and his team saved a lot of energy and in the end he was the strongest but did my best today, I just couldn’t win.”