Dwars door Vlaanderen 2013

March 20, 2013, Roeselare, Belgium, Road - 1.HC

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

Dwars door Vlaanderen -- the next step in the Belgian spring races!

  1. 13:49:24 CET

    Welcome to All Across Flanders! The wintry weather continues to plague us, but, hey, this is Belgium in the early spring -- we expect cold and wet!

  2. 13:53:42 CET

    The race is just hitting teh first climb of the day, the Quaremont. We have a 14-rider group with about 50 seconds on the field.

  3. 13:54:25 CET

    The group is: Steegmans (OPQS), Bassajev (Astana), Mol and Veuchelen (Vacansoleil), Juul Jensen (Saxo), Hayman (Sky), Stamsnijder (Argos), Van der Sande (Lotto-Belisol), Saramotins (IAM), Sijmens en Zingle (Cofidis), Gène (Europcar), Napolitano (Accent Jobs) and Brammeier (Champions System).

  4. 13:56:59 CET

    • Movistar Team's 2012 Jersey

    Movistar's Alex Dowsett has had to abandon after injuring his knee in a crash.

  5. 13:58:32 CET

    The weather continues to present a challenge to one and all. Today we have rain, sleet and fortunately above-freezing temperatures.

  6. 107.7km remaining from 199.7km

    13:59:47 CET

    The gap is now at 40 seconds.

  7. 14:03:21 CET

    Koen de Kort was on the podium here last year.  Before the start he told Cyclingnews: I’m not feeling great, I have to be honest. [My preparation] It’s just been too short. You just need all your training in the build up to the Classics and I’ve taken three weeks out. It’s pretty far from ideal. I’m starting to feel ok again on the bike. I’m starting to feel like a bike rider again instead of trying to work and always just feel a little bit off on the bike.

    This race is always pretty open and basically anyone’s race. Even more so this year with the weather. It’s going to be very cold and I’ve heard that it’s snowing on certain areas of the race. It’s going to make it an epic one again – there’s been so many in the last few weeks.

     

  8. 14:05:03 CET

    The peloton has been through the feed zone and crossed the first of 13 climbs, if we have counted right. The gap is 30 seconds.

  9. 14:08:42 CET

    Things will be going up and down fairly steadily from here on out. You can read about it all in our race preview here.

  10. 14:11:57 CET

    Defending champion Niki Terpstra is here today, but last year's runner-up Sylvain Chavanel is not. He was supposed to ride, but is still recovering from that horrifying weather at Milan-San Remo only a few days ago.

  11. 14:14:39 CET

    What was it like at the start this morning? Cyclingnews has some pictures of the riders pondering the wet and cold conditions. Check out this gallery.

  12. 14:16:49 CET

    Ian Stannard of Sky might be one to keep an eye on today. Before the start, he told us, "I’m still a bit tired but this is another race so once I get into it I think I’ll be alright. The weather is pretty shit and I’ve not raced out of leg warmers and gloves yet this year but this is a big race and tough race. Thomas is going well and we’ll see how it plans out. There are plenty of guys going well on the team. On the cobbles and with this weather you need a lot of luck but there’s a few cards to play. Every knows we’ve been training hard so the other teams will be looking at us for sure.

  13. 14:19:22 CET

    Three riders from Champion System have abandoned the race after a crash: Ryan Roth, Chan Jae Jang and Ganq Jiao.

  14. 14:22:11 CET

    That must have been some crash, as Bille, Goddeart, and Wetterhall have also had to leave the race.

  15. 14:23:30 CET

    The climbs are coming fast and furious now, and the pace is that way as well. The gap is down to 22 seconds, and the lead group is falling apart.

  16. 14:25:45 CET

    Only 12 seconds now....

  17. 14:29:48 CET

    It looks like the gap has jumped back up to 30 seconds again.

  18. 14:32:20 CET

    • Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team's 2012 Jersey

    Juan Antonio Flecha is sporting the Vacansoleil-DCM colours this year, and told us:  I’m looking forward to today. The form is going and everything is going fine."
     

  19. 80km remaining from 199.7km

    14:34:14 CET

    We have one rider at the head of things now, Roman Zingle of Cofidis, and he looks to have 45 seconds on the field.

  20. 78km remaining from 199.7km

    14:38:42 CET

    Europcar's Damien Gaudin jumps from the field.

  21. 14:42:44 CET

    Five riders from the former break group have caught ZIngle, and together they have 19n seconds on their closest followers, with the peloton at about 40 seconds.

  22. 14:44:14 CET

    The group is made up of: Steegmans, Bazayev, Veuchelen, Saramotins, Hayman and Zingle.

  23. 14:48:53 CET

    We have a mixed group at the head of the chasing field, with Sky and Astana,amongst others.

  24. 14:51:39 CET

    There is also a group of six between the leaders and the field.

  25. 68km remaining from 199.7km

    14:54:26 CET

    With 68 km to go, the gap has gone up to 1:37. More riders are trying to pull away from the peloton.

  26. 14:56:41 CET

    Russell Downing of NetApp-Endura told Cyclingnews before the start: "I don’t think anyone can look forward to today but it’s the first big classic for us and it’s the same conditions for everyone. The objective is to keep warm but seriously we want to put in a good show and see how it goes. It’s going to be a horrible day. You’ve got to keep fighting and if you do that there might just be 50 riders at the end."

  27. 65km remaining from 199.7km

    14:58:48 CET

    There are now two groups in between, and the peloton is at 1:37. The third group is riders who are trying to bridge out of the peloton and move up -- before it is too late.

  28. 15:01:12 CET

    The second group is at 53 seconds, so our leaders have a nice little gap, while the two chase groups and the field are not all that far apart.

  29. 15:04:05 CET

    Hmm, it now looks as if the second group has caught the lead group, giving us a larger group.

    And now there is a crash at the end of the peloton, with at least one bike ending up in a rainfilled ditch.

  30. 15:04:54 CET

    The leaders now start up the Eikenberg, with 60 km to go and a gap of 40 seconds on the nearest chasers.

  31. 15:08:33 CET

    We do indeed have 12 rides in the lead, but not all of their names, sorry.

  32. 15:09:58 CET

    And another crahs in ghe field. A Garmin rider is down flat and does not look good, and anotehr rider is laying on the grass alongside the road.

  33. 15:10:31 CET

    The Garmin rider is Jack Bauer, and helpers are with him now.

  34. 15:11:53 CET

    The other rider is Smukullus of Katusha. We will let you know when we hear how he and Bauer are doing.

  35. 15:12:56 CET

    ZIngle has had to drop our of the lead group due to mechanical problems, and is now back in the peloton.

  36. 15:15:41 CET

    We now have Steegmans, Hayman and Saramotins alone in the lead.

  37. 15:19:16 CET

    Martijn Maaskant of GarminSharp was at the start today, and he told us, "My knee injury has been better for the last few days. I went to Giro for some training because of the snow here and things are moving in the right direction for me. I’ve not raced for three weeks, since Omloop, so I need to be careful and see how things go today."
     

  38. 51km remaining from 199.7km

    15:21:02 CET

    Just to recap: we have our three leaders, followed by a small group at 39 seconds, and the peloton at 53 seconds.

  39. 15:23:45 CET

    BAzayev and Thurau are the only two chasers now, at 28 seconds.

  40. 15:26:40 CET

    We are happy to report that Bauer has regained consciousness and is on his way to hospital.

  41. 44km remaining from 199.7km

    15:29:55 CET

    It looks to be dry on the roads, which is good.

  42. 15:31:43 CET

    Remember we still have some climbs coming up, and you may recognize some of these names:  Knokteber, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg.

  43. 15:33:13 CET

    Julien Fouchard of Cofidis is trying to bridge up from the peloton. Actually he has been trying for a while but isn't getting very far.

  44. 15:34:38 CET

    They start up the next climb, and Hayman pulls away from his colleagues. Behind them, Bazayev loses contact with Thurau.

  45. 40km remaining from 199.7km

    15:36:13 CET

    Hayman now alone in the lead, with 40km to go.

  46. 15:36:40 CET

    But the peloton is at 38 seconds.

  47. 15:37:27 CET

    That was the Knokteberg. Only five more climbs to go!

  48. 15:38:41 CET

    Steegmans and Saramotins are at 25 seconds, the field at 46.

  49. 15:39:26 CET

    The gaps are getting smaller and smaller.

  50. 15:40:25 CET

    A group of roughly 10-15 riders has pulled away from the peloton.

  51. 15:42:50 CET

    ON their way to the Oude Kwaremont, it looks as if a group of fourteen has formed as the third group: Vandenbergh, Maes, Iglinski, Bozic, Leukemans, Lindeman, Selvaggi, Keukeleire, Devolder, Stannard, Gatto, Voeckler, Thurau and Vantomme.

  52. 35km remaining from 199.7km

    15:43:23 CET

    They take on a stretch of cobblestones, which look wet. Not fun.

  53. 35km remaining from 199.7km

    15:44:43 CET

    Hayman keeps on his solitary way, with a gap of 33 seconds. It looks as if groups two and three have come together.

  54. 15:48:37 CET

    Hayman looks back to see where everyone is. Riders are scattered all over giving chase now. And the roads are very definitely wet now.

  55. 15:50:29 CET

    Stijn Vandenbergh has moved up to join Hayman, with others not far behind.

  56. 15:51:57 CET

    And up they go another cobble climb!

  57. 15:53:07 CET

    Oscar Gatto has now moved up to join Hayman and Vandenbergh.

  58. 15:53:53 CET

    Vandenbergh makes a move with 30km to go to try and drop his two fellow leaders.

  59. 15:54:20 CET

    They aren't having any of that though, thank you very much, and the trio is together again.

  60. 15:56:21 CET

    We now have 10 riders in the lead group, let's see if we can't grab all those names.

  61. 15:58:57 CET

    We think the lead group is now Maes, Vandenbergh, Gatto,  Hayman, Stannard, Keukeleire, Leukemans, Bazayev, Iglinskiy and Voeckler.

  62. 25km remaining from 199.7km

    15:59:29 CET

    Only 25 km to go, and the gap to the next group is only 32 seconds. Anything can happen here!

  63. 16:01:14 CET

    Iglinksy jumps off the road and on to the neighbouring bike path. Some of the others find that a good idea and follow suit.

  64. 16:03:32 CET

    The only one to remain on the cobbles was, who else, Voeckler.

  65. 22km remaining from 199.7km

    16:04:20 CET

    22km to go, and 40 seconds behind the leading group we have Terpstra, Leukemans, Lindemans, Gallopin, Larson, Saramotns, Thurau, Vantomme, Devolder, and Thomas.

  66. 16:06:30 CET

    Gallopin jumps from the chase group in a move to get to the front.

  67. 16:07:16 CET

    Voeckler is doing much of the lead work, and has decided it is time for someone else to take over.

  68. 19km remaining from 199.7km

    16:09:21 CET

    19 km to go and only 25 seconds between the first two groups.

  69. 16:10:12 CET

    The peloton is only at 55 seconds, so we can't count them out yet.

  70. 16:12:47 CET

    Holstraat: the next climb. Only one more after that.

  71. 16:13:10 CET

    Voeckler attacks!

  72. 16:14:06 CET

    The others react quickly and don't let the Frenchman get away.

  73. 15km remaining from 199.7km

    16:16:18 CET

    With 15 km to go, this lead group has really turned up the speed. They are determine to stay away. The gap is now up to 41 seconds.

  74. 16:17:25 CET

    Oh, a very large truck parked on the not so wide road. At least there are policemen there to wave the riders around it.

  75. 16:18:57 CET

    The chasers certainly aren't giving up, though. The gap has fallen to 30 seconds with 13 km to go.

  76. 16:21:41 CET

    We have come to the last climb of the day, the Nokereberg. 500 meters, an average gradient of 5.7%.

  77. 16:24:07 CET

    Several "men in black" in this lead group: the OPQS and Sky riders have all black winterwear.

  78. 16:24:40 CET

    They fly down a typical tree-line allee.

  79. 8km remaining from 199.7km

    16:26:48 CET

    Stannard tries an attack out of the lead group, with three others following him.

  80. 6km remaining from 199.7km

    16:27:46 CET

    Voeckler is the next to jump, and has a slight lead.

  81. 16:28:45 CET

    Voeckler slowly pulls away. He is capable of pulling this off!

  82. 5km remaining from 199.7km

    16:30:19 CET

    Voeckler has 11 seconds on the group, with the next chasers at 47 seconds.

  83. 16:30:46 CET

    Voeckler is pulling away, slowly but surely!

  84. 16:32:25 CET

    Is the Europcar rider going to be able to stay away With only 2 km to go, he has 15 seconds.

  85. 16:32:55 CET

    The chasers are riding furiously, but they are not getting any closer.

  86. 16:33:15 CET

    Voeckler looks back over his shoulder nervously.

  87. 16:33:34 CET

    The gap is down to 10 seconds.

  88. 16:34:04 CET

    Voeckler takes nine seconds under the flamme rouge.

  89. 16:34:40 CET

    The chasers have him in their sights, but have they left it too late?

  90. 16:35:19 CET

    He is caught within meters of the finish line! Gatto takes the win!

  91. 16:36:15 CET

    The furious chase paid off, with the group catching the brave French rider literally at the last second. What a heartbreaker for Voeckler!

  92. 16:38:18 CET

    Second was Bozic, with Hayman third.

  93. 16:40:45 CET

    Voeckler can only claim fifth place after being caught with only about ten feet (or three meters to go.

  94. 16:41:30 CET

    And here is the top ten:

    1  Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  4:43:22  
    2  Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team      
    3  Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling      
    4  Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team      
    5  Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar      
    6  Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step      
    7  Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge      
    8  Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team      
    9  Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step      
    10  Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling

  95. 16:42:38 CET

    What a very dramatic opening to a weekend of Belgian racing! It really doesn't get any closer than that.

  96. 16:45:01 CET

    Be sure to join us for our coverage of the E3 Harelbeke on Friday, and of course start-to-finish for Gent Wevelgem on Sunday!

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