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The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad podium: Tom Boonen, Sep Vanmarcke and Juan Antonio Flecha
Belgian's 2012 season comes to an end
Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Sharp) abandoned stage 2 of the l'Eurometropole Tour (Circuit Franco-Belge) today, reportedly due to a broken collarbone, bringing the 24-year-old Belgian's 2012 season to a close. Vanmarcke was part of the winning eight-man break on yesterday's opening stage and started the day eighth on general classification, 15 seconds down on race leader Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol Team).
Vanmarcke's 2012 season highlight was his victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad where he out-sprinted his breakaway companions Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) in the Belgian semi-Classic.
During the summer Vanmarcke announced he would be leaving Garmin-Sharp at the end of the season, setting off speculation as to which team would land the talented Belgian for 2013. Vanmarcke's agent had stated he wouldn't be on a Belgian team next year, ruling out Lotto Belisol and Omega Pharma-Quickstep, and Het Belang van Limburg reported that Vanmarcke had made a commitment to RadioShack-Nissan, but then apparently backed out of the agreement, leaving the Luxembourg-based team management to consider legal options as recourse.
The Belgian publication nieuwsblad.be had linked Vanmarcke to Rabobank, and with Matti Breschel leaving the Dutch squad for Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank it is expected that Rabobank will announce the arrival of Vanmarcke as its new Classics rider.