Nuyens victorious at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Breakaway duo just hold off peloton

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
1Nick Nuyens (Bel) Saxo Bank Sungard4:39:55 
2Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
3Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
4Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
5Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
6Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
7Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha Team  
8Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
9Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
10Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ  
11Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar  
12Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
13Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
14Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
15Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
16Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
17Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
18Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale  
19Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
20Svein Tuft (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
21Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ  
22Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
23Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team  
24Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
25Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
26Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team  
27Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team  
28Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
29Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
30Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team  
31Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard Trek  
32Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
33Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling0:00:05 
34Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
35Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
36Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek  
37Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:11 
38Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
39Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:14 
40Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:17 
41Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:21 
42Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:32 
43Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:29 
44Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team0:01:42 
45Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank Sungard  
46Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
47Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad  
48Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek  
49Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
50Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
51John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-Highroad  
52Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
53Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
54Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
55Rob Goris (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
56Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
57Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek  
58Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:10:20 
59Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
60Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano  
61Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
62Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
63Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
64Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
65Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team  
66Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
67Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
68Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
69Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
70James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
71Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
72Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank Sungard  
73Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
74Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
75Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
76Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
77Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team  
78Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard Trek  
79Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
80Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
81Bert Grabsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad  
82Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling  
83Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek  
84Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
85Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
86Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
87Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ  
88Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team  
89Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp  
90Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
91Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
92Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
93Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
94Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
95Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
96Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
97Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
98Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
99Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
100Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ  
101Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
102Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
103Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
104Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
105Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar  
106Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling  
107Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
108André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
109Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:10:51 
110Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:11:27 
111David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
112Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
113Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
114Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
115Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
116Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling  
117Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
HDAdam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:16:54 
HDTomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
HDRonan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
HDSimon Lambert-Lemay (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
HDMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
HDJean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
HDCoen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
HDKamil Zielinski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
HDGraeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
HDMark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly  
HDMatthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad  
HDMartin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
HDTimon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp  
HDAlex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad  
HDMitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano  
HDMichaël Baer (Swi) Team Netapp  
HDDirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
HDGediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly  
HDJohn Murphy (USA) BMC Racing Team  
HDBartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice  
HDDanny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad  
HDRoger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
HDCesare Benedetti (Ita) Team Netapp  
HDEric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp  
HDBobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
HDSteven Cozza (USA) Team Netapp  
HDDenis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team  
HDAndreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team  
HDSteven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent  
HDJonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10  
HDMartin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano  

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