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Boeckmans wins Le Samyn

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Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Soudal)

Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Soudal) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Wet cobbles caused crashes in Le Samyn

Wet cobbles caused crashes in Le Samyn (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) in the break with Ludwig De Winter (Wallonie-Bruxelles)

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) in the break with Ludwig De Winter (Wallonie-Bruxelles) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Trek Factory Racing leads the chase

Trek Factory Racing leads the chase (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The narrow cobbled section came at less than 3km to race

The narrow cobbled section came at less than 3km to race (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas De Gendt went on a long solo breakaway in Le Samyn

Thomas De Gendt went on a long solo breakaway in Le Samyn (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Kristoff Vandewalle (Trek) leads on the cobbles

Kristoff Vandewalle (Trek) leads on the cobbles (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gert Steegmans (Trek)

Gert Steegmans (Trek) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gianni Meersman tries to pass Kris Boeckmans

Gianni Meersman tries to pass Kris Boeckmans (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Boeckmans wins Le Samyn

Boeckmans wins Le Samyn (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Le Samyn 2015 podium: Gianni Meersman, Kris Boeckmans and Chrisophe Laporte

Le Samyn 2015 podium: Gianni Meersman, Kris Boeckmans and Chrisophe Laporte (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Etixx-QuickStep had the strength in numbers in the finale but there was precious little they could do to prevent Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) from sprinting to victory at the end of an entertaining edition of Le Samyn.

Stijn Vandenbergh's show of force on the final stretch of cobblestones at the Rue de Belleville with a little over two kilometres to go reduced the leading group to just eight riders, four of them from his Etixx-QuickStep team, but like at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, the men in black couldn't make that numerical superiority count.

This time around, at least, there was no tactical second guessing. Etixx-QuickStep's approach was planned around delivering Gianni Meersman to a sprint finish after burning off as many of the other established fast men as possible. Vandenbergh and company duly rid themselves of the likes of Bryan Coquard (Europcar), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Adrien Petit (Cofidis) on the final laps of the finishing circuit.

In the finishing straight, however, Boeckmans was a class apart. As Etixx-QuickStep's Yves Lampaert led out the sprint, Boeckmans locked himself onto Meersman's wheel, before shooting to the front with 200 metres remaining and instantly opening a winning gap.

Meersman was caught on the back foot and though he battled gamely after coming off Lampaerts' wheel, he simply had too much ground to make up and had to settle for second place. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) claimed third place ahead of Boeckmans' Lotto teammate Tiesj Benoot.

Boeckmans had placed second at Le Samyn in 2012 and 2013, and was delighted to finally take the win on the redesigned parcours.

"I was just as good in the other years but now I have luck on my side and I'm winning," said Boeckmans, who also won a stage at Étoile des Bessèges last month. "I started my sprint with 200 metres to go and I went before Gianni. His teammate kept leading him out and it was almost another 100 metres before he swung over. That was an advantage."

Meersman won the Cadel Evans Ocean Race and a stage of the Volta ao Algarve in February, and he must have felt he was set for another victory when he had Vandenbergh, Lampaert and Niki Terpstra for company at the head of the race as they rattled over the final stretch of cobbles. He felt he had erred by delaying his sprint.

"If you have good legs, you have to win," he said. "I am very disappointed with my second place finish. Kris was the first to go. I could have come back but the finish came up too fast. I was close but the finish came ten metres too soon."

De Gendt to the fore

Much of the interest before this year's edition of Le Samyn focused on the redesigned finishing circuit and its extra spread of cobbles, though the day's early break went clear long before the peloton reached those final five laps around Dour.

Boeckmans' teammate Thomas De Gendt was part of that move with Latvian strongman Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) and Ludwig De Winter (Wallonie-Bruxelles), and together they established a lead in excess of six minutes over a peloton led by Etixx-QuickStep and Trek Factory Racing.

With 60 kilometres remaining, and now on that local lap in Dour, De Gendt decided to clip off the front alone, dropping his breakaway companions on the cobbled climb of the Côte de la Roquette and bracing himself for a lone Odyssey at the head of the race.

As soon as De Gendt struck out alone, his gap over the main peloton began to dwindle accordingly, dropping to four minutes with 50 kilometres remaining and then to 1:15 with 30 kilometres left. He lasted out front for another ten kilometres, however, and his efforts allowed Boeckmans and his Lotto-Soudal team to shelter in the main body of the peloton.

"We had a whole day at ease because Thomas was in the break," Boeckmans said. "Then in the finale, I was at my limit for a whole six kilometres."

After De Gendt was pegged back, Adrien Petit (Cofidis) was the danger man in the next group that ghosted up the road. The Frenchman had Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) and Sergei Lagutin (Katusha) for company in the eight-man group, but they never managed to strike a decent working alliance, and Petit took off alone with 10 kilometres remaining.

By that point, however, Etixx-QuickStep and Trek Factory Racing were ratcheting up the pace in the main peloton and he was swept back up shortly afterwards. Once onto the final blast over the Rue de Belleville, Vandenbergh – inevitably – came to the front, and his searing pace strung out the peloton and helped the decisive group of eight to break clear.

As well as the four QuickStep men, there were two from Lotto (Boeckmans and Benoot) and two from Cofidis (Laport and Steve Chainel), but there was little question of collaboration in those frantic final two kilometres. Vandenbergh kept turning his monster gear over on the front, before swinging over and allowing Lampaert through.

The script said that Meersman was due to bring it home from there, only for Boeckmans' quick ad lib to give the final word to Lotto-Soudal.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal4:47:01
2Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
3Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
4Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:03
5Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:13
6Steve Chainel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
7Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
8Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
9Baptiste Plackaert (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
10Oliver Naesen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
11Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka
12Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
13Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step
14Huub Duyn (Ned) Team Roompot
15Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
16Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
17Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
18Johan Le Bon (Fra)
19Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:19
20Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:22
21Federico Zurlo (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:24
22Joeri Calleeuw (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team
23Kevin Ista (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
24Anton Vorobyev (Rus) Team Katusha
25Gerry Druyts (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
26Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha
27Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
28Timothy Dupont (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
29Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
30Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
31Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
32Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
33Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha
34Justin Jules (Fra) Veranclassic - Ekoi
35Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
36Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18
37Sander Cordeel (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
38Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team
39Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot
40Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
41Jaco Venter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
42Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Team Roompot0:00:35
43Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:49
44Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
45Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
46Gaetan Bille (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team
47Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
48Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)
49Dennis Coenen (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
50Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:04
51Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:01:09
52Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
53Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:20
54Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
55Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:23
56Louis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
57Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
58Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
59Boris Dron (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
60Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:51
61Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar
62Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot
63Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
64Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ.fr0:02:47
65Mike Terpstra (Ned) Team Roompot0:02:57
66Sam Lennertz (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team0:03:08
67Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
68Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
69Julien Morice (Fra) Team Europcar
70Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
71Melvin Rulliere (Fra) Veranclassic - Ekoi0:03:25
72Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:21
73Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
74Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
75Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
76Daniel Mclay (GBr) Bretagne-Séché Environnement0:04:30
77Julien Kaise (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect0:06:13
78Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
79Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
80Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
81Reinier Honig (Ned) Team Roompot0:06:41
82Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:08:09
83Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
84Tomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
85Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar
86Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
87Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
88Robin Stenuit (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi
89Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
90John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
91Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha
92Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Roompot
93Christophe Premont (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team
DNSEgidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Colba - Superano Ham
DNSJérôme Gilbert (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team
DNFRudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFDieter Bouvry (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFThomas Damuseau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFRudy Kowalski (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFJeremy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
DNFJulien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAxel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFHugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFGuillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFVegard Breen (Nor) Lotto Soudal
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra)
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra)
DNFLorenzo Manzin (Fra)
DNFJussi Veikkanen (Fin)
DNFStef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling
DNFJonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFSimon Pellaud (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
DNFPatrick Schelling (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFSven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha
DNFGatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha
DNFGert Steegmans (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
DNFKristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
DNFChristophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
DNFShane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 18
DNFPhil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
DNFRalf Matzka (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
DNFDaniel Schorn (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
DNFScott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18
DNFCarlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFMiguel Angel Benito Diez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFFernando Grijalba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFJosé Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFAdrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFJaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFNikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFMarek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFGrzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFMateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFJulien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFGert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFEtienne Van Empel (Ned) Team Roompot
DNFAlessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
DNFDaniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
DNFJérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFDanilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFTom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFThomas Boudat (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFDan Craven (Nam) Team Europcar
DNFMorgan Lamoisson (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFStijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFPieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFJonas Rickaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFJef Van Meirhaeghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFPreben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFArthur Van Overberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
DNFTheo Bos (Ned) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFJay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFKristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFSerge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFAdrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFAntoine Loy (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect
DNFMaximilien Picoux (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect
DNFAnthony Vandrepotte (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect
DNFFranklin Six (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect
DNFCharlie Arimont (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect
DNFRemy Mertz (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect
DNFJimmy Duquennoy (Bel) Color Code - Aquality Protect
DNFAntoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
DNFGregory Habeaux (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
DNFTom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) Wallonie - Bruxelles
DNFAlexander Cools (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
DNFKurt Geysen (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
DNFRob Ruijgh (Ned) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
DNFAlphonse Vermote (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team
DNFGorik Gardeyn (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi
DNFEdwig Cammaerts (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi
DNFSerge De Wortelaer (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi
DNFThomas Vaubourzeix (Fra) Veranclassic - Ekoi
DNFDavid Desmecht (Bel) Veranclassic - Ekoi
DNFQuincy Vens (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham
DNFGlenn Vandemaele (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham
DNFNick Van Der Meer (Ned) Colba - Superano Ham
DNFJelle Donders (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham
DNFKevin Suarez Martinez (Bel) Colba - Superano Ham
DNFRick Ottema (Ned) Colba - Superano Ham
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team
DNFJerome Kerf (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team
DNFEmiel Wastyn (Bel) Verandas Willems Cycling Team


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