Cancellara wins Tour of Flanders

Swiss powerhouse solos in from the Paterberg

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) added a second Tour of Flanders victory to his immense palmares in emphatic fashion, soloing to victory in Oudenaarde. 

Cancellara dispatched breakaway companions Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol) on the final ascent of the Paterberg and had plenty of time to savour his win on the home stretch, having extended his lead to over a minute in the closing kilometres.

Sagan easily out-kicked Roelandts for second place while Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) led in the chase group for 10 seconds later.
Cancellara pointed to the sky as he crossed the line and then hugged is wife. He was the big favourite but managed to distance all his rivals and win alone.

"The goal was to win. You can't always predict how but it's amazing to win. A year ago I was on the ground. It's never easy but I'm really happy," he said.

"It was a strange race. It was fast at the beginning. There weren't many riders left at the end but I did the right tactic. Everyone expected me to go and I tried to make the first selection on the Kwaremont. I love the cobbles and so after that I did what I had to do."

How it happened

At exactly 10 o’clock, 205 riders left the crowded market in Bruges to kick off the 100th edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Temperatures barely reached freezing point, though the sun tried hard to warm up the riders’ spirits. Belgian champion and triple Ronde winner Tom Boonen received most support when he rode through the massive crowds in the medieval-looking town of Bruges.

However after just 19km of fast racing, Boonen was also the first rider to be named on race radio when the race passed through Lichtervelde. Boonen rode into some traffic furniture and injured his knee, hip and back. He was left lying at the side of a big road outside the town centre and clearly suffering from a lot of pain. For a brief moment the triple winner of the Ronde tried to get back on his bike but that turned out to be impossible. His race was over and he left in an ambulance to undergo further investigation in the hospital. Fortunately x-rays showed he did not suffer any fractures but his spring could be over.

Back in the race, it turned out to be extremely hard to create the breakaway move. There was an attack by nine riders which got more the three minutes once the race entered the hill zone. However some chasing from Team Europcar and later the Radioshack team brought the gap down again.

Counter-attacks in the peloton turned the situation around. Approaching the three loops through the hilly part of the race route, only Jetse Bol (Blanco) and Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) survived from the early move. They were joined by André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), Michael Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Maarten Tjallingii (Blanco) and Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Belisol).

The six leaders worked well together and arrived at the foot of the long cobbled climb with a one minute lead on the peloton. Bol quickly lost contact with his companions but the ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg and Koppenberg didn’t change the race situation up front. The steepness of the Koppenberg forced many riders to put their foot on the ground, blocking the racing and then forcing a huge chase. One minute ahead of the peloton the five remaining leaders reached the feed zone where Cancellara crashed last year. Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale) profited from the cease-fire to bridge across to the lead group. Behind it was still a waiting game, with the big favourites watching each other carefully.

The leaders hit the second loop with less than half a minute advantage on the peloton. On the first slopes of the second climb of the Oude Kwaremont, Sieberg and De Vreese quickly got dropped. The peloton rushed to the Paterberg at high speed but the resulting waves concluded with a crash for Geraint Thomas (Sky).

Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) lost contact with the peloton due to a mechanical on the Paterberg. After this nasty duo of climbs, there were only two riders left in front: Selvaggi and Kwiatkowski.

With 32km to go Yoann Offredo (FDJ), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Sébastien Hinault (IAM) and Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) anticipated accelerations from the big guns, with an attack on the section between the Paterberg and the Hotond. Once over the Hotond only Kwiatkowski was able to keep up with these men. When diving back towards Berchem and the final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, the peloton trailed the five leaders by just 30 seconds, mainly thanks to the work from Stijn Devolder (Radioshack). The race was still wide open.

Cancellara makes his move

Roelandts and Hinault distanced their companions, just before hitting the final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont. Roelandts then went alone once he reached the cobbled section. Behind Cancellara finally made is move. Everyone was expecting it but his immense power allowed him to distance all the other riders, except for Peter Sagan, who just managed to hold his wheel. As expected, they would fifth for victory.

Roelandts still had a lead when reaching the top of the 2200m long climb. Cancellara and Sagan trailed the Belgian by fifteen seconds as the rest of the break was caught. The rest of the field was blown away.

Roelandts tried to recover as he waited for Cancellara and Sagan. The trio hit the Paterberg with a 15-second lead over a 25-man strong chase group which was led by Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Luca Paolini (Katusha) and Sebastiaan Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge). However it was all about Cancellara and Sagan.

Cancellara led the trio on the steepest, cobbled part of the Paterberg. He looked back as Roelandts was gapped and then blasted away. Roelandts cracked and then just before reaching the top Sagan bowed his head in a sign of defeat and the gap opened. Cancellara did not hesitate and switched to time trial mode, tucked low over his bike, pushing a huge gear.

The race was over. Cancellara’s experience and power had defeat Sagan’s youth and speed.

Full Results
1Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard6:06:01 
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:27 
3Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:29 
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha0:01:39 
5Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
6Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling  
7Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
8Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
9John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
10Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge  
11Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
12Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
13Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
14Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
15Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
16Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ  
17Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling  
18Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
19Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
20Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
21Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
22Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team  
23Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha0:01:48 
24Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ0:02:30 
25Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:02:49 
26Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling  
27Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
28Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura  
29Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
30Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
31Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
32Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
33Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
34Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
35Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar  
36Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
37Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
38Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team  
39Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
40Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
41Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  
42Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard  
43Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:04:56 
44Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
45Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:40 
46Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:05:56 
47Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
48Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling  
49Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
50Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
51André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol  
52Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
53Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony  
54Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
55Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha  
56Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
57Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
58Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack Leopard  
59Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team  
60Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:07:45 
61Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling0:10:52 
62Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura  
63Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
64Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
65Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
66Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
67Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha  
68Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
69Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
70Gustav Larsson (Swe) IAM Cycling  
71Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
72Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp  
73Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
74Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
75Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Argos-Shimano  
76Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
77Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:13:35 
78James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
79Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
80Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
81Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
82Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
83Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp  
84Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdge  
85Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol  
86Edward King (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
87Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
88Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp  
89Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol  
90Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team  
91Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
92David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar  
93Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling  
94Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard  
95Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
96Robert Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
97Jos Van Emden (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
98Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ  
99Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
100Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha  
101Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura  
102Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
103Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
104Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard  
105Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar  
106Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura  
107Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
108Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
109Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
110Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge  
111Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp  
112Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
113Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
114Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling  
115Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNSJacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNSWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
DNFTom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNFGert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step  
DNFDavide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFGediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFValentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAssan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFDmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFRuslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFRick Flens (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
DNFJetse Bol (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAdam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team  
DNFThor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team  
DNFMauro Da Dalto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNFElia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNFPeio Bilbao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFRicardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFSteffen Radochla (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFAdrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFAndré Schulze (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFAlexander Serebryakov (Rus) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFIoannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel-Euskadi  
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMickael Delage (Fra) FDJ  
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ  
DNFJacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFSébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp  
DNFAliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha  
DNFAlexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha  
DNFMarco Haller (Aut) Katusha  
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFElia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFAndrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFAlessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFMassimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFDavide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol  
DNFAlex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team  
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFEloy Teruel Rovira (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFGiovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team  
DNFMatthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNFJens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNFStuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard  
DNFHayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack Leopard  
DNFYaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard  
DNFBernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling  
DNFSalvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
DNFGabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling  
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
DNFBert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFWilliam Clarke (Aus) Team Argos-Shimano  
DNFDaniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNFChristopher Juul Jensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNFJonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNFJonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNFMichael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff  
DNFWesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFTim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFJérôme Gilbert (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFJean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFRoy Jans (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFStaf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFStefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty  
DNFChristophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFKoen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFJonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFKevin Claeys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling  
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFZakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura  
DNFBlaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura  
DNFDaniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura  
DNFAlexander Wetterhall (Swe) Team NetApp-Endura  
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
DNFSven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
DNFPreben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise  
DNFStefano Borchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
DNFFrancesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
DNFPier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
DNFFrancesco Failli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
DNFMauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
DNFMattia Pozzo (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  

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