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Vantomme wins Le Samyn

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Victory at Le Samyn came down to a bike throw, with Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole), left, winning by a whisker ahead of runner-up Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha)

Victory at Le Samyn came down to a bike throw, with Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole), left, winning by a whisker ahead of runner-up Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) on the podium

Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) on his way to winning Le Samyn

Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) on his way to winning Le Samyn
(Image credit: AFP)
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Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) prior to the start of Le Samyn

Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) prior to the start of Le Samyn
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) prior to the start of Le Samyn

Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) prior to the start of Le Samyn
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) won Le Samyn in a tight sprint while Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha) had to settle for second

Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) won Le Samyn in a tight sprint while Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha) had to settle for second
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders head to the sign-on stage for Le Samyn

Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders head to the sign-on stage for Le Samyn
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in action at Le Samyn

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in action at Le Samyn
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2014 Le Samyn champion Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole)

2014 Le Samyn champion Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The sprint to the line between Vantomme and Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha) was so close that the Russian, who actually finished second, thought he had won

The sprint to the line between Vantomme and Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha) was so close that the Russian, who actually finished second, thought he had won
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole), left, sprinted to victory at Le Samyn

Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole), left, sprinted to victory at Le Samyn
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2014 Le Samyn champion Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole)

2014 Le Samyn champion Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Le Samyn winner Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) atop the podium

Le Samyn winner Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) atop the podium
(Image credit: AFP)

Maxime Vantomme (Roubaix Lille Metropole) unleashed a powerful sprint on the slightly uphill finish in Dour to claim victory ahead of Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha) and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) at Le Samyn.

When late attacker Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha) was caught inside the final kilometre on the deceptive drag towards the line, the stage seemed set for Bouhanni to land his second win of the new season.

Bouhanni was well-positioned on the wheel of lead-out man Sebastien Chavanel when the bunch swung around the final bend, but Vantomme anticipated the Frenchman by launching his sprint on the opposite side of the road with 200 metres to go.

Vantomme instantly opened a small gap, and though the 2013 Samyn winner Tsatevich and Bouhanni both finished rapidly, they were unable to make up the ground. There was disappointment, too, for Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka), who could only manage 8th place, while his teammate Kristian Sbaragli finished 5th.

“I like this race a lot. I’m done it a few times and the uphill finish is perfect for me. I’ve had good results here before now, but never the win,” Vantomme said as he waited to mount the podium.

Vantomme’s victory was his first in over six years, since he won a stage of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in 2008. In the intervening period, Vantomme spent four seasons in the WorldTour at Katusha, but finds himself with greater responsibility within the Continental Roubaix Lille Metropole squad.

“I have carte blanche with my new team and I could do what I wanted today,” he said. “It was hard to stay near the front in the finale, but I was well-placed with 200 metres to go. I launched my sprint and I managed to win. I could feel my former Katusha teammate Tsatevich coming up behind me, but I said to myself that he wasn’t going to come past.”

Omega Pharma-QuickStep's forcing

The opening stages of Wallonia’s first race of the season were animated by a three-man break featuring Sijmens, Van de Maele and Hubert, who escaped in the first hour of racing and held a lead of three minutes over the bunch shortly after the midway point.

That margin began to tumble soon afterwards, however, as Omega Pharma-QuickStep began to ratchet up the pace in the main peloton. Indeed, after the three leaders were caught, the QuickStep pressing threatened to force the decisive split of the day with 70 kilometres to race.

Certainly, there were shades of Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne when no fewer than six QuickStep riders – Julian Alaphilippe, Andy Fenn, Iljo Keisse, Peter Vakoc, Martin Velits and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck – found themselves in a group of 11 riders that clipped off the front, though the move was pegged back within ten kilometres.

Another QuickStep rider, new arrival Thomas De Gendt, was part of the next major move, slipping away with Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) inside the final 50 kilometres. With Lotto-Belisol and Trek Factory Racing among the teams chasing, however, the pair were never allowed a lead greater than 40 seconds, and were pegged back on the finishing circuit with 20 kilometres remaining.

On that finishing circuit, a group of ten riders, including Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol), Sergey Lagutin (Rusvelo), Lloyd Mondory, Julian Kern (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Sébastien Delfosse (Wallonie-Bruxelles) forged their way clear, but they, too, were swept up inside the final ten kilometres.

Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing) was prominent near the front of the bunch in a finale where a number of moves took off without ever gaining any significant traction, although the Russian champion Isaichev threatened to upset the odds when he powered off the front with two kilometres remaining.

Isaichev’s lead lasted into the final kilometre, but he was caught just as the final, shallow slopes began to bit. Bouhanni seemed well-placed for the win, but Vantomme had other ideas.

“Up to now, I’ve always been missing a little detail,” Vantomme said. “But today, I didn’t wait for Bouhanni or anyone else. I just did my own sprint.”

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole4:36:20
2Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Team Katusha
3Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Fdj.fr
4Erwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
5Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka
6Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
7Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
8Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka
9Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
10Tom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
11Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale
12Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
13Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
14Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
15Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16Gaetan Bille (Bel) Verandas Willems
17Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
18Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
19Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha
20Jelle Mannaerts (Bel) Verandas Willems
21Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
22Roman Maikin (Rus) Rusvelo
23Julien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
24Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
25Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
26Niels Vandyck (Bel) Verandas Willems
27Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
28Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Rusvelo
29Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
30Jonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
31Tomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
32Kiryll Pozdnyakov (Rus) Rusvelo
33Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha
34Sander Cordeel (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
35Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
36Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
37Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
38Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Veranclassic - Doltcini
39Pierre-Luc Perrichon (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
40Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) Rusvelo
41Cédric Pineau (Fra) Fdj.fr
42Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
43Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
44Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
45Florent Delfosse (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze
46Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
47Piotr Gawronski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
48Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
49Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol
50Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Fdj.fr
51Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Rusvelo
52Giorgio Brambilla (Ita) Veranclassic - Doltcini
53Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
54Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
55Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Fdj.fr
56Florent Mottet (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
57Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
58Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
59Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
60Christophe Premont (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
61Jerome Kerf (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze0:00:25
62Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:29
63Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
64Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
65Igor Boev (Rus) Rusvelo0:00:31
66Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
67Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
68Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:35
69Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
70Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
71Benjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
72Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
73Petr Vakoc (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:40
74Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
75Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
76Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
77Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN - Qhubeka
78Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Team Katusha
79Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
80Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:45
81Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
82Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
83Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Fdj.fr
84Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:49
85Baptiste Plackaert (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
86Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
87Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
88Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka
89Jean-Albert Carnevali (Bel) Verandas Willems0:00:52
90Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
91Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
92Vegard Breen (Nor) Lotto Belisol
93Sam Lennertz (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
94Romain Pillon (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
95Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory Racing
96Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:18
97Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing0:01:20
98Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
99Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:26
100Franck Vermeulen (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
101Remy Mertz (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze0:01:32
102Maxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:37
103Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
104Steve Bekaert (Bel) Veranclassic - Doltcini
105Floris Smeyers (Bel) Verandas Willems
106Rudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:01:48
107Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) Verandas Willems0:01:49
108Jacek Morajko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
109Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
110Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Team Katusha0:02:04
111Kurt Geysen (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team0:02:42
112Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:02:43
113Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
114Serge De Wortelaer (Bel) Veranclassic - Doltcini
115Pawel Charucki (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
116Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
117David Boucher (Fra) Fdj.fr
118Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
119Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Fdj.fr
120Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:51
121Jonathan Baratto (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon0:04:12
DNFGatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFGert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFAndreas Stauff (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFLeonid Krasnov (Rus) Rusvelo
DNFNikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFRomain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
DNFClément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFTitte Van Laer (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
DNFKevin Van Staeyen (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
DNFAlphonse Vermote (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
DNFFrancesco Van Coppernolle (Bel) Veranclassic - Doltcini
DNFDarijus Dzervus (Ltu) Veranclassic - Doltcini
DNFYu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic - Doltcini
DNFFrederik Vandewiele (Bel) Veranclassic - Doltcini
DNFWalt De Winter (Bel) Verandas Willems
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Verandas Willems
DNFTimothy Dupont (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFAndrew Ydens (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFJulien Deschesne (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFAxel Gremelpont (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFGuillaume Haag (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFToshoni Van Craen (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFGlenn Vandemaele (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFMaxime Vekeman (Bel) T.Palm - Pôle Continental Wallon
DNFJulien Kaise (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze
DNFAntoine Warnier (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze
DNFThomas Wertz (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze
DNFRomain Hubert (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze
DNFGaëtan Pons (Bel) Color Code - Biowanze

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