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Stannard wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Ian Stannard (Team Sky) claimed a thrilling edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in a two-up sprint against BMC's Greg Van Avermaet. The pair slipped clear of the main field inside the closing kilometres of the race and despite a late chase from Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Belkin, the pair held on to decide the race in a sprint finish.

Heading into the final few hundred meters, van Avermaet moved to the front but Stannard, with a strong pedigree from his track racing days, kicked out and had enough to hold off a late challenge from the Belgian rider.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) finished third, giving Sky two riders on the podium, after the Norwegian beat Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Sep Vanmarcke (Team Belkin to the line).

Boasson Hagen and Terpstra had joined forces moments before the winning move when a dangerous group had slipped clear, but after Lars Boom punctured and Yoann Offredo crashed, the group lost its impetus.

With Boasson Hagen and Terpstra caught, Stannard and Van Avermaet seized the initiative forged clear.

Goodbye Kristof

The traditional opener of the Belgian road season in Ghent started at half past 11 with a minute of silence to pay tribute to the late Kristof Goddaert and Ghent's art pope Jan Hoet, who both passed away recently. Goddaert's teammates from the IAM team lined up in front of the peloton on a chilly, foggy and quiet St-Peter's square.

Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty), Stijn Steels (Topsport), Maciej Paterski (CCC), Christophe Laborie (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Andreas Schillinger (Netapp), Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha), and Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant Shimano) animated the first half of the race, breaking clear inside the first 30 kilometres.

After nearly 150km, the last four survivors of this group were caught by the peloton. The damage in the peloton caused by the series of slippery roads, pavé and the typical bergs was severe. The biggest victims of the multiple crashes were Thor Hushovd (BMC) and Alexandre Pichot (Europcar), who were both forced to leave the race with injuries.

The ascents of the Taaienberg, Eikenberg and Wolvenberg showed that Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) and Nikki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) all had good legs, while the expected attack from Tom Boonen on the Taaienberg never materialized.

Around 40 riders survived all the attacks and hit the Leberg 42km from the finish in Ghent. Greg van Avermaet (BMC) put in an acceleration on the Leberg, but once the pace dropped, a few other riders managed to sneak away. The group included Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Lars Boom (Belkin), Yoann Offredo (, Arnaud Démare (, Nikki Tepstra, Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis) and Kenneth Van Bilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

When the group turned the corner onto the Molenberg at 37km from the finish, Offredo fell while riding in third position. Terpstra and Boom hammered up the cobbled climb and discovered at the top that they were the sole leaders. Boasson Hagen, Van Bilsen and Démare eventually managed to bridge back up to the Dutch duo when hitting the 2.4km-long former Roman road of the Paddestraat, with 30km to go to the finish.

On the Paddestraat, Boom led the leaders over the wet cobbles while Vanmarcke led the peloton at 35 seconds. Halfway over the cobbles, a fierce acceleration from Terpstra was answered only by Boom and Boasson Hagen. The three leaders had a gap of 45 seconds, but the co-operation was lacking.

When Boom flatted and fell back to the bunch Terpstra and Boasson Hagen began to attack each other, a clear sign that any partnership would be fleeting at best.

At the final pavé section called the "Lange Munte", the remains of the peloton were only 20 seconds down on the two leaders. Boasson Hagen and Terpstra exchanged attacks but ended up in the clutches of the bunch.

With 17km to go, about 20 riders were battling for the victory. A peloton with Tom Boonen trailed the leaders by 50 seconds.

Stannard wasted no time and when several groups came together; he blasted away on the wider roads towards Ghent, with only van Avermaet holding his wheel.

It looked as though victory would certainly come down to the two leaders but when Terpstra and Vanmarcke attacked, with Boasson Hagen for company, it looked as though the race was playing into the Norwegian's hands. However, Stannard and Van Avermaet remained consistent in their turns and only inside the final kilometre, with the chase too far back, did they start to watch each other.


Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky4:49:55
2Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky0:00:24
4Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
5Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
6Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:34
7Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
8Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano
9Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
10Arnaud Demare (Fra)
11Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
12Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp
13Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
14Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
15Zico Waeytens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
16Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
17Johan Le Bon (Fra) Fdj.fr0:01:41
18Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
19Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:47
20Yoann Offredo (Fra)
21Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:03:43
22Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Team Katusha
23Christophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
24Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
25Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
26Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling
27Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka
28Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano0:03:46
29Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
30Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
31Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha
32Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
33Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
34Martin Reimer (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka0:09:14
35Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
36Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka
37Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
38Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Belisol
39Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol
40Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
41Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
42Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
43Kiryll Pozdnyakov (Rus) Rusvelo
44Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN - Qhubeka
45Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
46Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
47Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp
48Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano
49Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
50Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol
51Scott Thwaites (GBr) Team Netapp - Endura
52Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
53Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
54Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team
55David Boucher (Fra)
56Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team Netapp - Endura
57Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
58Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
59Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura
60Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar
61Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
62Nick Nuyens (Bel) Garmin Sharp
63Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
64Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar
65Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
66Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar
67Anthony Geslin (Fra)
68Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
69Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
70Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp
71Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
72Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
73Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
74Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
75Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
76Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano
77Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
78Jaco Venter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
79Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
80Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
81Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky
82Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp
83Timofey Kritskiy (Rus) Rusvelo0:14:02
84Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Team Katusha
85Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
86Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
87Maxime Daniel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
88Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Team Katusha
89Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
90Nicola Testi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
91Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling
92Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
93Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
94Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
95Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
96Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
97Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
98Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Sky
99David Millar (GBr) Garmin Sharp
100Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)
101Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
102Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
103Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
104Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
105Benjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
DNFLuca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha
DNFViacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha
DNFRudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha
DNFKenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol
DNFFrederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team
DNFSteve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFSébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
DNFMaarten Tjallingii (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
DNFThor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
DNFKlaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFRick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra)
DNFMickael Delage (Fra)
DNFSteele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin Sharp
DNFJohan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin Sharp
DNFVincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFAngelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
DNFSalvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
DNFChristopher Sutton (Aus) Team Sky
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFMarco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFAntonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFAndrea Zordan (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
DNFErwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
DNFPierre-Luc Perrichon (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
DNFPawel Charucki (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFPiotr Gawronski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFTomasz Kiendys (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFAdrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFJaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFNikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFJacek Morajko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
DNFJulien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFRomain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFKevin Ista (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNFDominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling
DNFPirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
DNFAndreas Stauff (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFIgor Boev (Rus) Rusvelo
DNFLeonid Krasnov (Rus) Rusvelo
DNFRoman Maikin (Rus) Rusvelo
DNFAndrei Solomennikov (Rus) Rusvelo
DNFGennadiy Tatarinov (Rus) Rusvelo
DNFBlaz Jarc (Slo) Team Netapp - Endura
DNFRalf Matzka (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura
DNFJonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Team Netapp - Endura
DNFMichael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura
DNFPaul Voss (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura
DNFKevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFJan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
DNFFrederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert


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