Sensational Sagan Solos out of Breakaway to Win Gent-Wevelgem

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Cannondale’s Slovakian sensation Peter Sagan, after finishing Milan-SanRemo in second place, didn’t wait for a group sprint this time and attacked with 3.5 kilometers to the line.

As the peloton tackled Baneberg, Kemmelberg and Monteberg for the last time, a group of riders including Peter Sagan formed a chase group, which eventually merged with the breakaway, forming a very strong 13-rider break and building a lead of 1′ 30″ very rapidly.

Stijn Vandenbergh made a move with 4 km to go as the peloton reduced the gap to 30 seconds, which opened the series of escape attempts but only Sagan was strong and determined enough to build a margin and keep his distance from the rest of the escapees.

Astana’s Borut Bozic came second, winning the sprint amongst the remaining riders in the breakaway while Greg Van Avermaet from BMC came third.

Tom Boonen‘s chances of becoming the only four-time winner of the race ended with a crash while Fabian Cancellara, winner of Friday’s E3 Harelbeke, also abandoned.

Sagan celebrated his win this time by popping a wheelie as he crossed the line.

Last 10 Kilometes

Gent-Wevelgem 2013 Results

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 4′ 29′ 10″
2 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 23″
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
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Gent-Wevelgem 2013 – Preview and TV Guide

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Covering only 10 cobbled hills, last of them 35 kilometers from the finish line, Gent-Wevelgem is a true sprinters’ classic. Similar to Milan-SanRemo, the race very occasionally ends with a successful breakaway.

The hills, positioned too far away from the finish line, may not allow a breakaway to succeed but play a very important role deciding which of the sprinters can keep up with the pace. Peter Sagan, coming second to Tom Boonen last year, and finishing both Milan-SanRemo and E3 Harelbeke in second places this year, will definitely want to win the race.

3-times winner Tom Boonen, failed to stick with the front group in E3 Harelbeke 2 days ago, will be ready for a bunch sprint; not that sure for his new team-mate Mark Cavendish though, who failed to finish past 2 editions of Gent-Wevelgem. Also watch out for Orica Greenedge’s Matthew Goss and John Degenkolb from Argos; both showed good form recently. SKY, with their elite classics crew can have a rider on the podium, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Ian Stannard or maybe Bernard Eisel.

Sporza and RTBF in BelgiumNOS in Netherlands, and RAI Sport in Italy will broadcast the race live on TV.

For live streaming options, check out the below links though some may be geo-location restricted;

SporzaRTBFRai Sport

Gent-Wevelgem 2013 – Riders’ List

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Similar to E3 Harelbeke, 6 teams are invited with wildcards besides the 19 pro tour teams: Accent.Jobs – Wanty Crelan-Euphony and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise from Belgium, Cofidis and Europcar from France, and IAM Cycling from Switzerland.

The startlist of the 75th edition of Gent-Wevelgem
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Gent-Wevelgem – A Brief History

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Gent-Wevelgem is the sprinters’ classic of the 2.5 weeks long cobblestones season. The event was first run in 1934, and 2013 will be its 75th edition. The race was positioned between Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix on Wednesdays, but in 2010 the race shifted to Sunday, the weekend before the Ronde.

Five riders in total, 4 of them Belgian, share the record of most wins with 3 victories each; Robert Van EenaemeRik Van LooyEddy Merckx, Tom Boonen and Mario Cippollini. Besides Boonen’s double in 2001 and 2002, Edvald Boasson HagenBernhard Eisel and Oscar Freire were able to win this prestigious classic more recently.