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Cancellara wins Tour of Flanders

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) added a second Tour of Flanders victory to his immense palmares in emphatic fashion, soloing to victory in Oudenaarde. 

Cancellara dispatched breakaway companions Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol) on the final ascent of the Paterberg and had plenty of time to savour his win on the home stretch, having extended his lead to over a minute in the closing kilometres.

Sagan easily out-kicked Roelandts for second place while Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) led in the chase group for 10 seconds later.
Cancellara pointed to the sky as he crossed the line and then hugged is wife. He was the big favourite but managed to distance all his rivals and win alone.

"The goal was to win. You can't always predict how but it's amazing to win. A year ago I was on the ground. It's never easy but I'm really happy," he said.

"It was a strange race. It was fast at the beginning. There weren't many riders left at the end but I did the right tactic. Everyone expected me to go and I tried to make the first selection on the Kwaremont. I love the cobbles and so after that I did what I had to do."

How it happened

At exactly 10 o’clock, 205 riders left the crowded market in Bruges to kick off the 100th edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Temperatures barely reached freezing point, though the sun tried hard to warm up the riders’ spirits. Belgian champion and triple Ronde winner Tom Boonen received most support when he rode through the massive crowds in the medieval-looking town of Bruges.

However after just 19km of fast racing, Boonen was also the first rider to be named on race radio when the race passed through Lichtervelde. Boonen rode into some traffic furniture and injured his knee, hip and back. He was left lying at the side of a big road outside the town centre and clearly suffering from a lot of pain. For a brief moment the triple winner of the Ronde tried to get back on his bike but that turned out to be impossible. His race was over and he left in an ambulance to undergo further investigation in the hospital. Fortunately x-rays showed he did not suffer any fractures but his spring could be over.

Back in the race, it turned out to be extremely hard to create the breakaway move. There was an attack by nine riders which got more the three minutes once the race entered the hill zone. However some chasing from Team Europcar and later the Radioshack team brought the gap down again.

Counter-attacks in the peloton turned the situation around. Approaching the three loops through the hilly part of the race route, only Jetse Bol (Blanco) and Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) survived from the early move. They were joined by André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), Michael Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Maarten Tjallingii (Blanco) and Marcel Sieberg (Lotto-Belisol).

The six leaders worked well together and arrived at the foot of the long cobbled climb with a one minute lead on the peloton. Bol quickly lost contact with his companions but the ascent of the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg and Koppenberg didn’t change the race situation up front. The steepness of the Koppenberg forced many riders to put their foot on the ground, blocking the racing and then forcing a huge chase. One minute ahead of the peloton the five remaining leaders reached the feed zone where Cancellara crashed last year. Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale) profited from the cease-fire to bridge across to the lead group. Behind it was still a waiting game, with the big favourites watching each other carefully.

The leaders hit the second loop with less than half a minute advantage on the peloton. On the first slopes of the second climb of the Oude Kwaremont, Sieberg and De Vreese quickly got dropped. The peloton rushed to the Paterberg at high speed but the resulting waves concluded with a crash for Geraint Thomas (Sky).

Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) lost contact with the peloton due to a mechanical on the Paterberg. After this nasty duo of climbs, there were only two riders left in front: Selvaggi and Kwiatkowski.

With 32km to go Yoann Offredo (FDJ), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Sébastien Hinault (IAM) and Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) anticipated accelerations from the big guns, with an attack on the section between the Paterberg and the Hotond. Once over the Hotond only Kwiatkowski was able to keep up with these men. When diving back towards Berchem and the final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, the peloton trailed the five leaders by just 30 seconds, mainly thanks to the work from Stijn Devolder (Radioshack). The race was still wide open.

Cancellara makes his move

Roelandts and Hinault distanced their companions, just before hitting the final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont. Roelandts then went alone once he reached the cobbled section. Behind Cancellara finally made is move. Everyone was expecting it but his immense power allowed him to distance all the other riders, except for Peter Sagan, who just managed to hold his wheel. As expected, they would fifth for victory.

Roelandts still had a lead when reaching the top of the 2200m long climb. Cancellara and Sagan trailed the Belgian by fifteen seconds as the rest of the break was caught. The rest of the field was blown away.

Roelandts tried to recover as he waited for Cancellara and Sagan. The trio hit the Paterberg with a 15-second lead over a 25-man strong chase group which was led by Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Luca Paolini (Katusha) and Sebastiaan Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge). However it was all about Cancellara and Sagan.

Cancellara led the trio on the steepest, cobbled part of the Paterberg. He looked back as Roelandts was gapped and then blasted away. Roelandts cracked and then just before reaching the top Sagan bowed his head in a sign of defeat and the gap opened. Cancellara did not hesitate and switched to time trial mode, tucked low over his bike, pushing a huge gear.

The race was over. Cancellara’s experience and power had defeat Sagan’s youth and speed.

Full Results
1Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard6:06:01
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:27
3Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:29
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha0:01:39
5Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
6Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
7Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
9John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
10Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
11Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
12Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
13Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
14Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
15Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
16Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ
17Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
18Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
19Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar
20Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
21Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
22Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
23Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha0:01:48
24Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ0:02:30
25Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:02:49
26Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling
27Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol
28Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
29Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
30Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
31Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
32Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
33Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
34Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
35Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
36Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
37Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling
38Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
39Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
40Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
41Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling
42Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard
43Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:04:56
44Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
45Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:40
46Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:05:56
47Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
48Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling
49Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
50Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
51André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
52Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
53Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Crelan-Euphony
54Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
55Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha
56Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol
57Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
58Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
59Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team
60Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:07:45
61Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling0:10:52
62Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura
63Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
64Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
65Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling
66Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
67Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
68Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
69Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
70Gustav Larsson (Swe) IAM Cycling
71Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
72Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
73Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
74Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
75Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Argos-Shimano
76Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
77Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:13:35
78James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
79Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
80Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
81Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
82Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
83Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp
84Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdge
85Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
86Edward King (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling
87Benjamin Verraes (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
88Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
89Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol
90Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team
91Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
92David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar
93Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling
94Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
95Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
96Robert Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
97Jos Van Emden (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
98Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ
99Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
100Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha
101Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
102Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
103Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
104Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
105Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar
106Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
107Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
108Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
109Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
110Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
111Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Sharp
112Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
113Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
114Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling
115Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
DNSJacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNSWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJ
DNFTom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
DNFGert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
DNFDavide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFGediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFValentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAssan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNFDmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNFRuslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNFRick Flens (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
DNFJetse Bol (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
DNFAdam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team
DNFThor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
DNFMauro Da Dalto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
DNFElia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
DNFPeio Bilbao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFRicardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFSteffen Radochla (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFAdrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFAndré Schulze (Ger) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFAlexander Serebryakov (Rus) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFIoannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFDavid Boucher (Fra) FDJ
DNFMickael Delage (Fra) FDJ
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ
DNFJacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp
DNFSébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
DNFAliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha
DNFAlexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha
DNFMarco Haller (Aut) Katusha
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFElia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFAndrea Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFAlessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFMassimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFDavide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-Merida
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
DNFMarcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol
DNFAlex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFEloy Teruel Rovira (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFGiovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
DNFMatthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFJens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFStuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
DNFHayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack Leopard
DNFYaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard
DNFBernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling
DNFSalvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling
DNFGabriel Rasch (Nor) Sky Procycling
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling
DNFBert De Backer (Bel) Team Argos-Shimano
DNFWilliam Clarke (Aus) Team Argos-Shimano
DNFDaniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
DNFChristopher Juul Jensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
DNFJonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
DNFJonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
DNFMichael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
DNFWesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
DNFTim De Troyer (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFJérôme Gilbert (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFJean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFRoy Jans (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFStaf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFStefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
DNFChristophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
DNFKoen Barbe (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
DNFJonathan Breyne (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
DNFKevin Claeys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
DNFZakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura
DNFBlaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura
DNFDaniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura
DNFAlexander Wetterhall (Swe) Team NetApp-Endura
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFSven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFPreben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFStefano Borchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
DNFFrancesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
DNFPier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
DNFFrancesco Failli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
DNFMauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
DNFMattia Pozzo (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia

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