Nuyens victorious at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Nick Nuyens won Dwars door Vlaanderen out of a late break, finishing only a split second ahead of the field. His break companion Geraint Thomas (Sky) finished right behind him, with Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) winning the field sprint to take third.

Nuyens and Thomas had attacked the peloton with 20 km to go, catching a leading trio. Frederic Amorison (Landbouwkrediet), who had been away for 140 km, was the only one able to stay with them but he was dropped at the flamme rouge. The escapees never had more than a 21-second lead, and usually less, but the late-joining duo were able to hold on to the end.

Nuyens had left Rabobank after two years to lead Saxo Bank-SunGard in the Classics. He has the GP de Wallonie, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Omloop Het Volk to his credit, going back to 2006.

Sunny and warm

Pleasant spring sunshine and still conditions greeted the riders as they gathered in Roeselare for the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the consensus in the Grote Markt was that the lack of wind would mean that the race would not be blown apart until the succession of cobbled climbs in the final 70km or so.

The first move to gain any serious advantage arrived soon after the peloton passed through Waregem for the first time, 60km into the race. Frederic Amorison (Landbouwkrediet), Rob Goris (Veranda’s Willems-Accent), Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) and Dries Hollanders (An Post-Sean Kelly) forged clear and by the foot of the first day’s first climb, the Nieuwe Kwaremont (90km), they had a gap of four minutes.

Behind, there was no discernible rise in pace in the peloton as they hit the first of the race’s twelve hellingen. Even when the lead reached six minutes at the top of the Kattenberg (110km), no team showed any interest in taking charge of the pursuit behind, but the situation was to change 70km from home, when Kevin Van Impe (Quick Step) launched a speculative effort. Garmin-Cervélo, and Johan Van Summeren in particular, took up the chase and duly ignited the battle for positions at the front end of the bunch in earnest.

On the climb of the Eikenberg (140km), it was Tom Boonen (Quick Step) himself who hit the front, and his effort had the effect of stringing out the peloton and weeding out some of the weaker elements at the rear of the field. The Belgian even briefly went clear with Matt Hayman (Sky) before relenting over the top of the climb. Meanwhile, Hollanders had finally lost contact with the break up ahead after struggling on the previous climbs.

After Boonen’s show of individual force, Leopard Trek gave a demonstration of their collective strength: first Joost Posthuma enjoyed a brief rally off the front, and then the Luxembourg team hit the front en masse 55km from home and began to organise the pursuit of the remaining escapees.

By the approach to the Oude Kwaremont with 37km to go, the main peloton had been thinned out significantly, with Garmin-Cervélo now prominent at the head of affairs. On the climb itself, Amorison decided it was time to shed himself of his breakaway companions and go for broke as the gap fell below two minutes, although Goris would get back on 10km later.

Behind, Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-SunGard) tackled the climb with zeal and attacked from the front of the chasing peloton, and when he was reeled back, Boonen again came through and began to force the pace, with Van Avermaet, Flecha and Cancellara all keeping a close watch on the resurgent Belgian.

Immediately after the Kwaremont came the Paterberg, and while Amorison still had a 1:30 advantage, with Goris close behind, the main chase group was now slashing his lead. Again it was Boonen who came to the front and ratcheted up the pace on the climb, driving the home fans into a frenzy. Although he succeeded in lining out the group, he was unable to shed himself of any of the major favourites, with Flecha and Offredo queuing up behind him.

After the Paterberg, however, the chase did finally split. Alessandro Ballan (BMC), Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Niki Terpstra (Quick Step) were among those to be caught on the wrong foot as the group broke up under impetus from Garmin-Cervelo and Leopard Trek, although they managed to get back on after a frantic chase. André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) was not so fortunate, however, and he was caught behind.

A searing turn on the flat from Fabian Cancellara strung things out still further, and when he relented, Nick Nuyens and Geraint Thomas (Sky) went clear. They bridged to Amorison and Goris, but with Garmin-Cervélo and Leopard Trek again organising the pursuit, they had just 10 seconds in hand with 20km to go.

Goris got dropped and the remaining trio clung tenaciously to their small lead, even building it out to more than 20 seconds. A high-powered chase group couldn't organise itself to catch them and was caught again by the peloton. Garmin-Cervelo then moved to the lead of the peloton to reel in the escapees.

Nuyens led the trio up the Nokereberg near the end, looking very determined. But by the descent, they had already started looking back as the gap dwindled towards the ten-second mark.

Niki Terpstra of Quick Step rode aggressively in the finale, attacking often. The Dutch champion made a serious break with seven km to go, accompanied by Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha, but the field pulled them back, too.

The leading trio managed to carry a seven-second gap under the one-km marker, and then Nuyens and Thomas accelerated. They managed to stay away until the end by the slimmest of margins with the wily Belgian veteran easily outsprinting the British road champion.

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Full Results
1Nick Nuyens (Bel) Saxo Bank Sungard4:39:55
2Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 1 - Cell 2
3Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 2 - Cell 2
4Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 4 - Cell 2
6Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJRow 9 - Cell 2
11Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 10 - Cell 2
12Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 11 - Cell 2
13Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 13 - Cell 2
15Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 14 - Cell 2
16Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 16 - Cell 2
18Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 17 - Cell 2
19Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 18 - Cell 2
20Svein Tuft (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 19 - Cell 2
21Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJRow 20 - Cell 2
22Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Geert Verheyen (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 23 - Cell 2
25Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 30 - Cell 2
32Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 31 - Cell 2
33Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling0:00:05
34Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard TrekRow 35 - Cell 2
37Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:11
38Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:14
40Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:17
41Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:21
42Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:32
43Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:29
44Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team0:01:42
45Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank SungardRow 44 - Cell 2
46Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-HighroadRow 46 - Cell 2
48Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 47 - Cell 2
49Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 49 - Cell 2
51John Degenkolb (Ger) HTC-HighroadRow 50 - Cell 2
52Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 51 - Cell 2
53Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 52 - Cell 2
54Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Rob Goris (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 54 - Cell 2
56Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 55 - Cell 2
57Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard TrekRow 56 - Cell 2
58Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:10:20
59Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 58 - Cell 2
60Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - ShimanoRow 59 - Cell 2
61Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 60 - Cell 2
62Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 61 - Cell 2
63Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 62 - Cell 2
64Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 65 - Cell 2
67Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 66 - Cell 2
68Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 68 - Cell 2
70James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 69 - Cell 2
71Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 70 - Cell 2
72Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank SungardRow 71 - Cell 2
73Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 72 - Cell 2
74Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 73 - Cell 2
75Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 74 - Cell 2
76Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 75 - Cell 2
77Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard TrekRow 77 - Cell 2
79Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 78 - Cell 2
80Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 79 - Cell 2
81Bert Grabsch (Ger) HTC-HighroadRow 80 - Cell 2
82Michael Barry (Can) Sky ProcyclingRow 81 - Cell 2
83Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 82 - Cell 2
84Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 83 - Cell 2
85Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 85 - Cell 2
87Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJRow 86 - Cell 2
88Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetappRow 88 - Cell 2
90Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 89 - Cell 2
91Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 90 - Cell 2
92Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 91 - Cell 2
93Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 92 - Cell 2
94Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 93 - Cell 2
95Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 96 - Cell 2
98Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 97 - Cell 2
99Bert De Waele (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 98 - Cell 2
100Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJRow 99 - Cell 2
101Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 100 - Cell 2
102Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 101 - Cell 2
103Yohann Gene (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 102 - Cell 2
104Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 103 - Cell 2
105Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 104 - Cell 2
106Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 105 - Cell 2
107Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 106 - Cell 2
108André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 107 - Cell 2
109Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:10:51
110Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:11:27
111David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 110 - Cell 2
112Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 112 - Cell 2
114Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 113 - Cell 2
115Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 114 - Cell 2
116Russell Downing (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 115 - Cell 2
117Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 116 - Cell 2
HDAdam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:16:54
HDTomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 118 - Cell 2
HDRonan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 119 - Cell 2
HDSimon Lambert-Lemay (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 120 - Cell 2
HDMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 121 - Cell 2
HDJean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 122 - Cell 2
HDCoen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
HDKamil Zielinski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 124 - Cell 2
HDGraeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
HDMark McNally (GBr) An Post - Sean KellyRow 126 - Cell 2
HDMatthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-HighroadRow 127 - Cell 2
HDMartin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 128 - Cell 2
HDTimon Seubert (Ger) Team NetappRow 129 - Cell 2
HDAlex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 130 - Cell 2
HDMitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - ShimanoRow 131 - Cell 2
HDMichaël Baer (Swi) Team NetappRow 132 - Cell 2
HDDirk Bellemakers (Ned) LandbouwkredietRow 133 - Cell 2
HDGediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean KellyRow 134 - Cell 2
HDJohn Murphy (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
HDBartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 136 - Cell 2
HDDanny Pate (USA) HTC-HighroadRow 137 - Cell 2
HDRoger Kluge (Ger) Skil - ShimanoRow 138 - Cell 2
HDCesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetappRow 139 - Cell 2
HDEric Baumann (Ger) Team NetappRow 140 - Cell 2
HDBobbie Traksel (Ned) LandbouwkredietRow 141 - Cell 2
HDSteven Cozza (USA) Team NetappRow 142 - Cell 2
HDDenis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 143 - Cell 2
HDAndreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
HDSteven Caethoven (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 145 - Cell 2
HDJonathan Patrick McCarty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 146 - Cell 2
HDMartin Reimer (Ger) Skil - ShimanoRow 147 - Cell 2

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