Démare sprints to Samyn victory

French youngster shows his class

Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) gave a further demonstration of his burgeoning talent with an assured sprint victory at GP Le Samyn. The world under 23 champion saw off the challenge of Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil – DCM) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis) in Dour to claim his second win as a professional.

Timing was of the essence on the long, uphill finishing straight, and Démare showed a knowledge of his craft beyond his tender years to pitch his effort perfectly and overhaul Boeckmans inside the final 50 metres.

After controlling the peloton for much of the day and hunting down the breaks on the final lap of the finishing circuit, FDJ-BigMat’s sprint train had Démare perfectly placed on the wheels of Mikael Delage and Yauheni Hutarovich with 400 metres to go.

It was at this point that Boeckmans attempted to tear up the script, as he ripped clear along the barriers on the right hand side of the road. The plucky Belgian initially opened a sizeable gap, and with no discernible reaction behind, it briefly seemed as though he had enough in hand to hold on for the win.

Démare was simply biding his time, however, and he opened his sprint with 200 metres to go, sweeping past Boeckmans’ stalling teammate Romain Feillu in the process. The final drag to the line would prove interminable for Boeckmans; by comparison, Démare seemed to glide over the ground behind, making up three lengths on the Belgian and adding another for good measure even as he sat up to savour his win.

“It was hard to measure your effort, but I felt that I still enough in reserve,” a smiling Démare said afterwards. The 21-year-old was fresh from a fourth place finish at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, where he had acted as poisson pilote for Hutarovich, but the pair swapped roles in Belgium.

“At the briefing beforehand, it was decided that the guys would ride for me,” he said. “We’d already shown we could do that at Kuurne on Sunday, but this time the roles were different.”

Boeckmans was gallant in his bid for victory, but he freely admitted that he didn’t have the legs to sustain his effort on the drag to the finish. “In the last 50 metres, my legs were ready to explode, but Démare deserved the win,” he said. “It’s just a pity, because I was going well.”

The finishing straight was not altogether dissimilar from the finale on which Démare took his world title last September, and the parallels with Copenhagen were all the more appropriate given that his lead-out man on that occasion, Adrien Petit, came home in third place.

How it unfolded

The colour and tumult of the spring classics seemed a lifetime away as the peloton set out from Frameries under slate grey skies on Wednesday afternoon, but once the flag was dropped, there was no shortage of Belgian riders keen to get up the road. When the day’s break finally went, it was headlined by Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who had Dennis Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol), Jonathan Breyne (Landbouwkrediet), Kevin Van Melsen (Accent Jobs) and Antoine Demoitie (Idemasport) for company.

It wasn’t until that quintet built up a lead of 8 minutes that the peloton was stirred from its slumber and FDJ-BigMat and Garmin-Barracuda assiduously set about tapping away at the deficit.

In spite of Keisse’s best efforts on the finishing circuit, particularly on the cobbled Côte de la Roquette, the break was reeled in with 25km to go, following a particularly long stint of tempo riding from Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda) behind.

Edwig Cammaerts (Cofidis) was an aggressive presence on the final lap of the circuit, and his forcing provided the impetus for Johan Le Bon (Bretagne-Schuller) and Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) to go clear with 14km to go, but they never able to move out of sight of the peloton.

The next to try his luck was Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) as the young Pole jumped off the front after Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan) upped the pace on the final climb. His lead never stretched beyond ten seconds, however, and he too was captured as FDJ-BigMat took matters in hand for their young sprint talent Démare.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 4:31:17  
2 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
3 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
4 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan    
6 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
7 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
8 Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha Team    
9 Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
10 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
11 Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
12 Staf Scherlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's    
13 Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp    
14 Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
15 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
16 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team    
17 Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
18 Steve Tronet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93    
19 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
20 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
21 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly    
22 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly    
23 Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 0:00:07  
24 Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
25 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan    
26 Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
27 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
28 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha Team    
29 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Rusvelo    
30 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team    
31 Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:00:16  
32 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Radioshack-Nissan 0:00:18  
33 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale    
34 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
35 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
36 Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Netapp    
37 Benjamin King (USA) Radioshack-Nissan    
38 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
39 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
40 Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
41 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan    
42 Kevyn Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's    
43 Jack Bauer (NZl) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
44 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
45 Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Ag2R La Mondiale    
46 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar 0:00:23  
47 Said Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
48 Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
49 Frederic Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
50 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team    
51 Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
52 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 0:00:26  
53 Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
54 Vanheuverswijn Q. (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze    
55 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:30  
56 Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha Team    
57 Boris Zimine (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
58 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
59 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
60 Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team    
61 Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
62 Maarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team    
63 Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
64 Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93    
65 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
66 Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan 0:00:35  
67 Guillaume Blot (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 0:00:41  
68 Jerôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:47  
69 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
70 David Boucher (Bel) FDJ-Big Mat    
71 Benoît Drujon (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93    
72 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp    
73 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team    
74 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team    
75 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
76 Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
77 Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
78 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
79 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:57  
80 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
81 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:01:19  
82 Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
83 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Radioshack-Nissan    
84 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
85 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Netapp 0:01:29  
86 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team 0:01:36  
87 Tom Goovaerts (Bel) Colba-Superano    
88 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
89 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Rusvelo    
90 Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze    
91 Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team    
92 Björn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar    
93 Tom Vanbecelaere (Bel) Colba-Superano    
94 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
95 Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La Mondiale    
96 Argueles Rodriges (Rus) Rusvelo    
97 Mark Mc Nally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly    
98 Ronan Mc Laughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly    
99 Sam Bennett (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly    
100 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
101 Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
102 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp    
103 Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp    
104 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's    
105 Paul Poux (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
106 Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
107 Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze    
108 Evert Verbist (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's    
109 Anthony Colin (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
110 Justin Van Hoecke (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
111 Julien Guay (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
112 Fabio Polazzi (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
113 Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
114 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
115 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
116 Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
117 Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
118 Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar    
119 Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team    
120 Jerome Baugnies (Bel) Team Netapp    
121 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
122 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
123 Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
124 Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling    
125 Sylvain Georges (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
126 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
127 Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
128 Jonathan Thire (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93    
129 Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93    
130 Jeffry Louder (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling    
131 Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
132 Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93    
133 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
134 Robert Wagner (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan    
135 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
136 Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's    
137 Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's 0:02:28  
138 Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze    
139 Kevin Lalouette (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole    
140 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:03:38  
141 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:04:17  
142 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly    
143 Sean Patrick Downey (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly 0:05:29  
144 Christopher Jones (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling    
145 Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:06:37  
146 Joris Cornet (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon    
147 Glenn Van De Maele (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon    
148 Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 0:07:06  
149 Loic Pestiaux (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze    
150 Olivier Poppe (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon    
151 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
152 Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon    
153 Bradley White (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling    
154 Alexander Mironov (Rus) Rusvelo    
155 Gilles Devillers (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
156 Ian Vansumere (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon    
157 Gaëtan Pons (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon    
158 Kevin Suarez (Bel) Colba-Superano    
159 Victor Manakov (Rus) Rusvelo    

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