Cancellara cruises to victory in late solo breakaway

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Leopard) took a repeat win in the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke with an impressive comeback and a powerful lone attack after a series of punctures almost cost him the race.

The Swiss rider bounced back from several tyres and a bike change before blowing the peloton apart on the Oude Kwaremont climb. He then surged away and crossed to the front of the race and then quickly left the lead group behind in the crosswinds before the final climb.

Cancellara’s prowess stunned his rivals as much as his speed and power. They cracked mentally and physically and he went on to finish almost a minute clear. Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma – Lotto) beat Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) for second place but it was little consolation after being beaten so clearly by Cancellara.

“I'm really surprised about the way I won. It impressed me even more than last year,” Cancellara said. “I was really far back on the Taaienberg but I just continued with my plan to make the selection on the Kwaremont; I just went on instinct.”

No early breakaway in a fast E3

Perhaps due to the lack of race radio, there were endless attacks but none stuck during the first part of the race and so there was no traditional early break. At the start of the hills, after more than 100km, a group of eight riders had a small gap on the peloton but the race would soon change.

Stuart O'Grady (Leopard Trek), Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Cervélo), Jurgen Van De Walle (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Sebastien Hinault (AG2R), Aleksander Kushynski (Katusha), Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Sungard), William Bonnet (FDJ) and Benjamin King (Team Type 1) were in the move. After the second climb of the day, Garmin-Cervélo and Leopard-Trek stopped chasing and so allowed the breakaway group to extend their lead up to almost three minutes. But with sixty kilometres to go the handbrake in the peloton was taken off and Garmin-Cervélo put the hammer down while Cancellara was struggling in the back with a flat tyre and a chain problem on the Stationsberg.

After the Taaienberg climb, Haussler continued the team's strategy work with an attack and he powered away with Gustav-Erik Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step), Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Steve Chainel (FDJ) and Vincent Jerome (Europcar).

The chasers got to within one minute of the leaders on the Kruisberg, while the peloton was half a minute further back. Bram Tankink (Rabobank), Svein Tuft (Spidertech) and later Jos Van Emden (Rabobank) and former E3-winner Sergey Ivanov (Katusha), profited from a cease-fire in the peloton to hit the steep cobbled Paterberg climb on the front. On the Paterberg Vanmarcke dropped O'Grady and the rest of the lead group without really wanting to.

“I was riding an easy pace but suddenly I found myself alone in the lead,” Vanmarcke told Cyclingnews.

A few moments later world champion Hushovd upped the pace on the Paterberg, creating some gaps in the peloton. While steaming towards the important Oude Kwaremont climb Vanmarcke gained half a minute on the first chasers with the peloton led by Cancellara, Hushovd, Hoste, Posthuma, Iglinsky, Boom and Langeveld following a further minute behind.

Halfway up the tough climb, Cancellara unleashed his anger. The rest of the peloton blew apart and let Spartacus go. After completing the climb Cancellara picked up several riders on his way to the front of the race. With thirty kilometres to go the situation was as follows: Vanmarcke was leading by half a minute, ahead of Haussler, O'Grady, Terpstra, Jerome, Larsson, Hinault and Roelandts. Cancellara and ten others followed at almost a minute down on Vanmarcke, with the Swiss rider only receiving help from Vladimir Gusev (Katusha).

On the Knokteberg climb, O'Grady realized – without needing a race radio – that he would be of better help for his teammate by dropping back from the first chase group to help Cancellara close the gap.

Meanwhile up front Terpstra accelerated and caught Vanmarcke thus keeping the Cancellara group at a distance. After the Knokteberg Terpstra, Haussler, Jerome, Roelandts and Vanmarcke still had about twenty seconds on the Cancellara group but O'Grady closed the gap on the cobbles of the Varent with 19km to go.

While heading towards the final climb of the day, Tankink attacked coming off the cobbles but a counter-attack from Cancellara proved lethal. When trying to follow him, Tankink was hit by cramp all over his body and had to ease up.

“I anticipated Cancellara's attack but while climbing the Tiegemberg I had cramp so I slowed down. Then Cancellara came and the cramps immediately returned,” Tankink said.

A comeback effort from Haussler faded too and after the Tiegemberg Cancellara quickly opened a gap of half a minute on the chase group. It was impressive work stuff and the Swiss rider extended his lead all the way to Harelbeke. He eventually won by a minute and had time to celebrate alone as he crossed the finish line.

Vanmarcke seemed set to win the sprint for second place but he was passed by Roelandts and Gusev at the line. Tankink finished fifth.

“I should have finished at least third but I couldn't pedal anymore in the final metres due to cramp; I'm disappointed,” Vanmarcke said.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek4:34:49
2Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:00
3Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 3 - Cell 2
5Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ0:01:01
7Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:01:06
8Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 7 - Cell 2
9Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 8 - Cell 2
10Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 10 - Cell 2
12Gustav Larsson (Swe) Saxo Bank SungardRow 11 - Cell 2
13Svein Tuft (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 12 - Cell 2
14Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ0:02:26
16Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Pro Team Astana0:04:24
17Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 16 - Cell 2
18Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 18 - Cell 2
20Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 19 - Cell 2
21Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 20 - Cell 2
22Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 21 - Cell 2
23Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 22 - Cell 2
24Michael Morkov (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 23 - Cell 2
25Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - ShimanoRow 24 - Cell 2
26Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 25 - Cell 2
27Bert De Waele (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 26 - Cell 2
28Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 27 - Cell 2
29Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 28 - Cell 2
30Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 29 - Cell 2
31Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 30 - Cell 2
32Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 31 - Cell 2
33Joost Posthuma (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 32 - Cell 2
34Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 33 - Cell 2
35Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 35 - Cell 2
37Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 36 - Cell 2
38Nick Nuyens (Bel) Saxo Bank SungardRow 37 - Cell 2
39Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Leopard TrekRow 38 - Cell 2
40Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Kevyn Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 40 - Cell 2
42Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 41 - Cell 2
43Koen Barbe (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 42 - Cell 2
44Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank SungardRow 45 - Cell 2
47Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - ISDRow 47 - Cell 2
49Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Simon Clarke (Aus) Pro Team AstanaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 51 - Cell 2
53Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 52 - Cell 2
54Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Jurgen Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 54 - Cell 2
56Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 55 - Cell 2
57Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:29
58Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Geert Verheyen (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 58 - Cell 2
60Aliaksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Dominique Cornu (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 60 - Cell 2
62Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 61 - Cell 2
63Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 62 - Cell 2
64David Boucher (Fra) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 63 - Cell 2
65Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 64 - Cell 2
66Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 66 - Cell 2
68Evert Verbist (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 67 - Cell 2
69Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 68 - Cell 2
70Thomas Degand (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 69 - Cell 2
71James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 70 - Cell 2
72Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
73Robert Retschke (Ger) Team NetappRow 72 - Cell 2
74Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 73 - Cell 2
75Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - ShimanoRow 77 - Cell 2
79David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 78 - Cell 2
80Kevin Lacombe (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 79 - Cell 2
81David Veilleux (Can) Team EuropcarRow 80 - Cell 2
82Tomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 81 - Cell 2
83Romain Matheou (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 82 - Cell 2
84Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 83 - Cell 2
85Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 84 - Cell 2
86Martin Mortensen (Den) Leopard TrekRow 85 - Cell 2
87Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 86 - Cell 2
88Yohann Gene (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 87 - Cell 2
89Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard TrekRow 88 - Cell 2
90Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 89 - Cell 2
91Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 90 - Cell 2
92Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 91 - Cell 2
93Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 92 - Cell 2
94Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 93 - Cell 2
95Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Team NetappRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 95 - Cell 2
97Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard TrekRow 96 - Cell 2
98Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1Row 97 - Cell 2
99Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 98 - Cell 2
100Timon Seubert (Ger) Team NetappRow 99 - Cell 2
101Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean KellyRow 100 - Cell 2
102Mark Mcnally (GBr) An Post - Sean KellyRow 101 - Cell 2
103Hugo Houle (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 102 - Cell 2
104Ryan Roth (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 103 - Cell 2
105Debusschere Jens (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 104 - Cell 2
DNSWilliam Dugan (USA) Team Type 1Row 105 - Cell 2
DNFRobert Wagner (Ger) Leopard TrekRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFGorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFJens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFMirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFGerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFAndreas Stauff (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFSebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Berard (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFSteve Houanard (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFYuriy Krivtsov (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Lemarchand (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFNikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFAlexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFVitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFVitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFDmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) Lampre - ISDRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFBalint Szeghalmi (Hun) Lampre - ISDRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFAssan Bazayev (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFAllan Davis (Aus) Pro Team AstanaRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFAndriy Grivko (Ukr) Pro Team AstanaRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFMirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Pro Team AstanaRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFDariusz Batek (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFAndré Schulze (Ger) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFBartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFTomas Smolen (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFMateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFKamil Zielinski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFJean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFLeonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFAdrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En LigneRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFYauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFFrédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFYoann Offredo (Fra) FDJRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFDominique Rollin (Can) FDJRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFEdwig Cammaerts (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFBenjamin Gourgue (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFBart Dockx (Bel) LandbouwkredietRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFTony Hurel (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFKévin Reza (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFJimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFJimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFJean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFStéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFCheng Ji (Chn) Skil - ShimanoRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFMartin Reimer (Ger) Skil - ShimanoRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFAndreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetappRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFEric Baumann (Ger) Team NetappRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFCesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetappRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFJesus Del Nero Montes (Spa) Team NetappRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFSteven Cozza (USA) Team NetappRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 164 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Patrick Mc Carty (USA) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 165 - Cell 2
DNFMartin Gilbert (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 166 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Lambert-Lemay (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10Row 167 - Cell 2
DNFFabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 1Row 168 - Cell 2
DNFJoe Eldridge (USA) Team Type 1Row 169 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Bowden (USA) Team Type 1Row 170 - Cell 2
DNFBenjamin King (Aus) Team Type 1Row 171 - Cell 2
DNFAlexey Shmidt (Rus) Team Type 1Row 172 - Cell 2
DNFMartijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1Row 173 - Cell 2
DNFStijn Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 174 - Cell 2
DNFJarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 175 - Cell 2
DNFGregory Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - MercatorRow 176 - Cell 2
DNFSjef De Wilde (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 177 - Cell 2
DNFGregory Habeaux (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Vernaeckt (Bel) Veranda's Willems - AccentRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFNiko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 180 - Cell 2
DNFSam Bennett (Irl) An Post - Sean KellyRow 181 - Cell 2
DNFMark Cassidy (Irl) An Post - Sean KellyRow 182 - Cell 2
DNFDries Hollanders (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 183 - Cell 2
DNFKess Heytens (Bel) An Post - Sean KellyRow 184 - Cell 2

 

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