Boeckmans wins Le Samyn

Meersman out-paced in small sprint

Etixx-QuickStep had the strength in numbers in the finale but there was precious little they could do to prevent Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) from sprinting to victory at the end of an entertaining edition of Le Samyn.

Stijn Vandenbergh's show of force on the final stretch of cobblestones at the Rue de Belleville with a little over two kilometres to go reduced the leading group to just eight riders, four of them from his Etixx-QuickStep team, but like at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, the men in black couldn't make that numerical superiority count.

This time around, at least, there was no tactical second guessing. Etixx-QuickStep's approach was planned around delivering Gianni Meersman to a sprint finish after burning off as many of the other established fast men as possible. Vandenbergh and company duly rid themselves of the likes of Bryan Coquard (Europcar), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis) on the final laps of the finishing circuit.

In the finishing straight, however, Boeckmans was a class apart. As Etixx-QuickStep's Yves Lampaert led out the sprint, Boeckmans locked himself onto Meersman's wheel, before shooting to the front with 200 metres remaining and instantly opening a winning gap.

Meersman was caught on the back foot and though he battled gamely after coming off Lampaerts' wheel, he simply had too much ground to make up and had to settle for second place. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) claimed third place ahead of Boeckmans' Lotto teammate Tiesj Benoot.

Boeckmans had placed second at Le Samyn in 2012 and 2013, and was delighted to finally take the win on the redesigned parcours.

"I was just as good in the other years but now I have luck on my side and I'm winning," said Boeckmans, who also won a stage at Étoile des Bessèges last month. "I started my sprint with 200 metres to go and I went before Gianni. His teammate kept leading him out and it was almost another 100 metres before he swung over. That was an advantage."

Meersman won the Cadel Evans Ocean Race and a stage of the Volta ao Algarve in February, and he must have felt he was set for another victory when he had Vandenbergh, Lampaert and Niki Terpstra for company at the head of the race as they rattled over the final stretch of cobbles. He felt he had erred by delaying his sprint.

"If you have good legs, you have to win," he said. "I am very disappointed with my second place finish. Kris was the first to go. I could have come back but the finish came up too fast. I was close but the finish came ten metres too soon."

De Gendt to the fore

Much of the interest before this year's edition of Le Samyn focused on the redesigned finishing circuit and its extra spread of cobbles, though the day's early break went clear long before the peloton reached those final five laps around Dour.

Boeckmans' teammate Thomas De Gendt was part of that move with Latvian strongman Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) and Ludwig De Winter (Wallonie-Bruxelles), and together they established a lead in excess of six minutes over a peloton led by Etixx-QuickStep and Trek Factory Racing.

With 60 kilometres remaining, and now on that local lap in Dour, De Gendt decided to clip off the front alone, dropping his breakaway companions on the cobbled climb of the Côte de la Roquette and bracing himself for a lone Odyssey at the head of the race.

As soon as De Gendt struck out alone, his gap over the main peloton began to dwindle accordingly, dropping to four minutes with 50 kilometres remaining and then to 1:15 with 30 kilometres left. He lasted out front for another ten kilometres, however, and his efforts allowed Boeckmans and his Lotto-Soudal team to shelter in the main body of the peloton.

"We had a whole day at ease because Thomas was in the break," Boeckmans said. "Then in the finale, I was at my limit for a whole six kilometres."

After De Gendt was pegged back, Adrien Petit (Cofidis) was the danger man in the next group that ghosted up the road. The Frenchman had Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) and Sergei Lagutin (Katusha) for company in the eight-man group, but they never managed to strike a decent working alliance, and Petit took off alone with 10 kilometres remaining.

By that point, however, Etixx-QuickStep and Trek Factory Racing were ratcheting up the pace in the main peloton and he was swept back up shortly afterwards. Once onto the final blast over the Rue de Belleville, Vandenbergh – inevitably – came to the front, and his searing pace strung out the peloton and helped the decisive group of eight to break clear.

As well as the four QuickStep men, there were two from Lotto (Boeckmans and Benoot) and two from Cofidis (Laport and Steve Chainel), but there was little question of collaboration in those frantic final two kilometres. Vandenbergh kept turning his monster gear over on the front, before swinging over and allowing Lampaert through.

The script said that Meersman was due to bring it home from there, only for Boeckmans' quick ad lib to give the final word to Lotto-Soudal.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal4:47:01 
2Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
3Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
4Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:03 
5Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:13 
6Steve Chainel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
7Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
8Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
9Baptiste Plackaert (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
10Oliver Naesen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
11Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka  
12Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
13Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step  
14Huub Duyn (Ned) Team Roompot  
15Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
16Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
17Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
18Johan Le Bon (Fra)  
19Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:19 
20Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:22 
21Federico Zurlo (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:24 
22Joeri Calleeuw (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  
23Kevin Ista (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
24Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Team Katusha  
25Gerry Druyts (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team  
26Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha  
27Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
28Timothy Dupont (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
29Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
30Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
31Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling  
32Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha  
33Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha  
34Justin Jules (Fra) Veranclassic - Ekoi  
35Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
36Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18  
37Sander Cordeel (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team  
38Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  
39Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot  
40Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
41Jaco Venter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
42Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Team Roompot0:00:35 
43Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:49 
44Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
45Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
46Gaetan Bille (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  
47Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step  
48Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)  
49Dennis Coenen (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team  
50Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:04 
51Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:01:09 
52Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
53Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:20 
54Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar  
55Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:23 
56Louis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
57Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
58Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
59Boris Dron (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
60Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:51 
61Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar  
62Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot  
63Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
64Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ.fr0:02:47 
65Mike Terpstra (Ned) Team Roompot0:02:57 
66Sam Lennertz (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team0:03:08 
67Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
68Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
69Julien Morice (Fra) Team Europcar  
70Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
71Melvin Rulliere (Fra) Veranclassic - Ekoi0:03:25 
72Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:21 
73Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
74Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
75Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
76Daniel Mclay (GBr) Bretagne-Séché Environnement0:04:30 
77Julien Kaise (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect0:06:13 
78Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
79Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
80Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
81Reinier Honig (Ned) Team Roompot0:06:41 
82Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:09 
83Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
84Tomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
85Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar  
86Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
87Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
88Robin Stenuit (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi  
89Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
90John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
91Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha  
92Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Roompot  
93Christophe Premont (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  
DNSEgidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Colba - Superano Ham  
DNSJérôme Gilbert (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  
DNFRudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFDieter Bouvry (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFThomas Damuseau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFRudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFJeremy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole  
DNFJulien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAxel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFHugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step  
DNFVegard Breen (Nor) Lotto Soudal  
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra)  
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra)  
DNFLorenzo Manzin (Fra)  
DNFJussi Veikkanen (Fin)  
DNFStef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling  
DNFJonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling  
DNFSimon Pellaud (Swi) IAM Cycling  
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling  
DNFPatrick Schelling (Swi) IAM Cycling  
DNFSven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha  
DNFGatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha  
DNFGert Steegmans (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFKristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFChristophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
DNFShane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFPhil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFRalf Matzka (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFDaniel Schorn (Aut) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFScott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFCarlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFMiguel Angel Benito Diez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFFernando Grijalba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFJosé Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFAdrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFJaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFNikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFMarek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFGrzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFMateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFJulien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFGert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFEtienne Van Empel (Ned) Team Roompot  
DNFAlessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFDaniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFJérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFDanilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFThomas Boudat (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFDan Craven (Nam) Team Europcar  
DNFMorgan Lamoisson (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFStijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFPieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFPreben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFArthur Van Overberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFTheo Bos (Ned) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFJay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFKristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFSerge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFAdrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFAntoine Loy (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect  
DNFMaximilien Picoux (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect  
DNFAnthony Vandrepotte (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect  
DNFFranklin Six (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect  
DNFCharlie Arimont (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect  
DNFRemy Mertz (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect  
DNFJimmy Duquennoy (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect  
DNFAntoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
DNFGregory Habeaux (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
DNFTom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles  
DNFAlexander Cools (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team  
DNFKurt Geysen (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team  
DNFRob Ruijgh (Ned) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team  
DNFAlphonse Vermote (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team  
DNFGorik Gardeyn (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi  
DNFEdwig Cammaerts (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi  
DNFSerge De Wortelaer (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi  
DNFThomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Veranclassic - Ekoi  
DNFDavid Desmecht (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi  
DNFQuincy Vens (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham  
DNFGlenn Vandemaele (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham  
DNFNick Van Der Meer (Ned) Colba - Superano Ham  
DNFJelle Donders (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham  
DNFKevin Suarez Martinez (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham  
DNFRick Ottema (Ned) Colba - Superano Ham  
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  
DNFJerome Kerf (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  
DNFEmiel Wastyn (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team  


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