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Westphal surprises in Oostende

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22-year-old Carlo Westphal gets his first pro win.

22-year-old Carlo Westphal gets his first pro win.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Team Columbia has control

Team Columbia has control
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The breakaway: Lars Bak (CSC) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas)

The breakaway: Lars Bak (CSC) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Borut Bozic (Liquigas)

Borut Bozic (Liquigas)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Yauheni Hutarovich (FdJ) the Belarus champion.

Yauheni Hutarovich (FdJ) the Belarus champion.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Markus Eichler (Milram)

Markus Eichler (Milram)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Timothy Gudsell (FdJ)

Timothy Gudsell (FdJ)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Polish riders Michal Golas (Collstrop) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) before the start.

Polish riders Michal Golas (Collstrop) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) before the start.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Yoann Offredo (FdJ) was sporting some pretty extreme bedhead.

Yoann Offredo (FdJ) was sporting some pretty extreme bedhead.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Andre Greipel (Columbia) and Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) head to the start.

Andre Greipel (Columbia) and Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) head to the start.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Jimmy Engoulvent (Credit Agricole) and Arnaud Coyot (Caisse d'Eparnge)

Jimmy Engoulvent (Credit Agricole) and Arnaud Coyot (Caisse d'Eparnge)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Team Columbia's Servais Knaven and Edvald Boasson Hagen prepare for an arduous day.

Team Columbia's Servais Knaven and Edvald Boasson Hagen prepare for an arduous day.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Lars Bak (CSC-Saxo Bank) tests his radio.

Lars Bak (CSC-Saxo Bank) tests his radio.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) is still within a shot of the overall.

Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) is still within a shot of the overall.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Yohann Gène (Bouygues Telecom) has his game face on.

Yohann Gène (Bouygues Telecom) has his game face on.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Luciano Pagliarini (Scott-American Beef) looks excited to start stage five.

Luciano Pagliarini (Scott-American Beef) looks excited to start stage five.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Lars Bak (CSC) was on the attack again.

Lars Bak (CSC) was on the attack again.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Team Columbia leads the bunch.

Team Columbia leads the bunch.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The peloton split into two and the back group didn't want to work.

The peloton split into two and the back group didn't want to work.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) rolls out with the peloton.

Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) rolls out with the peloton.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Andre Greipel (Columbia) leads Jurgen Roelandts (Silence Lotto)

Andre Greipel (Columbia) leads Jurgen Roelandts (Silence Lotto)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The breakaway: Lars Bak (CSC) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas)

The breakaway: Lars Bak (CSC) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) made up half of the day's break.

Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) made up half of the day's break.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Team Columbia has control at kilometre 48.

Team Columbia has control at kilometre 48.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The chase hasn't quite started yet at kilometre 45.

The chase hasn't quite started yet at kilometre 45.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The pace was relaxed at the start

The pace was relaxed at the start
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Mathieu Claude (Bouygues Telecom) rolls out from Ardooie.

Mathieu Claude (Bouygues Telecom) rolls out from Ardooie.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Claude and Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) head out for the 167km stage.

Claude and Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) head out for the 167km stage.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Lars Bak (CSC) was ready for action.

Lars Bak (CSC) was ready for action.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The Quick Step train picks up steam.

The Quick Step train picks up steam.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The breakaway: Lars Bak (CSC) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) stayed away until 40km to go.

The breakaway: Lars Bak (CSC) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) stayed away until 40km to go.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The bunch began closing in under pressure from Team Columbia.

The bunch began closing in under pressure from Team Columbia.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) takes a turn.

Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) takes a turn.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Lars Bak (CSC-Saxo Bank) follows through.

Lars Bak (CSC-Saxo Bank) follows through.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The Quick Step train is at full steam in Pervijse

The Quick Step train is at full steam in Pervijse
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Frank Hoj (Cofidis) leads through the turn.

Frank Hoj (Cofidis) leads through the turn.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Marlon Perez (Caisse d'Epargne)

Marlon Perez (Caisse d'Epargne)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The peloton heads up one of the many small hills.

The peloton heads up one of the many small hills.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Quick Step prepares for the hard work ahead.

Quick Step prepares for the hard work ahead.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner) rides alongside Benoit Joachim (Astana)

Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner) rides alongside Benoit Joachim (Astana)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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The Quick Step train fell apart in the sprint allowing Westphal to take the win.

The Quick Step train fell apart in the sprint allowing Westphal to take the win.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Westphal hits the line first…

Westphal hits the line first…
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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He looks over to see nobody ahead of him.

He looks over to see nobody ahead of him.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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He can't even believe he won.

He can't even believe he won.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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22-year-old Carlo Westphal gets his first pro win.

22-year-old Carlo Westphal gets his first pro win.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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There's no time for a salute by Westphal.

There's no time for a salute by Westphal.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) wasn't happy with his result.

Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) wasn't happy with his result.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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David Kopp (Collstrop) shows the effort of a very fast stage.

David Kopp (Collstrop) shows the effort of a very fast stage.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Jurgen Roelandts heads to the podium.

Jurgen Roelandts heads to the podium.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Carlo Westphal gets help from his Gerolsteiner soigneur on his way to the podium.

Carlo Westphal gets help from his Gerolsteiner soigneur on his way to the podium.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner) got a nice result at a time when new contracts will be signed.

Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner) got a nice result at a time when new contracts will be signed.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Andre Greipel (Columbia) got another penguin and another leader's jersey.

Andre Greipel (Columbia) got another penguin and another leader's jersey.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Andre Greipel (Columbia) leads the Eneco Tour.

Andre Greipel (Columbia) leads the Eneco Tour.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Jurgen Roelandts (Silence Lotto) took over the points jersey.

Jurgen Roelandts (Silence Lotto) took over the points jersey.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

Gerolsteiner's Carlo Westphal took his first professional victory in the fifth stage of the Eneco Tour. The 22-year-old outsprinted Belarus champion Yauheni Hutarovich (Française des Jeux) and Slovenian champion Borut Bozic on the windy 167 kilometre stage. Team Columbia's André Greipel padded his lead in the overall classification with a three second bonus at the last intermediate sprint.

Westphal fooled the sprinters by taking the win, but he himself was probably the most surprised of all. "I haven't really realized it yet," he said after the race. "I am very surprised that I won the sprint. I certainly did not expect it and didn't realize it when it happened. I didn't even celebrate at the finish line, I was so surprised."

"This is my first win as a professional. It's very important because my Gerolsteiner team is stopping at the end of the season and I haven't got a place with another team yet."

Greipel's young Norwegian team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen, who had been in second overall, drew even with him through two one-second bonuses in the intermediate sprints but then failed to make the front group when strong cross-winds split the peloton. Only 40 riders stayed at the front of the race, and the remainder of the peloton simply gave up and finished nearly 15 minutes later. The peloton had already shrunk by a dozen riders at the start, with Tom Boonen, Daniele Bennati and several others quitting to head to Spain for the Vuelta. Glenn d'Hollander (Silence-Lotto) crashed on stage four and did not start due to his injuries.

The stage began with a tailwind, and despite the high speeds, Lars Bak (CSC-Saxo Bank) and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) were able to escape at kilometre 19. As the course turned northward, the Quick Step team went to the front and split the race in two in the cross-winds. Notably absent at the front was Boasson Hagen, sprint leader Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) and best climber Floris Goesinnen (Skil-Shimano).

The split should have resulted in a stage win for Gert Steegmans, but the Quick Step train went off the rails, allowing Westphal to sneak in for his first win. Belgian champion Jurgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto) took over the sprint classification and moved into third overall, while last year's winner José Iván Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) now sits in second, 11 seconds behind Greipel.

How it unfolded

The shortest non-time trial stage of the Tour headed toward the North Sea, with the the riders getting off five minutes late. The sun was shining, but the wind was making itself noticed, and was expected to increase as the race neared the coastline.

The field was much smaller than the one which started the day before. Nine riders abandoned yesterday, and 12 riders didn't take to the start today: Glenn D'Hollander (Silence-Lotto), Tom Boonen (Quick Step), Maarten Tjallingii (Silence-Lotto), Thomas Fothen and Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner), Daniele Bennati (Liquigas), Mickaël Delage and Jelle Vanendert (Française des Jeux), Matti Breschel and Jurgen Van Goolen (CSC-Saxo Bank), and Aurélien Clerc and Oliver Bonnaire (Bouygues Telecom).

Only 19 km into the race, a duo escaped. Lars Ytting Bak of CSC-Saxo Bank and Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) built up a lead of up to 7'40 before the peloton reacted and Team Columbia led the chase.

The two escapees naturally took the points at the first two intermediate sprints, but the third place and one bonus second for each went to Columbia's Edvald Boasson Hagen. That was enough to pull the Norwegian even with his team-mate Andre Greipel, who held the overall lead.

The wind increased as the stage neared the coast, as expected, and the peloton was frequently pulled apart or broken into smaller groups. The high chasing pace did its part, too, to break up the field.

With about 57 km to go, there was a definite break, with about 40 riders pulling away. They moved quickly and soon cut the escapees' lead to two and a half minutes, while putting in some time on their following group. Columbia was well-represented in the first chase group, with Greipel, Michael Rogers, Roger Hammond and Servais Knaven – but no Boasson Hagen, who missed the cut and thereby lost all chances of taking the overall win.

The two leaders sat up with 40 km to go and let the chase group, led by Quick Step, catch them. The next group was about a minute back.

At the last intermediate sprint, Greipel sprinted out to take the points and bonus seconds, to keep them in the team. Jurgen Roelandts of Silence Lotto was second, with Jose Ivan Gutierrez third.

The chasing group had given up hope of catching the lead group, and crossed the finish line to start on the closing circuit about five minutes back.

Benoit Joachim of Astana took off in the bike lane at the side of the road with 12 km to go, but he was not able to get away.

A Quick Step rider tested the waters at four kilometres to go, but was quickly chased down. An Astana rider tried too, but Quick Step rode him down.

With only a few hundred meters to go, Carlo Westphal of Gerolsteiner shot ahead, surprising the others who were unable to respond in time. The youngster took the sprint by several bike lengths for his first pro win.

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