Langeveld wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Dutchman edges defending champion Flecha in Ghent

Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) edged out last year's winner Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) in a close sprint to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Langeveld threw his bike at the line and won a few centimetres to take the biggest win of his career. He collected the kisses and the praise on the podium, with Matt Hayman joining his teammate Flecha on the podium after taking third place ahead of Yoann Offredo (FDJ).

“I worked very hard for the victory and I'm going to take my time to enjoy it,” Langeveld said.

The Dutchman rode aggressively in the rain-soaked race, launching a solo attack in the middle of the key hilly section of the race with more than 50km left to race.

He quickly gained a gap of half a minute on a chase group while all the big-name favourites were riding in the remains of the peloton just under a minute down. On the Leberg climb, Flecha launched a counter-attack together with Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step) out of the peloton.

“On the Leberg it was time to gamble and I had the legs to go there,” Flecha said.

The Spaniard first caught up with the group of chasers and then he left them on the cobbles of the Paddestraat when there were less than 30km to race. At that moment the gap between Flecha and Langeveld was more than a minute. Langeveld and Flecha fought out an intense pursuit but the Spaniard closed the gap second by second on his former Rabobank teammate.

With 15km to go, Flecha joined up with Langeveld and the two were set for a two-man sprint.

“I didn't wait for Flecha but when he came back I saw that he didn't have much left in his tank. I knew that he would try to attack. If I could neutralize that attack I would be mentally at an advantage,” Langeveld said.

The final kilometres unfolded as Langeveld predicted but in the sprint Flecha surprisingly turned out to be much faster than expected. “Normally Langeveld is faster but after such a race it's different. I wasn't as sure as he was that he’d won but in the end he was ten centimetres faster today,” Flecha conceded.

In the first chase group there were several attacks in the final kilometres and a minute after the close sprint, it was Hayman who showed up first at the St-Peter's square in Ghent, just ahead of the surprising young French rider Yoann Offredo (FDJ). The other chasers were just behind, with the main peloton at five minutes and another cold and wet group at almost ten minutes.

All the action

The first half of the race was marked by a breakaway by Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet-KDL), Steven Van Vooren (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Bram Schmitz and Steven Caethoven (Veranda's Willems-Accent), Aleksejs Saramotins (Cofidis), Mathieu Ladagnous (FDJ), Ronan van Zandbeek (Skil-Shimano) and Sébastien Chavanel (Europcar). The group build up a lead of almost eight minutes. However the foul weather made it a hard race and by the time the race started in earnest front many riders were already at their limit.

On the cobbles of Donderij, with 65km to go, the race started in the peloton when the riders from Sky and then Tom Boonen (Quick-Step) upping the speed. When arriving at the Taaienberg – also known as Boonenberg – the peloton was stretched out. Boonen led the peloton over the cobbled climb in the asphalted gutter, with world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo) just behind him. In between the Taaienberg and the Eikenberg climbs, the pace remained high thanks to the efforts of Offredo and Hushovd.

The early breakaway was quickly caught and Langeveld used the Eikenberg to go clear. Behind him the favourites were playing a waiting game. A group including John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad), Hayman, Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Cervélo) went away after him. Little later another group left the main peloton featuring Fréderic Amorison (Landbouwkrediet-KDL), Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Lars Boom (Rabobank) and Luca Paolini (Katusha).

When Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step) set a high pace on the Leberg he ended up riding away with Flecha. The chase groups came together behind sole leader Langeveld, who still had a lead of more than a minute. Flecha put the hammer down on the cobbles of the Paddestraat and set off in pursuit, and from there the great finale with Langeveld unfolded.

Flecha seemed the favourite to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for a second year but the young Dutchman had no plans to give up as he showed with his perfect sprint.


Full Results
1Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team5:18:03 
2Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling  
3Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling0:01:01 
4Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ0:01:04 
5Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team0:01:21 
6Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team0:01:24 
7Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:30 
8Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
9Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
10Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
11Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:34 
12John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:01:39 
13Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek0:05:05 
14Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
15Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team  
16Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ  
17Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team  
18Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling  
19Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
20Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
21Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
22Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
23Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
24Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
25Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team  
26Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek  
27Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
28Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha Team  
29Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
30Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
31Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
32Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
33Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
34Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
35Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
36Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
37Hayden Roulston (NZl) HTC-Highroad  
38Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad  
39Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ  
40Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
41Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
42Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
43Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
44Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
45Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent0:09:22 
46Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad0:10:41 
47Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
48Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
49Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano  
50Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad  
51Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
52Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
53Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
54Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
55Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
56Bram Schmitz (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
57Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
58Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
59Wim De Vocht (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
60Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling  
61Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
62Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ  
63Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
64Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
65Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team  
66Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
67Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team  
68Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
69Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek  
70Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
71Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
72Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
73Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
74Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
75Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
76Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar  
77Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:14:29 
78Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
79Dieter Cappelle (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
80Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
81William Clarke (Aus) Leopard Trek  
82Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team  
83Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
84Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
85David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
86Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
87Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
88Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
89Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Team Netapp  
90Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp  
91Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
92James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
93Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
94Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar  
95Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad  
96Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
97Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  


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