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Stannard wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Brecht Decaluwé

Sky rider outsprints Van Avermaet

Ian Stannard (Team Sky) claimed a thrilling edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in a two-up sprint against BMC's Greg Van Avermaet. The pair slipped clear of the main field inside the closing kilometres of the race and despite a late chase from Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Belkin, the pair held on to decide the race in a sprint finish.

Heading into the final few hundred meters, van Avermaet moved to the front but Stannard, with a strong pedigree from his track racing days, kicked out and had enough to hold off a late challenge from the Belgian rider.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) finished third, giving Sky two riders on the podium, after the Norwegian beat Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Sep Vanmarcke (Team Belkin to the line).

Boasson Hagen and Terpstra had joined forces moments before the winning move when a dangerous group had slipped clear, but after Lars Boom punctured and Yoann Offredo crashed, the group lost its impetus.

With Boasson Hagen and Terpstra caught, Stannard and Van Avermaet seized the initiative forged clear.

Goodbye Kristof

The traditional opener of the Belgian road season in Ghent started at half past 11 with a minute of silence to pay tribute to the late Kristof Goddaert and Ghent's art pope Jan Hoet, who both passed away recently. Goddaert's teammates from the IAM team lined up in front of the peloton on a chilly, foggy and quiet St-Peter's square.

Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty), Stijn Steels (Topsport), Maciej Paterski (CCC), Christophe Laborie (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Andreas Schillinger (Netapp), Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha), and Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant Shimano) animated the first half of the race, breaking clear inside the first 30 kilometres.

After nearly 150km, the last four survivors of this group were caught by the peloton. The damage in the peloton caused by the series of slippery roads, pavé and the typical bergs was severe. The biggest victims of the multiple crashes were Thor Hushovd (BMC) and Alexandre Pichot (Europcar), who were both forced to leave the race with injuries.

The ascents of the Taaienberg, Eikenberg and Wolvenberg showed that Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) and Nikki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) all had good legs, while the expected attack from Tom Boonen on the Taaienberg never materialized.

Around 40 riders survived all the attacks and hit the Leberg 42km from the finish in Ghent. Greg van Avermaet (BMC) put in an acceleration on the Leberg, but once the pace dropped, a few other riders managed to sneak away. The group included Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Lars Boom (Belkin), Yoann Offredo (, Arnaud Démare (, Nikki Tepstra, Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis) and Kenneth Van Bilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

When the group turned the corner onto the Molenberg at 37km from the finish, Offredo fell while riding in third position. Terpstra and Boom hammered up the cobbled climb and discovered at the top that they were the sole leaders. Boasson Hagen, Van Bilsen and Démare eventually managed to bridge back up to the Dutch duo when hitting the 2.4km-long former Roman road of the Paddestraat, with 30km to go to the finish.

On the Paddestraat, Boom led the leaders over the wet cobbles while Vanmarcke led the peloton at 35 seconds. Halfway over the cobbles, a fierce acceleration from Terpstra was answered only by Boom and Boasson Hagen. The three leaders had a gap of 45 seconds, but the co-operation was lacking.

When Boom flatted and fell back to the bunch Terpstra and Boasson Hagen began to attack each other, a clear sign that any partnership would be fleeting at best.

At the final pavé section called the "Lange Munte", the remains of the peloton were only 20 seconds down on the two leaders. Boasson Hagen and Terpstra exchanged attacks but ended up in the clutches of the bunch.

With 17km to go, about 20 riders were battling for the victory. A peloton with Tom Boonen trailed the leaders by 50 seconds.

Stannard wasted no time and when several groups came together; he blasted away on the wider roads towards Ghent, with only van Avermaet holding his wheel.

It looked as though victory would certainly come down to the two leaders but when Terpstra and Vanmarcke attacked, with Boasson Hagen for company, it looked as though the race was playing into the Norwegian's hands. However, Stannard and Van Avermaet remained consistent in their turns and only inside the final kilometre, with the chase too far back, did they start to watch each other.


Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky 4:49:55  
2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky 0:00:24  
4 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
5 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
6 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:01:34  
7 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team    
8 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano    
9 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
10 Arnaud Demare (Fra)    
11 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky    
12 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
13 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
14 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
15 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
16 Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
17 Johan Le Bon (Fra) 0:01:41  
18 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
19 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:02:47  
20 Yoann Offredo (Fra)    
21 Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:03:43  
22 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Team Katusha    
23 Christophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
24 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
25 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
26 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling    
27 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka    
28 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 0:03:46  
29 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
30 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
31 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha    
32 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
33 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
34 Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka 0:09:14  
35 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol    
36 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka    
37 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
38 Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
39 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol    
40 Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
41 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
42 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
43 Kiryll Pozdnyakov (Rus) Rusvelo    
44 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN - Qhubeka    
45 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
46 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling    
47 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp    
48 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano    
49 Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
50 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol    
51 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Team Netapp - Endura    
52 Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
53 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
54 Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
55 David Boucher (Fra)    
56 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team Netapp - Endura    
57 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
58 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
59 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura    
60 Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar    
61 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar    
62 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin Sharp    
63 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
64 Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar    
65 Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
66 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar    
67 Anthony Geslin (Fra)    
68 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
69 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
70 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp    
71 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
72 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
73 Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
74 Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
75 Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
76 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano    
77 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha    
78 Jaco Venter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka    
79 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling    
80 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise    
81 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky    
82 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp    
83 Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) Rusvelo 0:14:02  
84 Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Team Katusha    
85 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
86 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale    
87 Maxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
88 Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Team Katusha    
89 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
90 Nicola Testi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
91 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling    
92 Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
93 Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka    
94 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale    
95 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
96 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
97 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
98 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Sky    
99 David Millar (GBr) Garmin Sharp    
100 Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)    
101 Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar    
102 Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
103 Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka    
104 Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
105 Benjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
DNF Luca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha    
DNF Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha    
DNF Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha    
DNF Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol    
DNF Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
DNF Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team    
DNF Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
DNF William Bonnet (Fra)    
DNF Mickael Delage (Fra)    
DNF Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin Sharp    
DNF Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin Sharp    
DNF Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar    
DNF Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano    
DNF Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky    
DNF Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky    
DNF Christopher Sutton (Aus) Team Sky    
DNF Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Antonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Andrea Zordan (Ita) Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Erwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
DNF Pierre-Luc Perrichon (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement    
DNF Pawel Charucki (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Piotr Gawronski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Tomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Nikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Jacek Morajko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice    
DNF Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
DNF Kevin Ista (Bel) IAM Cycling    
DNF Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling    
DNF Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling    
DNF Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling    
DNF Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka    
DNF Igor Boev (Rus) Rusvelo    
DNF Leonid Krasnov (Rus) Rusvelo    
DNF Roman Maikin (Rus) Rusvelo    
DNF Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Rusvelo    
DNF Gennadiy Tatarinov (Rus) Rusvelo    
DNF Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team Netapp - Endura    
DNF Ralf Matzka (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura    
DNF Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Team Netapp - Endura    
DNF Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura    
DNF Paul Voss (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura    
DNF Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert    
DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert