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Devolder saves his season with Belgian title

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Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia) leads the chasing group.

Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia) leads the chasing group. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Guess who was in the break? Niko Eeckhout of course.

Guess who was in the break? Niko Eeckhout of course. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) pours on the power.

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) pours on the power. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) got no help from his chasing companion Frederik Veuchelen.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) got no help from his chasing companion Frederik Veuchelen. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) escaped to win the national championship.

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) escaped to win the national championship. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder solos to the victory.

Stijn Devolder solos to the victory. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Philippe Gilbert attacked repeatedly, but ended up without the win.

Philippe Gilbert attacked repeatedly, but ended up without the win. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Devolder about to make his race-winning move.

Devolder about to make his race-winning move. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Philippe Gilbert spent a few kilometres off the front solo

Philippe Gilbert spent a few kilometres off the front solo (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The early move didn't last through the late-race attacks.

The early move didn't last through the late-race attacks. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The day's breakaway

The day's breakaway (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Lotto took charge of the chasing.

Lotto took charge of the chasing. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Jurgen Vandewalle (Quick Step) leads the breakaway

Jurgen Vandewalle (Quick Step) leads the breakaway (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The peloton speeds through the start/finish along the canal

The peloton speeds through the start/finish along the canal (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The Belgian men's podium: Philippe Gilbert, Stijn Devolder and Frederik Veuchelen

The Belgian men's podium: Philippe Gilbert, Stijn Devolder and Frederik Veuchelen (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Devolder's children were there to help dad celebrate

Devolder's children were there to help dad celebrate (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder with his championship medal

Stijn Devolder with his championship medal (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder dons his new shirt.

Stijn Devolder dons his new shirt. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) on the podium after winning his national road title

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) on the podium after winning his national road title (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Philippe Gilbert was the race favourite, but ended up in second.

Philippe Gilbert was the race favourite, but ended up in second. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) celebrates his victory

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) celebrates his victory (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) wins the Belgian championship

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) wins the Belgian championship (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stijn Devolder counts his national titles

Stijn Devolder counts his national titles (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

Stijn Devolder won his second Belgian national title in Leuven, crowning a long solo attack to claim the title and keep it in his Quick Step team. Second place went to Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and third to Vacansoleil's Frederick Veuchelen, finishing about a half minute back.

It was Devolder's second win of the season. He won the Tour of Belgium without taking any stage wins. The 30-year-old had won the national road title in 2007 and the time trial championship in 2009. Title defender and teammate Tom Boonen did not ride the race due to a knee injury.

“I am incredibly happy,” Devolder said. “This is a dream come true. This is a very special jersey for me! After wearing this jersey in 2007 in Ronse I had, quite possibly, one of the best seasons in my career. I hope that will be the case again. This success, paired with the Tour of Belgium win I obtained a few weeks ago, really rewards me for all the hard work I've done. I am truly and deeply satisfied."

Six riders broke away early: Tim Bertrand and Jonathan Van Den Haute (AG2R), Tim Mertens (Topsport Vlaanderen), Wilfried Cretskens (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step) and 39-year-old Niko Eeckhout (An Post – Sean Kelly). They were caught again though, with 55km to go.

Gilbert tried to go away solo, forcing an elite selection that would stay clear until the finish. The group included many of the top names including two of Gilbert's teammates, Jurgen Roelandts and Greg van Avermaet. On the penultimate lap, Gilbert tried repeatedly to get away, but when Devolder countered with 11km to go the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider could not respond. Gilbert and Veuchelen gave chase, but the Vacansoleil rider did not help with the lead work, and they were unable to catch Devolder.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)5:53:19
2Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)0:00:23
3Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)0:00:24
4Greg Van Avermaet (Omega Pharma-Lotto)0:00:30
5Nick Nuyens (Rabobank)
6Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
7Dries Devenyns (Quick Step)
8Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Transitions)
9Maxime Monfort (Team HTC - Columbia)
10Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
11Andy Cappelle (Verandas Willems)0:00:58
12Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)0:01:20
13Nico Sijmens (Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne)
14Christophe Brandt (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
15Maarten Wynants (Quick Step)
16Nikolas Maes (Quick Step)
17Kristof Vandewalle (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)0:01:23
18Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto)0:01:26
19Jan Ghyselinck (Team HTC - Columbia)0:01:32
20James Vanlandschoot (Willems Verandas)
21Iljo Keisse (Quick Step)
22Bert De Backer (Skil - Shimano)
23Gregory Habeaux (Verandas Willems)
24Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet)
25Serge Pauwels (Ned) Sky Professional Cycling Team)
26Romain Zingle (Cofidis, le Credit en Ligne)
27Maxime Vantomme (Team Katusha)
28Kevin Neirynck (Landbouwkrediet)
29Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
30Gert Dockx (Team HTC - Columbia)
31Ben Hermans (Team Radioshack)
32Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
33Roy Sentjens (Ned) Team Milram)
34Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step)
35Kevin De Weert (Quick Step)
36Thomas De Gendt (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
37Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb - Revor)
38Maarten Neyens (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)0:01:37
39Steven De Neef (Jong Vlaanderen - Bauknecht)0:01:39
40Jérôme Baugnies (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
41Bert Scheirlinckx (Landbouwkrediet)0:01:44
42Dominique Cornu (Skil - Shimano)
43Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step)
44Kevin Van Impe (Quick Step)
45Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea)
46Mario Aerts (Omega Pharma-Lotto)

 

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