Paolini wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Katusha rider outsprints Vandenbergh

Luca Paolini (Team Katusha) won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad by beating his breakaway companion Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team) in a two-up sprint. Maarten Wijnants (Team Blanco) won the sprint for third among those in the chase group.

A crowded St-Peter's square in Ghent, Belgium welcomed last year's surprise winner Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco) and 197 other riders who were about to tackle the 198 tough kilometers over the narrow and twisting Flemish roads while enduring freezing temperatures and a blisteringly cold wind.

In a fast first hour at 46km/h, nine riders managed to get into the early breakaway group. They were William Clarke (Argos-Shimano), Florian Vachon (Bretagne), Julien Fouchard (Cofidis), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis), Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun), Jérôme Cousin (Europcar), Zakkari Dempster (Netapp-Endura), and a little later, also Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) and Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

The nine riders reached the first cobblestones with a maximal advantage of five minutes on the peloton. As the hills and cobbles quickly followed each other, the gap steadily decreased. By the time the race reached the crucial Taaienberg climb, the gap was down to 1:15. The peloton split into several parts and only 40 men featured in the first peloton when hitting the following Eikenberg climb.

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) attacked the peloton after the Eikenberg together with Marco Bandiera (IAM). The duo caught up with the leaders by the next climb.

Their move was copied by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Geraint Thomas (Sky), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Maarten Wynants (Blanco), Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Cofidis) and later also Luca Paolini (Katusha).

Before those men bridged up with the tired leaders, Chavanel left his companions behind at the cobbles of the Haaghoek. With 45km left to race, Chavanel started a seemingly impossible solo ride. The Frenchman gathered no more than half a minute on the chase group where Van Avermaet took most of the initiative on the Leberg and the Molenberg.

After that last climb of the day, Chavanel was caught, creating a lead group of 10 men: Chavanel, Van Avermaet, Thomas, Paolini, Roelandts, Vandenbergh, Vandousselaere, Garcia, Wynants and Bandiera.

At the kilometres long pavé sections of the Paddestraat and Lippenhovestraat, Vandenbergh accelerated with only Paolini being able to hold the wheel of the tall Belgian rider.

On the following windy roads, the duo extended its lead up to nearly half a minute over the eight-man strong chase group by the time they reached the final pavé section (2500m) of the Lange Munte at 20km from the finish line in Ghent. None of the chasers tried to set-up a solo move on these cobbles, but also together they weren't able to get closer to the two leaders despite the cold headwind.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha 4:52:15  
2 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:00  
3 Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:01:13  
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling    
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
6 Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling    
7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
8 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
9 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
10 Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
11 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka 0:06:27  
12 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale    
13 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
14 Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha    
15 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
16 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
17 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
18 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
19 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling    
20 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp    
21 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha    
22 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling    
23 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano    
24 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
25 Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
26 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha    
27 Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
28 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ    
29 Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Sojasun    
30 Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
31 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
32 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ    
33 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge    
34 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
35 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
36 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
37 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
38 Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ    
39 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
40 Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony    
41 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura    
42 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
43 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
44 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge    
45 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
46 Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
47 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
48 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
49 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
50 Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
51 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar    
52 Koen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
53 Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling    
54 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
55 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
56 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
57 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
58 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    
59 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN-Qhubeka    
60 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
61 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling    
62 Tim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
63 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
64 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling    
65 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
66 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
67 Sebastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
68 Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
69 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
70 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling    
71 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
72 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano    
73 Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ    
74 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
75 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    
76 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    
77 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
78 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team    
79 Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
80 Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
81 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
82 Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
83 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
84 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
85 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
86 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
87 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
88 Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp    
89 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
90 Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
91 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling    
92 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
93 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
94 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
95 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar    
96 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ    
97 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar    
98 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling    
99 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
100 Debusschere Jens (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
101 Jacob L Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:08:49  
102 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling 0:12:04  
103 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura    
104 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar    
105 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise    
106 Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura    
107 Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar    
108 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha    
109 David Boucher (Fra) FDJ 0:13:39  
110 Matt Brammeier (Irl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
111 Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka    
112 Clinton Robert Avery (NZl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
113 Roberto De Patre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    
114 Erick Rowsell (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura    
115 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura    
116 Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka    
117 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
118 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
119 Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura    
120 Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura    
121 Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
122 Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling    
123 Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
124 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
125 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun    
126 Rony Martias (Fra) Sojasun    
127 Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun    
128 Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
129 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdge    
130 Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
131 Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
132 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) Ag2R La Mondiale    
133 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
134 Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge    
135 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ    
136 Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka    
137 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
138 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha    
139 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha    
140 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka    
141 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale    
142 Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
143 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
144 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
145 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    
DNF Rick Flens (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Moreno Hofland (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Robert Thomas Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team    
DNF Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Hugo Houle (Can) Ag2R La Mondiale    
DNF Axel Domont (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
DNF Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale    
DNF Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ    
DNF Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Luca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
DNF Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge    
DNF Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge    
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF William Clarke (Aus) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano    
DNF Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp    
DNF Jéröme Gilbert (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
DNF Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
DNF William Routley (Can) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
DNF Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty    
DNF Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
DNF Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony    
DNF Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Benjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement    
DNF Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Wang Yip Tang (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Ryan Roth (Can) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Kin San Wu (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling    
DNF Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling    
DNF Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha    
DNF Maxime Daniel (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun    
DNF Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura    
DNF Ferekalsi Debesay Abrha (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka    
DNF Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka    
DNF Rafael Andriato (Bra) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    
DNF Luigi Miletta (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia    

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