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Vanmarcke wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Cycling News

Boonen mis-times sprint, takes second, Flecha third

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) staged his break-out performance at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, taking the race by the reins by forcing the final three-man breakaway and then stunning favourite Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in the sprint to take the victory.

Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha was third.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I beat Tom Boonen, my big hero,” an emotional Vanmarcke said during the post-race interview with Sporza. He knew that in a sprint against Boonen, his chances were slim and tried to shake him off with a few attacks, but said, "I know if I have a really great day, I can sprint pretty well."

Boonen came in with generous and genuine congratulations for his young compatriot, and admitted to the press that he misjudged the approach to the line. "I saw the finish this morning and still I get caught. I thought I went at the right moment, but ... the race was 50 meters too long."

Flecha, standing on the podium for the fifth time in six years, was happy to return to the stage, but said that while this is clearly his kind of course, only the win matters.

However, the Spaniard was impressed by Vanmarcke. "You can see that the guy has tremendous talent in these races. He is impressive. That he beat Boonen in the sprint surprised me. It just goes to show, the race goes to the finish line."

Vanmarcke, 23, previously showed his Classics promise by taking second in the 2010 Gent-Wevelgem while riding with Topsport Vlaanderen, and before as a podium finisher in the U23 version of the Tour of Flanders, but today's victory showed a never-before seen brilliance, both in fitness and in tactical prowess.

The decisive breakaway was formed on the Taaienberg, 59km from the finish in sunny Ghent. Behind a break of three, Boonen tested his legs on the climb, and Vanmarcke swiftly followed. Matthew Hayman (Sky), Matti Breschel (Rabobank), Thor Hushovd (BMC), Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) and Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) were able to catch on. Behind them double winner Philippe Gilbert flatted and lost a lot of time.

With 39km to go the Boonen group caught the two remaining leaders, Sven Vandousselaere and Lieuwe Westra. It was on the Molenberg with 37km to go that Vanmarcke gave the first indication of his intentions - he attacked at the base of this final climb, and Boonen fought to catch on. Hushovd, Breschel, Hayman, Flecha and Devenyns eventually re-joined, but the early leaders were dropped for good.

On the cobbles of the Paddestraat with 31km to go Vanmarcke unleashed his devils once again, the acceleration ridding him of Breschel and Hushovd. With a seemingly dire tactical disadvantage, in a group with two proven classics men: Boonen and Flecha, each with a teammate, Vanmarcke was not intimidated.

Vanmarcke put in another acceleration to dislodge Devenyns and Hayman, and still had enough energy to contribute to the work in the final 20km to keep the trio clear.

The young star-to-be put in one last dig with 1km to go, trying to get away, but when Boonen shut down the maneuver, the Garmin rider sat on the back while Flecha set the pace, the Spaniard keeping a careful eye on his companions with frequent looks over his shoulder.

Boonen opened up the sprint ahead of the 200m to go mark, but Vanmarcke was able to get in behind and then put in a stinging acceleration to jump past and grab his first Classic victory.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Barracuda 4:52:34  
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
3 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling    
4 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:25  
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
6 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
7 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
8 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat    
9 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
10 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
11 John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i    
12 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team    
13 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team    
14 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
15 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
16 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
17 Leif Hoste (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
18 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
19 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
20 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
21 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
22 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
23 Bernard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling    
24 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
25 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
26 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
27 Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling    
28 Dominique Rollin (Can) Fdj-Big Mat    
29 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
30 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:36  
31 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:41  
32 Koen De Kort (Ned) Project 1t4i    
33 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:51  
34 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
35 Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:54  
36 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:59  
37 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:01:05  
38 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:01:32  
39 Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:05:22  
40 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
41 Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi 0:05:30  
42 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Project 1t4i    
43 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
44 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team    
45 Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Type 1-Sanofi    
46 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team    
47 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
48 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
49 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
50 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team    
51 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
52 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
53 Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
54 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
55 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
56 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Greenedge Cycling Team    
57 Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
58 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
59 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Greenedge Cycling Team    
60 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat    
61 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar    
62 Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
63 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat    
64 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar    
65 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
66 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
67 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
68 Mickael Delage (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat    
69 Ole Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Fdj-Big Mat    
70 Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
71 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
72 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
73 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
74 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar    
75 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
76 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
77 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
78 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
79 William Bonnet (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat    
80 Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
81 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar 0:07:45  
82 Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
83 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Netapp    
84 Evert Verbist (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
85 Rob Goris (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
86 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
87 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
88 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
89 Aliaksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha Team    
90 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda    
91 Baden Cooke (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team    
92 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
93 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp    
94 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10    
95 Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Team Netapp    
96 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
97 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale    
98 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team    
99 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team    
100 Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
101 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team    
102 Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team    
103 Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
104 Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
105 Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
106 Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
107 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
108 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda    
109 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda    
110 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
111 Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet    
112 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team    
113 Kevyn Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's 0:12:44  
114 Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's    
115 Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1-Sanofi    
116 David Boucher (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat    
117 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
118 Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp    
119 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
120 Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
121 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's