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Paolini wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Luca Paolini (Team Katusha) won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad by beating his breakaway companion Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team) in a two-up sprint. Maarten Wijnants (Team Blanco) won the sprint for third among those in the chase group.

A crowded St-Peter's square in Ghent, Belgium welcomed last year's surprise winner Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco) and 197 other riders who were about to tackle the 198 tough kilometers over the narrow and twisting Flemish roads while enduring freezing temperatures and a blisteringly cold wind.

In a fast first hour at 46km/h, nine riders managed to get into the early breakaway group. They were William Clarke (Argos-Shimano), Florian Vachon (Bretagne), Julien Fouchard (Cofidis), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis), Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun), Jérôme Cousin (Europcar), Zakkari Dempster (Netapp-Endura), and a little later, also Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) and Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

The nine riders reached the first cobblestones with a maximal advantage of five minutes on the peloton. As the hills and cobbles quickly followed each other, the gap steadily decreased. By the time the race reached the crucial Taaienberg climb, the gap was down to 1:15. The peloton split into several parts and only 40 men featured in the first peloton when hitting the following Eikenberg climb.

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) attacked the peloton after the Eikenberg together with Marco Bandiera (IAM). The duo caught up with the leaders by the next climb.

Their move was copied by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Geraint Thomas (Sky), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Maarten Wynants (Blanco), Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Cofidis) and later also Luca Paolini (Katusha).

Before those men bridged up with the tired leaders, Chavanel left his companions behind at the cobbles of the Haaghoek. With 45km left to race, Chavanel started a seemingly impossible solo ride. The Frenchman gathered no more than half a minute on the chase group where Van Avermaet took most of the initiative on the Leberg and the Molenberg.

After that last climb of the day, Chavanel was caught, creating a lead group of 10 men: Chavanel, Van Avermaet, Thomas, Paolini, Roelandts, Vandenbergh, Vandousselaere, Garcia, Wynants and Bandiera.

At the kilometres long pavé sections of the Paddestraat and Lippenhovestraat, Vandenbergh accelerated with only Paolini being able to hold the wheel of the tall Belgian rider.

On the following windy roads, the duo extended its lead up to nearly half a minute over the eight-man strong chase group by the time they reached the final pavé section (2500m) of the Lange Munte at 20km from the finish line in Ghent. None of the chasers tried to set-up a solo move on these cobbles, but also together they weren't able to get closer to the two leaders despite the cold headwind.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha4:52:15
2Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:00
3Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise0:01:13
4Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling
5Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling
7Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
8Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
10Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
11Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka0:06:27
12Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale
13Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty
14Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha
15Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
16Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
17Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
18Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
19Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
20Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp
21Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha
22Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
23Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano
24Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
25Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
26Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha
27Gaetan Bille (Bel) Lotto Belisol
28Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
29Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Sojasun
30Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
31Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
32Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
33Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
34Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
35Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
36Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
37James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
38Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ
39Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
40Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony
41Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
42Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
43Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
44Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
45Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
46Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
47Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
48Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
49Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
50Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
51Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar
52Koen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
53Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling
54Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
55Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
56Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
57Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
58Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
59Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN-Qhubeka
60Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol
61Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling
62Tim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
63Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
64Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling
65Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
66Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
67Sebastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
68Jonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
69Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
70Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
71Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
72John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
73Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ
74Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
75Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
76Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
77Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
78Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
79Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
80Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
81Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
82Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
83Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar
84Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
85Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
86Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
87Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
88Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp
89Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
90Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
91Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling
92Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
93Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
94Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
95David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar
96William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ
97Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar
98Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling
99Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
100Debusschere Jens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
101Jacob L Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:08:49
102Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling0:12:04
103Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura
104Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar
105Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
106Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura
107Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
108Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha
109David Boucher (Fra) FDJ0:13:39
110Matt Brammeier (Irl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
111Andreas Stauff (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
112Clinton Robert Avery (NZl) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
113Roberto De Patre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
114Erick Rowsell (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura
115Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
116Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka
117Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
118Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
119Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura
120Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura
121Gael Malacarne (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
122Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling
123Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
124Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
125Christophe Laborie (Fra) Sojasun
126Rony Martias (Fra) Sojasun
127Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun
128Andrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida
129Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdge
130Jean-Luc Delpech (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
131Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
132Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) Ag2R La Mondiale
133Sébastien Minard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
134Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
135Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ
136Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
137Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
138Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
139Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
140Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN-Qhubeka
141Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale
142Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
143Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
144Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
145Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
DNFRick Flens (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
DNFMoreno Hofland (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
DNFRobert Thomas Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
DNFMatteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
DNFKenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
DNFGert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Belisol
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol
DNFHugo Houle (Can) Ag2R La Mondiale
DNFAxel Domont (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
DNFAnthony Ravard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ
DNFMassimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFLuca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFMichael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
DNFWilliam Clarke (Aus) Team Argos-Shimano
DNFRoy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
DNFLuka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
DNFMartijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
DNFRamunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
DNFJohan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
DNFJéröme Gilbert (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFAndy Cappelle (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFWilliam Routley (Can) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFStefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFSébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
DNFFrédéric Amorison (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
DNFClément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
DNFBenjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
DNFGeoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
DNFMatthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
DNFWang Yip Tang (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
DNFMart Ojavee (Est) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
DNFRyan Roth (Can) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
DNFKin San Wu (HKg) Champion System Pro Cycling Team
DNFFlorent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFKristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
DNFAlexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Sojasun
DNFJimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Sojasun
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun
DNFPaul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
DNFFerekalsi Debesay Abrha (Eri) MTN-Qhubeka
DNFYoucef Reguigui (Alg) MTN-Qhubeka
DNFRafael Andriato (Bra) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
DNFLuigi Miletta (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia

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