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Motorbike ends race for Hoste

Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto)

Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto) (Image credit: Luc Claessen)

An unlucky Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto) was riding strong in a group with Tom Boonen (QuickStep) during the race finale when he was inadvertantly taken down by a motorcycle. "Tom had to swerve to avoid the motorbike, but I couldn't avoid him anymore," Hoste told Belgian Sporza. "The race was over for me then. With Tom, we could have caught the chasers [Flecha, Leukemans, Wesemann and Petito - ed.], I'm sure of that. I knew that we weren't in for the victory anymore, but I could have gotten second..."

Predictor team manager Marc Sergeant was furious about the incident. "It is a scandal!," he told Cyclingnews at the finish. "Hoste is really upset and has not said much to me about it. It is sad for him because it would have been a big deal for him to stay in contact with Boonen. He was doing well at that before the moto came along."

QuickStep leader Tom Boonen, who ended up in sixth position, was a little annoyed that his chasing didn't bear fruit in the end. "Three times I accelerated the chase," he said in Roubaix. "But nobody wanted to come with me. I fought until the velodrome, but in order to catch O'Grady, the finish line should have been 10 kilometres further away. I did fight for the second place, but I wasn't successful. Still, I'm glad I was able to race here once again."

Boonen will ride his last spring campaign race on Wednesday, the Scheldeprijs in Belgium. "The balance is even," he concluded, looking back. "Hoste and Cancellara were good, too, but they haven't won a race."

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