Devolder solos to third Belgian road race title

Outsider Stijn Devolder (Radioshack-Leopard) grabbed his third title at the Belgian national championships in La Roche-en-Ardenne on Sunday afternoon. After sixteen laps on a hilly course the 33 year-old clearly outmatched his rivals, arriving solo one minute ahead of Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Bakelants (Radioshack-Leopard). When crossing the line Devolder paid tribute to his deceased friend Wouter Weylandt.

Devolder won his first title in Ronse 2007 and his second in Leuven 2010. Pre-race favourites Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) and world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) didn't have anything left when Devolder powered away at 25km from the finish. Defending champion Tom Boonen tried his luck in an early move but didn't feature when the finale got underway.

Already during the Spring Classics it was clear Devolder had the national championships on his mind. http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/devolder-concludes-spring-classics-with-fun-race-at-brabantse-pijl Back then he already realized that he had to ride smart in order to win as his team lacked the numbers to control the race.

"I had to be smart but also time my move well," Devolder said. "This is great. I was well prepared for this race. I was hiding well during the last few races because I didn't want to become a favourite. I can't believe that I'm Belgian champion." To his own surprise Devolder wasn't featured in the Radioshack-Leopard selection for the Tour de France last week. "This isn't an answer to that. I just wanted to win today. It's an important day for me."

Also during the race Devolder had been hiding well. When Tom Boonen went up the road with teammates Pieter Serry and Dries Devenyns, along with Bart Declercq (Lotto-Belisol), during the third of sixteen laps it was Vacansoleil-DCM and Crelan-Euphony who kept their move at around two minutes. Strong moves from men like Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) and Gilbert at 80km from the finish eventually neutralized the breakaway move at five laps from the finish.

Twenty kilometres later a group of 18 riders sneaked away in three steps. The group eventually featured Van Keirsbulck, Serge Pauwels and Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), De Gendt and Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM), Devolder and Bakelants (Radioshack-Leopard), Gaetan Bille and Gert Dockx (Lotto-Belisol), Maxime Vantomme (Crelan-Euphony), Thomas Degand (Accent Jobs-Wanty), Laurens Devreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco), Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana) and cyclo-cross rider Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Jurgen Roelandts tried to get back on his own but he fell short. At 50km from the finish the rest of the peloton was out of contention too.

Bakelants, De Gendt and Seeldrayers made Omega Pharma-Quickstep work hard with a new attack, but with two laps to go the 18 riders were back together. The attack from Bille didn't create much damage but at 25 kilometres from the finish Devolder blasted away on the big ring. He went up and over Bille and in no time he collected a gap of half a minute.

In the background Omega Pharma-Quickstep ran out of numbers as Pauwels and Van Keirsbulck didn't have enough energy left in their tank to keep Devolder under control. Three kilometres later the two Omega Pharma-Quickstep boys were gone and Devolder had 50s. Several attacks followed but no organized chase. With one lap to go the gap was up to 1:06 on eleven chasers. More attacks followed with all riders on their limit but clearly the focus was on second place. Meersman got the better from Bakelants, Leukemans, Vanmarcke, Van Avermaet, Gilbert and Van den Broeck.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack Leopard5:46:19
2Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:57
3Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard0:00:59
4Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:03
7Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:05
8Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:11
9Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:13
10Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 9 - Cell 2
11Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:02:15
12Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:24
14Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:05:12
15Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:05:14
16Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty0:05:16
17Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:05:30
DNFTom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
DNFKevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
DNFNikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
DNFPieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
DNFGert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
DNFKristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
DNFSander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 24 - Cell 2
DNFBart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 25 - Cell 2
DNFFrancis De Greef (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 26 - Cell 2
DNFKenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 27 - Cell 2
DNFGert Dockx (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 28 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 29 - Cell 2
DNFMaarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 30 - Cell 2
DNFFrederique Robert (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 31 - Cell 2
DNFJurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 32 - Cell 2
DNFJurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 33 - Cell 2
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 34 - Cell 2
DNFJonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 35 - Cell 2
DNFDennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFTim Wellens (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFFrederik Willems (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFYannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
DNFFrédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 40 - Cell 2
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 41 - Cell 2
DNFKoen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 43 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Claeys (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 44 - Cell 2
DNFSébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 45 - Cell 2
DNFGilles Devillers (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 46 - Cell 2
DNFKurt Hovelynck (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 47 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Peeters (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 48 - Cell 2
DNFBaptiste Plackaert (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 49 - Cell 2
DNFChristophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 50 - Cell 2
DNFStijn Steels (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 51 - Cell 2
DNFKlaas Sys (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 52 - Cell 2
DNFSven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-EuphonyRow 53 - Cell 2
DNFSander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 54 - Cell 2
DNFJasper De Buyst (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 55 - Cell 2
DNFKenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 56 - Cell 2
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 57 - Cell 2
DNFPieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 58 - Cell 2
DNFYves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 59 - Cell 2
DNFTim Mertens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 60 - Cell 2
DNFStijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 61 - Cell 2
DNFTom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 62 - Cell 2
DNFPreben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 63 - Cell 2
DNFGijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 64 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 65 - Cell 2
DNFKenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 66 - Cell 2
DNFSven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 67 - Cell 2
DNFArthur Van Overberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 68 - Cell 2
DNFPieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 69 - Cell 2
DNFJelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 70 - Cell 2
DNFSteven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 71 - Cell 2
DNFTim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 72 - Cell 2
DNFJérôme Gilbert (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 73 - Cell 2
DNFGregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 74 - Cell 2
DNFRoy Jans (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 75 - Cell 2
DNFStaf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 76 - Cell 2
DNFJurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFJames Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFBenjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-WantyRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Anciaux (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFQuentin Bertholet (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 83 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan De Witte (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 84 - Cell 2
DNFAntoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFTom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFBoris Dron (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFLaurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFChristian Patron (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFFabio Polazzi (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFJustin Van Hoecke (Bel) Wallonie-BruxellesRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFJoeri Adams (Bel) Telenet FideaRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet FideaRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFRob Peeters (Bel) Telenet FideaRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFBart Wellens (Bel) Telenet FideaRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFJim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFKlaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack LeopardRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFKris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFWillem Wauters (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Verandas WillemsRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFFloris Smeyers (Bel) Verandas WillemsRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFNiels Vandyck (Bel) Verandas WillemsRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFJan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFMaarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFWietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-PowerplusRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-PowerplusRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFSébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-SharpRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFJohan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin-SharpRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Ista (Bel) IAM CyclingRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFKristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM CyclingRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFJan Denuwelaere (Bel)Row 117 - Cell 2
DNFBert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFJens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFBart Aernouts (Bel)Row 121 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra) FDJRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFSteve Bekaert (Bel) Burgos BH-Castilla y LeonRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFKevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo NordiskRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Raeymaekers (Bel) Team Novo NordiskRow 125 - Cell 2

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