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Nuyens victorious at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Daniel Simms

Breakaway duo just hold off peloton

Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank Sungard) outkicked breakaway companion Geraint Thomas (Sky) for the win as the pair just held off the peloton.

Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank Sungard) outkicked breakaway companion Geraint Thomas (Sky) for the win as the pair just held off the peloton.

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Nick Nuyens won Dwars door Vlaanderen out of a late break, finishing only a split second ahead of the field. His break companion Geraint Thomas (Sky) finished right behind him, with Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) winning the field sprint to take third.

Nuyens and Thomas had attacked the peloton with 20 km to go, catching a leading trio. Frederic Amorison (Landbouwkrediet), who had been away for 140 km, was the only one able to stay with them but he was dropped at the flamme rouge. The escapees never had more than a 21-second lead, and usually less, but the late-joining duo were able to hold on to the end.

Nuyens had left Rabobank after two years to lead Saxo Bank-SunGard in the Classics. He has the GP de Wallonie, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Omloop Het Volk to his credit, going back to 2006.

Sunny and warm

Pleasant spring sunshine and still conditions greeted the riders as they gathered in Roeselare for the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the consensus in the Grote Markt was that the lack of wind would mean that the race would not be blown apart until the succession of cobbled climbs in the final 70km or so.

The first move to gain any serious advantage arrived soon after the peloton passed through Waregem for the first time, 60km into the race. Frederic Amorison (Landbouwkrediet), Rob Goris (Veranda’s Willems-Accent), Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) and Dries Hollanders (An Post-Sean Kelly) forged clear and by the foot of the first day’s first climb, the Nieuwe Kwaremont (90km), they had a gap of four minutes.

Behind, there was no discernible rise in pace in the peloton as they hit the first of the race’s twelve hellingen. Even when the lead reached six minutes at the top of the Kattenberg (110km), no team showed any interest in taking charge of the pursuit behind, but the situation was to change 70km from home, when Kevin Van Impe (Quick Step) launched a speculative effort. Garmin-Cervélo, and Johan Van Summeren in particular, took up the chase and duly ignited the battle for positions at the front end of the bunch in earnest.

On the climb of the Eikenberg (140km), it was Tom Boonen (Quick Step) himself who hit the front, and his effort had the effect of stringing out the peloton and weeding out some of the weaker elements at the rear of the field. The Belgian even briefly went clear with Matt Hayman (Sky) before relenting over the top of the climb. Meanwhile, Hollanders had finally lost contact with the break up ahead after struggling on the previous climbs.

After Boonen’s show of individual force, Leopard Trek gave a demonstration of their collective strength: first Joost Posthuma enjoyed a brief rally off the front, and then the Luxembourg team hit the front en masse 55km from home and began to organise the pursuit of the remaining escapees.

By the approach to the Oude Kwaremont with 37km to go, the main peloton had been thinned out significantly, with Garmin-Cervélo now prominent at the head of affairs. On the climb itself, Amorison decided it was time to shed himself of his breakaway companions and go for broke as the gap fell below two minutes, although Goris would get back on 10km later.

Behind, Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-SunGard) tackled the climb with zeal and attacked from the front of the chasing peloton, and when he was reeled back, Boonen again came through and began to force the pace, with Van Avermaet, Flecha and Cancellara all keeping a close watch on the resurgent Belgian.

Immediately after the Kwaremont came the Paterberg, and while Amorison still had a 1:30 advantage, with Goris close behind, the main chase group was now slashing his lead. Again it was Boonen who came to the front and ratcheted up the pace on the climb, driving the home fans into a frenzy. Although he succeeded in lining out the group, he was unable to shed himself of any of the major favourites, with Flecha and Offredo queuing up behind him.

After the Paterberg, however, the chase did finally split. Alessandro Ballan (BMC), Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Niki Terpstra (Quick Step) were among those to be caught on the wrong foot as the group broke up under impetus from Garmin-Cervelo and Leopard Trek, although they managed to get back on after a frantic chase. André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) was not so fortunate, however, and he was caught behind.

A searing turn on the flat from Fabian Cancellara strung things out still further, and when he relented, Nick Nuyens and Geraint Thomas (Sky) went clear. They bridged to Amorison and Goris, but with Garmin-Cervélo and Leopard Trek again organising the pursuit, they had just 10 seconds in hand with 20km to go.

Goris got dropped and the remaining trio clung tenaciously to their small lead, even building it out to more than 20 seconds. A high-powered chase group couldn't organise itself to catch them and was caught again by the peloton. Garmin-Cervelo then moved to the lead of the peloton to reel in the escapees.

Nuyens led the trio up the Nokereberg near the end, looking very determined. But by the descent, they had already started looking back as the gap dwindled towards the ten-second mark.

Niki Terpstra of Quick Step rode aggressively in the finale, attacking often. The Dutch champion made a serious break with seven km to go, accompanied by Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha, but the field pulled them back, too.

The leading trio managed to carry a seven-second gap under the one-km marker, and then Nuyens and Thomas accelerated. They managed to stay away until the end by the slimmest of margins with the wily Belgian veteran easily outsprinting the British road champion.

Full Results
1 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Saxo Bank Sungard 4:39:55  
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling    
3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
4 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard    
6 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
7 Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha Team    
8 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
9 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
10 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ    
11 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar    
12 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
13 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
14 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
15 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano    
16 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
17 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
18 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale    
19 Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano    
20 Svein Tuft (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
21 Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ    
22 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
23 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team    
24 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
25 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
26 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team    
27 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team    
28 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
29 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
30 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team    
31 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard Trek    
32 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
33 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 0:00:05  
34 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
35 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
36 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek    
37 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:11  
38 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
39 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:14  
40 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:17  
41 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:21  
42 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:00:32  
43 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:29  
44 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:01:42  
45 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank Sungard    
46 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
47 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad    
48 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek    
49 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
50 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
51 John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad    
52 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
53 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
54 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
55 Rob Goris (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
56 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
57 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek    
58 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:10:20  
59 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
60 Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano    
61 Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
62 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
63 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
64 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
65 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team    
66 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
67 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano    
68 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
69 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly    
70 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
71 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
72 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard    
73 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
74 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
75 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
76 Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
77 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team    
78 Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek    
79 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
80 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
81 Bert Grabsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad    
82 Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling    
83 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek    
84 Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
85 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
86 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
87 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ    
88 Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team    
89 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp    
90 Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard    
91 Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
92 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard    
93 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
94 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
95 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ    
96 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
97 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
98 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
99 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
100 Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ    
101 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar    
102 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
103 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar    
104 Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
105 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
106 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
107 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
108 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
109 Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:10:51  
110 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:11:27  
111 David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
112 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
113 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
114 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard    
115 Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
116 Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling    
117 Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
HD Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:16:54  
HD Tomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
HD Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Skil - Shimano    
HD Simon Lambert-Lemay (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
HD Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
HD Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
HD Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
HD Kamil Zielinski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
HD Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team    
HD Mark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly    
HD Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad    
HD Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
HD Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp    
HD Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad    
HD Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano    
HD Michaël Baer (Swi) Team Netapp    
HD Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
HD Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly    
HD John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team    
HD Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
HD Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad    
HD Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano    
HD Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team Netapp    
HD Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp    
HD Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
HD Steven Cozza (USA) Team Netapp    
HD Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team    
HD Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team    
HD Steven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
HD Jonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10    
HD Martin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano