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) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat4:31:17 
2Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team  
3Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
4Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
5Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan  
6Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
7Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team  
8Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha Team  
9Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
10Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
11Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
12Staf Scherlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's  
13Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp  
14Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
15Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
16Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
17Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
18Steve Tronet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
19Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
20Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
21Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
22Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
23Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:00:07 
24Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
25Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan  
26Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
27Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
28Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha Team  
29Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Rusvelo  
30Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team  
31Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:16 
32Joost Posthuma (Ned) Radioshack-Nissan0:00:18 
33Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale  
34Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
35Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
36Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Netapp  
37Benjamin King (USA) Radioshack-Nissan  
38Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team  
39Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
40Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
41Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan  
42Kevyn Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's  
43Jack Bauer (NZl) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
44Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
45Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Ag2R La Mondiale  
46David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar0:00:23 
47Said Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar  
48Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
49Frederic Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
50Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team  
51Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team  
52Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:00:26 
53Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
54Vanheuverswijn Q. (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze  
55Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:30 
56Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha Team  
57Boris Zimine (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
58Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
59Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
60Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team  
61Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
62Maarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team  
63Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
64Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
65Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
66Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan0:00:35 
67Guillaume Blot (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:00:41 
68Jerôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:47 
69Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
70David Boucher (Bel) FDJ-Big Mat  
71Benoît Drujon (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
72Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp  
73Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team  
74Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team  
75Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
76Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
77Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
78Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team  
79Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:57 
80Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
81Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:01:19 
82Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
83Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Radioshack-Nissan  
84Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
85Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Netapp0:01:29 
86Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team0:01:36 
87Tom Goovaerts (Bel) Colba-Superano  
88Maxime Mederel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
89Nikita Eskov (Rus) Rusvelo  
90Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze  
91Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team  
92Björn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar  
93Tom Vanbecelaere (Bel) Colba-Superano  
94Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
95Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La Mondiale  
96Argueles Rodriges (Rus) Rusvelo  
97Mark Mc Nally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly  
98Ronan Mc Laughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
99Sam Bennett (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
100Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team  
101Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
102Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp  
103Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp  
104Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's  
105Paul Poux (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
106Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team  
107Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze  
108Evert Verbist (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's  
109Anthony Colin (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
110Justin Van Hoecke (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
111Julien Guay (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
112Fabio Polazzi (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
113Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
114Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
115Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
116Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
117Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
118Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
119Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team  
120Jerome Baugnies (Bel) Team Netapp  
121Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
122Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
123Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
124Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling  
125Sylvain Georges (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
126Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
127Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
128Jonathan Thire (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
129Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
130Jeffry Louder (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling  
131Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
132Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93  
133Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
134Robert Wagner (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan  
135Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
136Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's  
137Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's0:02:28 
138Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze  
139Kevin Lalouette (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
140Jimmy Casper (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:03:38 
141Thomas Dekker (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:04:17 
142Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly  
143Sean Patrick Downey (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly0:05:29 
144Christopher Jones (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling  
145Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:06:37 
146Joris Cornet (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon  
147Glenn Van De Maele (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon  
148Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:07:06 
149Loic Pestiaux (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze  
150Olivier Poppe (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon  
151Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
152Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon  
153Bradley White (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling  
154Alexander Mironov (Rus) Rusvelo  
155Gilles Devillers (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
156Ian Vansumere (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon  
157Gaëtan Pons (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon  
158Kevin Suarez (Bel) Colba-Superano  
159Victor Manakov (Rus) Rusvelo  

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