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Belgian Road Championships 2014

Date range:
May 1 - June 29

June 29, Road Race - Men: Wielsbeke 250.2km

Debusschere wins the Belgian national road race

By:
Brecht Decaluwé
Published:
June 29, 2014, 16:58 BST,
Updated:
June 30, 2014, 15:09 BST

Jans second, Boonen third

Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) was the surprise winner of the 2014 Belgian championships in Wielsbeke on Sunday. In a bunch sprint in front of the Quickstep headquarters, 24-year-old Debusschere held off Roy Jans (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and pre-race favourite Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma- Quickstep) to grab his first win of the season, and his fourth professional victory.

"It's a cliché but this is a dream coming through. I worked two or three months towards this race. I did altitude training and slept in a tent which I cursed every night. Then it's magnificent to grab this title," Debusschere said on Sporza after coming off a phone call with teammate Jurgen Van Den Broeck.

"Jurgen Roelandts started the sprint perfectly for me by finding a gap on the right. The wind came from the left and we were on the right. The race unfolded perfectly for us. Kris and Kenny were our fast men up front. With three laps to go I doubted whether it would be a bunch sprint. Going into the last lap I talked with Jurgen and he said he had the jersey before and he would work for me. We’re good buddies. We’re both working for each other. Whatever race I win after today, this will remain a highlight."

The bunch sprint was expected but until 400 metres from the finish line an eight-man breakaway group managed to hold off the peloton. The Omega Pharma – Quickstep team banked on Gert Steegmans in that lead group while Lotto-Belisol counted on Kris Boeckmans.

Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) didn't have the teammates to control the race but by featuring in the lead group he rode the perfect race. At 5 kilometres from the finish Vanmarcke tried to ride away from his breakaway companions and hold off the peloton that was on their heels. Vanmarcke’s move was neutralized and the group sped towards the finish line with the peloton led by Omega Pharma – Quickstep.

Boonen criticizes team

Boonen was fuming after the race about the lack of communication in his team.

"Our team directors made serious mistakes and then we made mistakes too. At 6km from the finish we suddenly get the signal to work in the peloton. We closed the gap but then they led out the sprint on the left while I was shouting to go on the right. The guys behind me were freewheeling. The man who would start the sprint would hold it," Boonen said on Sporza.

"We had good guys up front but we knew nothing. A fast man up front would be protected and that’s what we did. We really have to talk. This can only happen once. We just have to communicate. At the classics there's people with signposts so why not today."

The early break forms

Despite starting the race in miserable weather conditions several riders were keen on going in the attack on the completely flat course in Wielsbeke in the West-Flanders province of Belgium. After 20km of racing twelve riders formed a first breakaway move, featuring Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Boris Vallée and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Belisol), Iljo Keisse and Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma – Quickstep), Kristof Vandewalle (Trek Factory Team), Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty - Groupe Gobert), David Boucher (Fdj.fr), Jonas Rickaert and Arthur Vanoverberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Frederic Amorison and Antoine Demoitié (Wallonie-Bruxelles). Their lead grew up to
nearly five minutes.

Despite their presence up front Wanty – Groupe Gobert worked hard to keep the breakaway move under control. Their efforts seemed in vain as the strong men up front didn’t allow them to get any closer. That was until the Omega Pharma – Quickstep team moved in. Wanty – Groupe Gobert closed the final gap and with 65km to go the race could start again.

A new breakaway move was quickly formed and once again featured Van der Sande but also Stig Broeckx, Kris Boeckmans and Kenny De Haes for Lotto-Belisol, Julien Vermote and Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma – Quickstep), Stijn Steels and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) and Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin).

In the peloton the riders from the Wanty - Groupe Gobert and Wallonie-Bruxelles once again tried to keep the breakaway group under
control. Just before hitting the penultimate laps the lead group lost Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Belisol) but still held a gap of one minute over the peloton that was no longer led by the Wanty – Groupe Gobert riders, with Philippe Gilbert (BMC) upping the pace.

When hitting the final lap there were only eight riders left in front with a gap of 43 seconds on the peloton. Philippe Gilbert kept firing attacks, but with little success. Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Greenedge) had a go as well and with 7km to go the leaders were only 20 seconds ahead of the unleashed peloton.

Omega Pharma – Quickstep switched tactics and worked in the peloton to set up a bunch sprint. In front Sep Vanmarcke attacked with just over 5km to go.

"It wasn’t a hard race. There was a bit of rain this morning and I hoped it would be the same all day long. Too bad that after 30km of racing it was over. That bridge was the only part of the course where I could get a gap. I was waiting for another moment to launch an attack but the pace didn’t drop so I hoped to do the sprint but then the peloton was there," Vanmarcke told Sporza.

Going into the last kilometre the gap was down to eight seconds with Wallays doing the hard work in front. It would be very tight for the leaders to survive but with 400m to go they were swarmed by the peloton. In that sprint Jurgen Roelandts led out Jens Debusschere. To his right he held off Boonen and Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) while Roy Jans fell short on his left side.

Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jens Debusschere (Lotto Belisol) 5:21:38  
2 Roy Jans (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
3 Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
4 Michael van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
5 Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
6 Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing)    
7 Louis Verhelst (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)    
8 Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Belisol)    
9 Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team)    
10 Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Métropole)    
11 Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol)    
12 Jens Keukeleire (Orica GreenEdge)    
13 Jonas Vangenechten (Lotto Belisol)    
14 Jarl Salomein (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
15 Sven Vanthourenhout    
16 Tom van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
17 Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
18 Timothy Dupont (Roubaix Lille Métropole)    
19 Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin-Pro Cycling Team)    
20 Tim de Troyer (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
21 Baptiste Planckaert (Roubaix Lille Métropole)    
22 Nicolas Vereecken (Verandas Willems)    
23 Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
24 Wietse Bosmans (BKCP - Powerplus)    
25 Kenny Dehaes (Lotto Belisol)    
26 Stijn Steels (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
27 Gijs van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
28 Stig Broeckx (Lotto Belisol)    
29 Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
30 Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
31 Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
32 Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
33 Laurens de Vreese (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
34 Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team)    
35 Victor Campenaerts (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
36 Robin Stenuit (Wallonie - Bruxelles)    
37 Olivier Pardini (Verandas Willems)    
38 James Vanlandschoot (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
39 Gaetan Bille (Verandas Willems)    
40 Sebastien Delfosse (Wallonie - Bruxelles)    
41 Preben van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
42 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
43 Tom Dernies (Wallonie - Bruxelles)    
44 Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team)    
45 Johan Vansummeren (Garmin Sharp)    
46 Sander Helven (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
47 Gert Dockx (Lotto Belisol)    
48 Zico Waeytens (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
49 Romain Zingle (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)    
50 Dries Devenyns (Team Giant-Shimano)    
51 Frederik Willems (Lotto Belisol)    
52 Frédérique Robert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
53 Maarten Wynants (Belkin-Pro Cycling Team)    
54 Sven Nys    
55 Eliot Lietaer (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
56 Sean de Bie (Lotto Belisol)    
57 Yannick Eijssen (BMC Racing Team)    
58 Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
59 Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol)    
60 Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
61 Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
62 Jim Aernouts (Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team)    
63 Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)    
64 Jasper de Buyst (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
65 Sander Armée (Lotto Belisol)    
66 Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing)    
67 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team)    
68 Laurent Evrard (Wallonie - Bruxelles)    
69 Frédéric Amorison (Wallonie - Bruxelles)    
70 Nick Nuyens (Garmin Sharp) 0:00:33  
71 Arthur Vanoverberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise) 0:00:37  
72 David Boucher (FDJ.fr)    
73 Jérôme Gilbert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
74 Floris Smeyers (Verandas Willems)    
75 Kevyn Ista (IAM Cycling)    
76 Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
77 Jan Ghyselinck (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
78 Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
79 Frederik Backaert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) 0:00:55  
80 Vergaerde Otto (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise) 0:00:58  
81 Dennis Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) 0:01:02  
82 Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) 0:01:07  
83 Francis de Greef (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
84 Kenny de Ketele (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
85 Bart de Clercq (Lotto Belisol)    
86 Maxime Anciaux (Wallonie - Bruxelles)    
87 Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
88 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
89 Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)    
90 Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)    
91 Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 0:01:20  
92 Christophe Premont (Wallonie - Bruxelles) 0:01:56  
93 Jerome Baugnies (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) 0:02:05  
94 Kevin de Weert (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 0:02:30  
95 Moreno de Pauw (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise)    
96 Gregory Habeaux (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) 0:02:48  
97 Kevin de Mesmaeker (Team Novo Nordisk) 0:04:21  
98 Nico Sijmens (Wanty - Groupe Gobert)    
99 Joeri Adams (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace)    
100 Quentin Bertholet (Wallonie - Bruxelles)    
101 Julien Stassen (Wallonie - Bruxelles) 0:05:55  
102 Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team)    
103 Antoine Demoitie (Wallonie - Bruxelles) 0:06:47  
104 Florent Mottet (Wallonie - Bruxelles)