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Démare sprints to Samyn victory

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Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) wins GP Le Samyn.

Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) wins GP Le Samyn. (Image credit: Fabrice Lambert)
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Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) wins Le Samyn ahead of Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis)

Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) wins Le Samyn ahead of Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) won GP Le Samyn ahead of Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis).

Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) won GP Le Samyn ahead of Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis). (Image credit: Fabrice Lambert)
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Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) celebrates his victory at Le Samyn

Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) celebrates his victory at Le Samyn (Image credit: AFP)
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Le Samyn winner Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) glances over at runner-up Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM).

Le Samyn winner Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) glances over at runner-up Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM). (Image credit: AFP)
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Le Samyn podium (l-r): Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM), Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat), Adrien Petit (Cofidis)

Le Samyn podium (l-r): Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil - DCM), Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat), Adrien Petit (Cofidis) (Image credit: AFP)
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Le Samyn top-3 (l-r): Kris Boeckmans, 2nd; Arnaud Démare, 1st; Adrien Petit, 3rd

Le Samyn top-3 (l-r): Kris Boeckmans, 2nd; Arnaud Démare, 1st; Adrien Petit, 3rd (Image credit: AFP)
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Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at the front of the five-man break which at one point held an 8-minute lead before being caught with 25km to go.

Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) at the front of the five-man break which at one point held an 8-minute lead before being caught with 25km to go. (Image credit: AFP)

Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) gave a further demonstration of his burgeoning talent with an assured sprint victory at GP Le Samyn. The world under 23 champion saw off the challenge of Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil – DCM) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis) in Dour to claim his second win as a professional.

Timing was of the essence on the long, uphill finishing straight, and Démare showed a knowledge of his craft beyond his tender years to pitch his effort perfectly and overhaul Boeckmans inside the final 50 metres.

After controlling the peloton for much of the day and hunting down the breaks on the final lap of the finishing circuit, FDJ-BigMat’s sprint train had Démare perfectly placed on the wheels of Mikael Delage and Yauheni Hutarovich with 400 metres to go.

It was at this point that Boeckmans attempted to tear up the script, as he ripped clear along the barriers on the right hand side of the road. The plucky Belgian initially opened a sizeable gap, and with no discernible reaction behind, it briefly seemed as though he had enough in hand to hold on for the win.

Démare was simply biding his time, however, and he opened his sprint with 200 metres to go, sweeping past Boeckmans’ stalling teammate Romain Feillu in the process. The final drag to the line would prove interminable for Boeckmans; by comparison, Démare seemed to glide over the ground behind, making up three lengths on the Belgian and adding another for good measure even as he sat up to savour his win.

“It was hard to measure your effort, but I felt that I still enough in reserve,” a smiling Démare said afterwards. The 21-year-old was fresh from a fourth place finish at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, where he had acted as poisson pilote for Hutarovich, but the pair swapped roles in Belgium.

“At the briefing beforehand, it was decided that the guys would ride for me,” he said. “We’d already shown we could do that at Kuurne on Sunday, but this time the roles were different.”

Boeckmans was gallant in his bid for victory, but he freely admitted that he didn’t have the legs to sustain his effort on the drag to the finish. “In the last 50 metres, my legs were ready to explode, but Démare deserved the win,” he said. “It’s just a pity, because I was going well.”

The finishing straight was not altogether dissimilar from the finale on which Démare took his world title last September, and the parallels with Copenhagen were all the more appropriate given that his lead-out man on that occasion, Adrien Petit, came home in third place.

How it unfolded

The colour and tumult of the spring classics seemed a lifetime away as the peloton set out from Frameries under slate grey skies on Wednesday afternoon, but once the flag was dropped, there was no shortage of Belgian riders keen to get up the road. When the day’s break finally went, it was headlined by Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who had Dennis Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol), Jonathan Breyne (Landbouwkrediet), Kevin Van Melsen (Accent Jobs) and Antoine Demoitie (Idemasport) for company.

It wasn’t until that quintet built up a lead of 8 minutes that the peloton was stirred from its slumber and FDJ-BigMat and Garmin-Barracuda assiduously set about tapping away at the deficit.

In spite of Keisse’s best efforts on the finishing circuit, particularly on the cobbled Côte de la Roquette, the break was reeled in with 25km to go, following a particularly long stint of tempo riding from Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda) behind.

Edwig Cammaerts (Cofidis) was an aggressive presence on the final lap of the circuit, and his forcing provided the impetus for Johan Le Bon (Bretagne-Schuller) and Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) to go clear with 14km to go, but they never able to move out of sight of the peloton.

The next to try his luck was Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) as the young Pole jumped off the front after Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan) upped the pace on the final climb. His lead never stretched beyond ten seconds, however, and he too was captured as FDJ-BigMat took matters in hand for their young sprint talent Démare.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat4:31:17
2Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
3Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
4Anthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
5Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
6Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team
7Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
8Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha Team
9Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
10Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
11Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo
12Staf Scherlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's
13Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp
14Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
15Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
16Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team
17Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
18Steve Tronet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
19Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
20Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
21Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly
22Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly
23Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:00:07
24Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
25Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan
26Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
27Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
28Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha Team
29Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Rusvelo
30Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team
31Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:16
32Joost Posthuma (Ned) Radioshack-Nissan0:00:18
33Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Ag2R La Mondiale
34Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
35Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
36Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team Netapp
37Benjamin King (USA) Radioshack-Nissan
38Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
39Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
40Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
41Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan
42Kevyn Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's
43Jack Bauer (NZl) Team Garmin-Cervelo
44Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
45Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Ag2R La Mondiale
46David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar0:00:23
47Said Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar
48Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
49Frederic Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
50Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team
51Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
52Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:00:26
53Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
54Vanheuverswijn Q. (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze
55Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:30
56Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha Team
57Boris Zimine (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
58Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
59Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
60Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team
61Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
62Maarten Neyens (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team
63Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
64Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
65Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
66Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan0:00:35
67Guillaume Blot (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:00:41
68Jerôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:47
69Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
70David Boucher (Bel) FDJ-Big Mat
71Benoît Drujon (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
72Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp
73Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team
74Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team
75Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
76Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
77Steven Van Vooren (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
78Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
79Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:57
80Marco Bandiera (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
81Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:01:19
82Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Garmin-Cervelo
83Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Radioshack-Nissan
84Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
85Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Netapp0:01:29
86Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team0:01:36
87Tom Goovaerts (Bel) Colba-Superano
88Maxime Mederel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
89Nikita Eskov (Rus) Rusvelo
90Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze
91Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha Team
92Björn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar
93Tom Vanbecelaere (Bel) Colba-Superano
94Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
95Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La Mondiale
96Argueles Rodriges (Rus) Rusvelo
97Mark Mc Nally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly
98Ronan Mc Laughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly
99Sam Bennett (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly
100Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
101Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
102Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp
103Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp
104Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's
105Paul Poux (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
106Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team
107Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze
108Evert Verbist (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's
109Anthony Colin (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
110Justin Van Hoecke (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
111Julien Guay (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
112Fabio Polazzi (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
113Cyril Bessy (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
114Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
115Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
116Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
117Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
118Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar
119Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto - Belisol Team
120Jerome Baugnies (Bel) Team Netapp
121Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
122Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
123Sven Jodts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
124Marc De Maar (AHo) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling
125Sylvain Georges (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
126Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
127Loïc Desriac (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
128Jonathan Thire (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
129Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
130Jeffry Louder (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling
131Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
132Nicolas Rousseau (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93
133Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
134Robert Wagner (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan
135Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
136Grégory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's
137Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Véranda's0:02:28
138Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze
139Kevin Lalouette (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
140Jimmy Casper (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:03:38
141Thomas Dekker (Ned) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:04:17
142Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly
143Sean Patrick Downey (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly0:05:29
144Christopher Jones (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling
145Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:06:37
146Joris Cornet (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
147Glenn Van De Maele (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
148Laurent Pichon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller0:07:06
149Loic Pestiaux (Bel) Idemasport - Bio Wanze
150Olivier Poppe (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
151Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
152Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
153Bradley White (USA) Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling
154Alexander Mironov (Rus) Rusvelo
155Gilles Devillers (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
156Ian Vansumere (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
157Gaëtan Pons (Bel) Lotto - Bodysol Pole Continental Wallon
158Kevin Suarez (Bel) Colba-Superano
159Victor Manakov (Rus) Rusvelo

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