Gilbert prevails at Ster ZLM Toer

Howard sprints to victory on final stage

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) defended his slim general classification lead on the final stage of the Ster ZLM Toer to win overall for the second time in three years while Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad) took home stage honours in Etten-Leur. The 20-year-old Australian outkicked Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank Sungard) and stage two winner Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) for his first win of the season.

"Our goal for today was to work for Leigh in the sprint, but it was a very difficult stage with a lot of rain, wind and storms," said HTC-Highroad sports director Jan Schaffrath.

"The run-in was not easy either, I counted five speed bumps in the last couple of kilometers and other 'road furniture' too, but Leigh came through well. He was protected from the wind when he needed to be then given the perfect lead out and the rest he could handle for himself.

"It's a great way to complete the event for him, and for the team too. We've had victories at both ends of the race and we led overall for the first three days too. It's difficult to ask for more."

Overnight race leader Gilbert began the day only one second ahead of Dutch road champion Niki Terpstra (Rabobank) and with time bonuses on hand at two intermediate sprints plus the finish, the Belgian and his Omega Pharma-Lotto teammates would have to remain attentive.

The day's early break escaped after 30km of racing as Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano) and Bertjan Lindeman (Cyclingteam Jo Piels) jumped clear. Reinier Honig (Landbouwkrediet), too, attacked the peloton to form a leading trio.

The three escapees swept up all the time bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint at 67.6km, but their stint off the front came to a conclusion approximately half way through the 191km stage.

Omega Pharma-Lotto controlled the peloton's tempo through to the crucial intermediate sprint located at 160.1km, as the field began the first of three 10.6km finishing circuits.

Gilbert won the final intermediate sprint and picked up a three-second time bonus and was followed across the line by teammate Klaas Lodewyck, but Terpstra claimed third and its one-second time bonus. Gilbert's general classification lead now stood at three seconds over Terpstra, but 10, 6 and 4 seconds were still up for grabs at the finish line.

With 25km remaining a three man break formed comprised of Gianni Meersman (FDJ), Alex Dowsett (Sky) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Cervelo). Navardauskas's presence in the escape also posed a threat to Gilbert as the Lithuanian started the day in third overall, and now trailed overall by 15 seconds.

The trio's escape would soon come to a conclusion, however, under the impetus of Omega Pharma-Lotto.

As the teams of the sprinters lined up at the head of affairs in the race finale, none other than race leader Philippe Gilbert launched a solo flyer inside of the final kilometre.

The Belgian's bid to claim his second straight stage win came up short as he was swept up with 400 metres remaining, but as the sprinters claimed all of the bonus seconds on offer at the finish line Gilbert had done enough to win overall.

Full Results
1Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad4:42:03 
2Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard  
3Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
4Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
5Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
6Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ  
7Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
8Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
9Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly  
10Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp  
11Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
12Johim Ariesen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
13Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ  
14Pim De Beer (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
15Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly  
16Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
17Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
18Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
19Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
20Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ  
21David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard  
22Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
23Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
24Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling  
25Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad  
26Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
27Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
28Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
29Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
30Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
31Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team  
32Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
33Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
34Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
35Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
36Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad  
37Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
38Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
39David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
40Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad  
41Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
42Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
43Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
44Robert Wagner (Ger) Leopard Trek  
45Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
46Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJ  
47Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:10 
48Caleb Fairly (USA) HTC-Highroad  
49Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek0:00:20 
50Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad0:00:26 
51Hayden Roulston (NZl) HTC-Highroad  
52Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:01:06 
53Yoeri Havik (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke  
54Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
55Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
56Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke  
57Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Team Netapp  
58Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly  
59Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
60Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
61Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team  
62Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ  
63Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
64Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
65Anders Lund (Den) Leopard Trek  
66Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
67Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
68Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ  
69Matti Helminen (Fin) Landbouwkrediet0:03:19 
70Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke0:03:20 
71Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
72William Clarke (Aus) Leopard Trek  
73Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:04:25 
74Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team0:06:51 
75Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling  
76Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp0:07:18 
77Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp  
78Sander Helven (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:07:25 
79Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team  
80Michaël Baer (Swi) Team Netapp  
81Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
82Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
83Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
84Jasper Ockeloen (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly  
85Frédérique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
86Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
87Robert Retschke (Ger) Team Netapp  
88Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
89Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp  
90Sierk De Haan (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
91Sander Oostlander (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke  
92Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet  
93Bart Dockx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:07:31 
94Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:07:33 
DNFStef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
DNFDominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek  
DNFGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard Trek  
DNFMartin Pedersen (Den) Leopard Trek  
DNFAddy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFKevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team  
DNFJulian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFAndreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFJuan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard  
DNFAlberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAnthony Roux (Fra) FDJ  
DNFYann Huguet (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
DNFSteven Cozza (USA) Team Netapp  
DNFJelle Posthuma (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
DNFCornelius Van Ooijen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels  
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke  
DNFMichaël Vanderaerden (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly  
1Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad15pts
2Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard12 
3Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo10 
4Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling8 
5Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto6 
6Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ5 
7Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team4 
8Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator3 
9Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly2 
10Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp1 
Sprint 1
1Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano3pts
2Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels2 
3Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet1 
Sprint 2
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto3pts
2Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto2 
3Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team1 
3Saxo Bank-SunGard  
4Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator  
5Omega Pharma-Lotto  
6Cycling Team Jo Piels  
8Team Garmin-Cervelo  
9Quick Step  
11Donckers Koffie Jelly Belly0:01:06 
13Leopard Trek0:01:26 
15Cycling Team De Rijke0:05:32 
16Sky Pro Cycling0:06:51 
17Team NetApp0:08:24 
Final general classification
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto19:02:16 
2Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:03 
3Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:15 
4Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:36 
5David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard0:00:44 
6Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling0:01:21 
7Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling0:01:26 
8Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad0:01:31 
9Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:34 
10Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ0:01:36 
11Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet0:01:37 
12Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:01:43 
13Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:01:45 
14Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:01:46 
15Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:50 
16Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:52 
17Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
18Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:01:53 
19Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:03 
20Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:02:08 
21Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:02:14 
22Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:02:15 
23Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:24 
24Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:02:31 
25Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:02:34 
26Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Team Netapp0:02:54 
27Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:02:56 
28Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ0:03:09 
29Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ  
30Anders Lund (Den) Leopard Trek0:03:14 
31Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:03:16 
32Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard  
33Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
34Hayden Roulston (NZl) HTC-Highroad0:03:53 
35Matti Helminen (Fin) Landbouwkrediet0:04:06 
36Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:04:27 
37Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:06:22 
38Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard Trek0:07:02 
39Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ0:07:08 
40Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:07:58 
41Caleb Fairly (USA) HTC-Highroad0:08:19 
42Sander Oostlander (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke0:09:12 
43Robert Retschke (Ger) Team Netapp0:09:13 
44Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJ0:11:12 
45Pim De Beer (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:12:35 
46Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:13:50 
47Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:14:08 
48Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp0:14:16 
49Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
50Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Skil - Shimano0:14:24 
51Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:14:35 
52Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:14:44 
53Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad0:14:47 
54Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:14:56 
55Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:15:05 
56Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard0:15:17 
57Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ0:15:28 
58Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team0:15:34 
59Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke0:15:43 
60Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:15:49 
61Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:16:27 
62Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke0:17:55 
63Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:19:11 
64Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team0:19:15 
65Michaël Baer (Swi) Team Netapp0:19:22 
66Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp0:21:40 
67Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:21:50 
68Bart Dockx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:22:04 
69Marcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:22:05 
70Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:22:17 
71Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet0:22:31 
72Jasper Ockeloen (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:22:49 
73Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad0:22:52 
74Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:22:57 
75William Clarke (Aus) Leopard Trek0:23:30 
76Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:24:08 
77Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:25:31 
78Johim Ariesen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:25:57 
79Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad0:28:05 
80Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad0:30:46 
81Sierk De Haan (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels0:32:55 
82Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp0:33:07 
83Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp0:33:08 
84Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:34:15 
85Robert Wagner (Ger) Leopard Trek0:34:43 
86Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:35:41 
87Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:36:01 
88Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Procycling0:36:05 
89Yoeri Havik (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke0:38:23 
90Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:41:41 
91Andreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team0:42:10 
92David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:44:03 
93Frédérique Robert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:45:02 
94Sander Helven (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly0:46:15 
Points classification
1Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo29pts
2Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling22 
3Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad20 
4Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team18 
5Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team17 
6Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto16 
7Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto15 
8Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad15 
9Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-Highroad12 
10Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard12 
11Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling11 
12Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team11 
13Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Team Garmin-Cervelo10 
14Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team8 
15Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad8 
16Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team8 
17David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard6 
18Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly6 
19Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ5 
20Sander Oostlander (Ned) Cyclingteam De Rijke5 
21Matti Helminen (Fin) Landbouwkrediet5 
22Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator5 
23Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team4 
24Theo Bos (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team3 
25Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto3 
26Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team2 
27Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp1 
28Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team1 
Sprint classification
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto6pts
2Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team5 
3Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly5 
4Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator3 
5Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team3 
6Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto2 
7Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels2 
8Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet1 
Mountains classification
1Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly26pts
2Matti Helminen (Fin) Landbouwkrediet14 
3Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ12 
4Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team12 
5Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator7 
6Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto6 
7Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team6 
8Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto4 
9Michaël Vanderaerden (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly4 
10David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard4 
11Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team3 
12Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling Team2 
13Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ2 
14Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Team Garmin-Cervelo2 
15Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke2 
16Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team1 
17Cornelius Van Ooijen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels1 
Teams classification
1Team Garmin-Cervelo57:10:20 
4Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator0:01:27 
5Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:35 
9Quick Step0:12:42 
10Saxo Bank-SunGard0:13:27 
11Leopard Trek0:15:52 
13Team NetApp0:19:58 
14Sky Pro Cycling0:20:21 
15Donckers Koffie Jelly Belly0:21:39 
16Cycling Team De Rijke0:32:27 
17Cycling Team Jo Piels0:37:05 

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