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Howard takes sprint victory in Belgium

First-year professional Leigh Howard (HTC-Columbia) sprinted to victory in the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen one-day race in Koolskamp, Belgium. The 20-year-old Australian outkicked Aidis Kruopis (Palmans-Cras) and Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) to earn his second victory of the season.

"It was a pretty straightforward sprint with some great help from my teammates," said Howard. "Bernie [Bernhard Eisel] and Marcel [Sieberg] gave me the lead-out I needed and even though I went for it a bit too early myself, I was able to put my arms in the air to celebrate with 20 or 30 metres to go."

A four-rider breakaway was pulled back in the closing kilometres of the race, making a bunch sprint a virtual certainty. "We'd done a few laps through there and I'd had a good look at the finish," Howard said. "I had felt a bit hesitant beforehand because my last race didn't go so well. But when it got to the last few kilometres I was feeling good and ready to go for it. There were a couple of opportunities in the middle of the season I missed, but this time around it all worked out fine."

Full Results
1Leigh Howard (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia4:09:00
2Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Palmans - Cras
4Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
6Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank
8Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Radioshack
10Timothy Dupont (Bel) Jong Vlaanderen - Bauknecht
12Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
14Francois Jurgen (Bel) Palmans - Cras
16Frederique Robert (Bel) Quick Step
18Steven Caethoven (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
20Maxim De Busschere (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly
22Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Quick Step
24Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Verandas Willems
26Tom Van Becelaere (Bel) Palmans - Cras
28Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Netapp
30Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Team Katusha
32Rune Van Der Meijden (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof
34Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step
36Alexander Mironov (Rus) Itera-Katusha
38Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
40Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
42Bob Schoonbroodt (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof
44Sander Oostlander (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof
46Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof
48Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
50Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp
52Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
54Andy Cappelle (Bel) Verandas Willems
56Daryl Impey (RSA) Team Radioshack
58Serguei Klimov (Rus) Team Katusha
60Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha
62Jonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Qin Cycling Team
64Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step
66Gerben Löwik (Ned) Omega Pharma-Lotto
68Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia
70James Spragg (GBr) Qin Cycling Team
72Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Team Radioshack
74Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
76Geert Omloop (Bel) Palmans - Cras
78Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
80Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano
82Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
84Thomas Vedel Kvist (Den) Quick Step
86Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step
88Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank
90Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank0:00:28
91Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank
93Glenn D'Hollander (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
95Gert Dockx (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia
97Gil Suray (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly
99Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step
101Tom Stubbe (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
103Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
105Kim Borry (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly
107Stijn Steels (Bel) Qin Cycling Team
109Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Verandas Willems0:00:45
110Fabio Polazzi (Bel) Verandas Willems
112Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank0:01:10
113Andreas Dietziker (Swi) Vorarlberg - Corratec0:01:32
114Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Team HTC - Columbia0:01:40
115Jonathan Bertrand (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:50
116Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp
118Glenn Vandemaele (Bel) Team Worldofbike.gr
120Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
122Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:02:45
123Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet

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