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Hello and welcome to CN's live coverage from Scheldeprijs.
Lets bring you up to date with all the action we've had so far. Eh... .we'll we've got a break up the road.
David Boucher (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Baptiste Planckaert (Landbouwkrediet), Dieter Cappelle (Veranda's Willems), Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) and Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha)
Peloton at 2:20
The five riders broke away after less than 10km into today's racing. They've got a lead of 2.37 at the moment. Chances are, as we all know, they'll be reeled in, in the closing kms and we'll have a sprint.
But credit to them for trying.
Eisel at the back of the bunch with a puncture but the HTC rider will make it back on without too much trouble.
Double winner Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) tops the billing, and with a full complement of sprinters and a spread of cohesive teams on hand too, the opportunists will have their work cut out to upset the applecart.
Cavendish makes his first appearance in the race since the second of his consecutive victories in 2008. After a crash prevented him from contesting the bunch finish in Gent-Wevelgem, he will certainly not be lacking in motivation here. The Manxman has been struggling for form so far this season, with just one victory to his name, but he finished Sunday’s Tour of Flanders in good shape and is fancied to take the spoils.
Cav's big rival for today could be Tyler Farrar. The American isn't having a bad classics season and has two podium places to his name. As the defending champion he comes here with his own high expectations. you can watch a video interview with him here.
The garmin boys are at the back of the bunch at the moment though, but they've got plenty of time to come to the front. Haussler's there, smiling away.
62 kilometres of racing left and the break are still plugging away. Not much effort coming from the bunch at the moment but they've got plenty more kms to react.
Rabobank send a rider to the front, to help garmin and HTC with the chase. They've got Bos for today and he could certainly do well if the race comes down to a sprint.
But there's a crash. Lang is down and so is Labbe. the Lotto rider is back up but Labbe is still down on the deck .
Susan here, jumping in for Dan who is having some technical problems.
57km and our leaders still have more than two minutes. Tom Boonen has just been spending quite a bit of time back at the team car, by the way.
And that is because Boonen was involved in that crash -- we even saw blood on his knee! So he went to visit the team and race doctor's cars.
Looks like Boonen is back up where he belongs, and now gets in a chat with a Lotto rider who pats him on the shoulder.
The gap is coming down now, and is below two minutes. A Garmin rider leads the chase, followed by someone from NetApp.
wo riders try to make a dash for it out of the field: one form Euskaltel and one whose jersey we can't quite place.....
Pablo Urtuzan of Euskaltel, and Damien Gauden of Europcar are the two trying their luck.
The duo now has about 10 seconds on the field.
Three more laps of this course to go!
'And a puncture for Belgian champ Stijn Devolder.
The EUskaltel rider was actually Pierre Cazaux, but he is back in the field now and Gaudien is alone in front by a few metres.
Devolder gave furious chase and has now caught up again.
Only 1:22 now, with Gaudien still with a tiny lead.
That was it for Gaudien. Rabobank leads the field around him.
The gap is just over a minute now. Have we mentioned that is an absolutely gorgeous warm sunny day?
Looks like HTC's Leigh Howard is superstitious. He has race number 13, and has pinned it on upside down.
And it is on to the cobblestones for the peloton -- 1700 metres of them right now, with Leopard Trek bumping along in the lead.
Someone from Lampre just paid the price -- a puncture.
Once again the field turns to ride along the Albert Canal.
38 seconds now, and HTC-HIghroad is at the head of the chase. Who on earth could they be riding for.....
The five leaders sure aren't giving up, even though their lead is melting away.
Two more laps to go as the leaders cross the finish line with a gap of only 31 seconds.
Rabobank, HTC, Rabobank, Leopard -- that is the front of the field.
Duh, not Leopard, but Garmin-Cervelo. Too many black jerseys in the field this year!
And a big crash in the middle of the field!
A numbr of Quick Step riders involved. And someone from Acqua e Sapone is sitting holding his shoulder in a bad way.
Boonen was in there, but is going again.
Andreas Klier is pulling the peloton along in his wake.
The injured rider was Rafai Chtioui. We don't expect to see him ride further.
Boonen has now managed to bang up both his right elbow and knee. Ouch. He is in a small group which is approaching the peloton again.
The leading quintet is gamely hanging on to a 23 second lead, as it heads on to that cobbled section.
Boucher takes off out of the lead group, as the gap drops to 11 seconds.
Malori goes with him.
The other three are caught and the two leaders know they will be within a few seconds also.
Malori gives it anothr go, as Boucher gives in to his fate.
Once again it is HTC at the head of the field.
And that's it. The escape is over. HTC-HIghroad leads the field right around the Italian.
We go into the final 20km with a large group. So large, in fact, that a handful of riders have chosen to ride on the bike lanes.
Looks like Saxo Bank has now moved up ahead of HTC. Meanwhile, Greg Henderson of Sky pays a quick visit to the team car.
Now Dominik Klemme pops back to the Leopard Trek team car to catch up on the latest gossip. Or whatever.
Well, it is nice that everyone is taking a turn doing the lead work. Now it is RadioShack.
And they approach the finish line for the penultimate time!
One more lap! Which one of these speedy sprinters will be the first over the line the next time around?
13km to go and everyone is all together. Which is no surprise, is it?
We are within the last 10kms now.
The World Champion is doing the lead work! Thor Hushovd himself is at the head of the field.
He was at the front, now he is at the back. Hushovd has done his duty.
Now it looks like Garmin-Cervelo and Leopard Trek at the front, with HTC HIghroad lurking in the background.
And who else is back there keeping Hushovd compan? Fabian Cancellara. Or is this a special meeting of world champions?
Omega Pharma-Lotto, Saxo Bank -- they are keeping the speed up!
5km to go and they are riding along the canal again.
Now Sky moves up to look for its chances.
4km and the field is strung out single file.
Sky and HTC at the head of things.
Sky riders have pulled slightly away.
A katusha rider has joined them, ut they are now caught.
Katusha keeps the pressure on.
Last Km. HTC opens the sprint, but falls bck.ac A crash!
Cavendish came back and took the win, but there was a crash several hundre etres before the finish line. It was Farrar who went down, last year's winner. He was near the front, so there wer somem pretty big gaps.
Farrar is still sitting on the ground, and teammate Heinrich Haussler angrily waves the TV camera away.
Farrar wasn't the only one who went down. Severl guys crashed into the barrier, including we think, the Sky rider who took Farrar down.
We now hear it was Wouter Weylandts of Sky who smashed into Farrar and cause him to crash and slide across the street.
This is Cavendish' third win in this race. In fact, his first win here was his first pro win ever.
That was of course in 2007. And he promptly fell off the podium, if we recall correctly.
We don't have any word on whether Farrar was injured.
Another fine result for Denis Galimzyanov of Katusha, who finished second Yauheni Hutarovich of FDJ fills out the podium in third place.
That's it for us today. Thanks for reading along. Be sure to join us again Sunday for Paris-Roubaix!