Peter Sagan Wins the Opening Stage of Driedaagse De Panne

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The Slovakian champion Peter Sagan once again demonstrated his incredible Spring form with a sprint victory in the opening stage of Driedaagse De Panne (Three Days of De Panne). Arnaud Demare of FDJ was second and Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff came third.

Peter Sagan attacked the peloton as the riders were heading into the race’s final climb, the Eikenmolen, joined by 9 more other riders including Sylvain Chavanel and Niki Terpstra from Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Vini Fantini’s Oscar Gatto and Jerome Cousin from Europcar. And with 2km to go, the escapees held a 12-second gap over the bunch.

Alexander Kristoff launched the downhill sprint with 500 meters to go. Sagan jumped on his wheel as Demare closed on the Slovak, but Sagan took the win by a tire width in photo finish.

Final Kilometers

Driedaagse De Panne 2013 Stage 1 Results

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 5:00:27
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
6. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
7. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
8. Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
9. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ

Oscar Gatto Wins 2013 Dwars door Vlaanderen

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Vini Fantini’s Oscar Gatto won the semi-classic Dwars door Vlaanderen outsprinting Astana’s Borut Bozic and Mathew Hayman of SKY. Thomas Voeckler attacked from the winning group of 10 riders with more than 6 kilometers to go but got caught in the final meters, eventually finishing in fourth place. Gatto became the first Italian to win the Dwars door Vlaanderen in its 68 year history.

“This is a great emotion, winning in Belgium, where the best races are ridden,” said Gatto. “As a small team, we do not have many chances, so I had a lot of motivation at the start to show that we are perhaps deserving of more opportunities. To be the first Italian winner is something extra special and feels great.”

Dwars door Vlaanderen – “Across Flanders” – is the opener of the cobbled classics season and the final warmup race for E3 Harelbeke on Friday and Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday.

Final Kilometers

Dwars door Vlaanderen 2013 Results

1. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 4:43:40 
2. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
3. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling
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