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Vanmarcke wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) staged his break-out performance at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, taking the race by the reins by forcing the final three-man breakaway and then stunning favourite Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in the sprint to take the victory.

Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha was third.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I beat Tom Boonen, my big hero,” an emotional Vanmarcke said during the post-race interview with Sporza. He knew that in a sprint against Boonen, his chances were slim and tried to shake him off with a few attacks, but said, "I know if I have a really great day, I can sprint pretty well."

Boonen came in with generous and genuine congratulations for his young compatriot, and admitted to the press that he misjudged the approach to the line. "I saw the finish this morning and still I get caught. I thought I went at the right moment, but ... the race was 50 meters too long."

Flecha, standing on the podium for the fifth time in six years, was happy to return to the stage, but said that while this is clearly his kind of course, only the win matters.

However, the Spaniard was impressed by Vanmarcke. "You can see that the guy has tremendous talent in these races. He is impressive. That he beat Boonen in the sprint surprised me. It just goes to show, the race goes to the finish line."

Vanmarcke, 23, previously showed his Classics promise by taking second in the 2010 Gent-Wevelgem while riding with Topsport Vlaanderen, and before as a podium finisher in the U23 version of the Tour of Flanders, but today's victory showed a never-before seen brilliance, both in fitness and in tactical prowess.

The decisive breakaway was formed on the Taaienberg, 59km from the finish in sunny Ghent. Behind a break of three, Boonen tested his legs on the climb, and Vanmarcke swiftly followed. Matthew Hayman (Sky), Matti Breschel (Rabobank), Thor Hushovd (BMC), Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) and Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) were able to catch on. Behind them double winner Philippe Gilbert flatted and lost a lot of time.

With 39km to go the Boonen group caught the two remaining leaders, Sven Vandousselaere and Lieuwe Westra. It was on the Molenberg with 37km to go that Vanmarcke gave the first indication of his intentions - he attacked at the base of this final climb, and Boonen fought to catch on. Hushovd, Breschel, Hayman, Flecha and Devenyns eventually re-joined, but the early leaders were dropped for good.

On the cobbles of the Paddestraat with 31km to go Vanmarcke unleashed his devils once again, the acceleration ridding him of Breschel and Hushovd. With a seemingly dire tactical disadvantage, in a group with two proven classics men: Boonen and Flecha, each with a teammate, Vanmarcke was not intimidated.

Vanmarcke put in another acceleration to dislodge Devenyns and Hayman, and still had enough energy to contribute to the work in the final 20km to keep the trio clear.

The young star-to-be put in one last dig with 1km to go, trying to get away, but when Boonen shut down the maneuver, the Garmin rider sat on the back while Flecha set the pace, the Spaniard keeping a careful eye on his companions with frequent looks over his shoulder.

Boonen opened up the sprint ahead of the 200m to go mark, but Vanmarcke was able to get in behind and then put in a stinging acceleration to jump past and grab his first Classic victory.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Barracuda4:52:34
2Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
3Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling
4Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Barracuda0:00:25
5Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
7Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat
9Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar
10Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
11John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i
12Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team
13Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team
14Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
15Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
16Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
17Leif Hoste (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
18Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
19Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
20Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
21Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
22Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
23Bernard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling
24Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling
25Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
26Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
27Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling
28Dominique Rollin (Can) Fdj-Big Mat
29Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
30Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:36
31Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:41
32Koen De Kort (Ned) Project 1t4i
33Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:51
34Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
35Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Barracuda0:00:54
36Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:59
37Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:01:05
38Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:01:32
39Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:05:22
40Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
41Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1-Sanofi0:05:30
42Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Project 1t4i
43Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
44Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
45Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Type 1-Sanofi
46Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team
47Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
48Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team
49Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
50Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team
51Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
52Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
53Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
54Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
55James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
56Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Greenedge Cycling Team
57Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
58Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
59Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Greenedge Cycling Team
60Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat
61Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar
62Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
63Anthony Geslin (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat
64Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar
65Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
66Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
67Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
68Mickael Delage (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat
69Ole Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Fdj-Big Mat
70Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
71Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
72Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
73Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
74Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
75Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling
76Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling
77Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
78Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
79William Bonnet (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat
80Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
81David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar0:07:45
82Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
83Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Netapp
84Evert Verbist (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
85Rob Goris (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
86Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
87Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
88Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
89Aliaksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha Team
90Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Barracuda
91Baden Cooke (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team
92Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
93Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp
94Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
95Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Team Netapp
96Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
97Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
98Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team
99Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team
100Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
101Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team
102Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team
103Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
104Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
105Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
106Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
107Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
108Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Barracuda
109Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda
110Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
111Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet
112Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
113Kevyn Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:12:44
114Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
115Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1-Sanofi
116David Boucher (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat
117Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
118Timon Seubert (Ger) Team Netapp
119Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
120Sander Cordeel (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
121Andy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's

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