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) TeamResult
1Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha4:52:15 
2Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:00 
3Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:13 
4Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
5Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
6Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling  
7Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
8Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
9Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
10Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
11Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka0:06:27 
12Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale  
13Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
14Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha  
15Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
16Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
17Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
18Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
19Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling  
20Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp  
21Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha  
22Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
23Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano  
24Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
25Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
26Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha  
27Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
28Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ  
29Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Sojasun  
30Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
31Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
32Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
33Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge  
34Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
35Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
36Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
37James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
38Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ  
39Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
40Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony  
41Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura  
42Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
43Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
44Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge  
45Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
46Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
47Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
48Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
49Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
50Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
51Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
52Koen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
53Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling  
54Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
55Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
56Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
57Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
58Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
59Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN-Qhubeka  
60Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
61Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling  
62Tim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
63Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
64Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling  
65Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
66Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
67Sebastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
68Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
69Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
70Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling  
71Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
72John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
73Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ  
74Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
75Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
76Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
77Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
78Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team  
79Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
80Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
81Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
82Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
83Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
84Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
85Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
86Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
87Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
88Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp  
89Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
90Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
91Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
92Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
93Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
94Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
95David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar  
96William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
97Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar  
98Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
99Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
100Debusschere Jens (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
101Jacob L Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:08:49 
102Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling0:12:04 
103Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura  
104Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar  
105Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
106Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura  
107Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar  
108Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha  
109David Boucher (Fra) FDJ0:13:39 
110Matt Brammeier (Irl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
111Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka  
112Clinton Robert Avery (NZl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
113Roberto De Patre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
114Erick Rowsell (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura  
115Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura  
116Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka  
117Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
118Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
119Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura  
120Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura  
121Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
122Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling  
123Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
124Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
125Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun  
126Rony Martias (Fra) Sojasun  
127Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun  
128Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
129Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdge  
130Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
131Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
132Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) Ag2R La Mondiale  
133Sébastien Minard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
134Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge  
135Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ  
136Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka  
137Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
138Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha  
139Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha  
140Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka  
141Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale  
142Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
143Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
144Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
145Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
DNFRick Flens (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMoreno Hofland (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
DNFRobert Thomas Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMatteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFKenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFGert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol  
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol  
DNFHugo Houle (Can) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFAxel Domont (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFAnthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMassimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFLuca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNFMichael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFWilliam Clarke (Aus) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFRoy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFLuka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFMartijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFRamunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFJohan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFJéröme Gilbert (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFAndy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFWilliam Routley (Can) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFStefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFSébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFFrédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNFClément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNFBenjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNFGeoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement  
DNFMatthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFWang Yip Tang (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFRyan Roth (Can) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFKin San Wu (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team  
DNFFlorent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFKristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling  
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling  
DNFAlexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha  
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Sojasun  
DNFJimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Sojasun  
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun  
DNFPaul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura  
DNFFerekalsi Debesay Abrha (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka  
DNFYoucef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka  
DNFRafael Andriato (Bra) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
DNFLuigi Miletta (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  

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