Omega Pharma QuickStep’s French time-trial champion Sylvain Chavanel won the penultimate time-trial and took the overall victory in Driedaagse de Panne, identical to last year’s race. Chavanel completed the 14.75km windy and quite technical course in 18:02, 19 seconds faster than longtime stage-leader Anton Vorobyev of Katusha. Vacansoleil’s Lieuwe Westra was third, another two seconds back.
Chavanel was in 4th position after Stage 3a, Alexander Kristoff leading by 10 seconds thanks to the time bonuses he collected in Stage 1 and today’s Stage 3a victory. Kristoff couldn’t defend his lead but moved only one step on the podium, finishing second in the overall standings. Niki Terpstra, 5th in the time-trial stage was the second OPQS rider on the podium. Kristoff also led the points classification ahead of Arnaud Demare and Elia Viviani.
Stage 3a Final Kilometers
Stage 3b Final Riders
Final General Classification
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 12:34:28
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 22″
3. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 31″
4. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ 32″
5. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 38″
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 51″
7. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 52″
8. David Boucher (Fra) FDJ 57″
9. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 58″
10. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 1′ 06″
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.
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
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.
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 (more…)
Lotto Belisol’s 28-year-old Belgian Kenny Dehaes won the snow-affected Handzame Classic outsprinting Kenny van Hummel from Vacansoleil. This is his second win of the season after the early season sprint victory in Trofeo Palma.
The 196km original course in Flanders was turned into a 35km loop from Bredene before ten laps of 16km around Handzame after heavy snow made most of the course unsafe.
After the breakaway group got caught in the final circuit, no escape attempt succeeded and Dehaes sprinted into victory out of a field sprint. Unfortunately, crashing quite seriously seconds after passing the line while trying to celebrate the win.
“After the finish I was thrown off my bike by a sudden gust of wind when I wanted to raise my hands,” Dehaes told. “My knee is swollen, and I have a few scrapes, but my victory makes me forget about it.”
Handzame Classic 2013 Results:
1. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol 4:49:12
2. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
3. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team (more…)
Roma Maxima is the new installment of Giro del Lazio, a 1.HC semi classic from Italy in the UCI Europe calendar, which was not run since 2008 and Blel Kadri from Europcar got his most prestigious win of his career so far on 3 March, Sunday.
After spending 90 kms in a 4-rider breakaway, Bilal Kadri made a second break and soloed the last 35 kms alone to win the 75th edition of this semi classic. Another 4-rider chasing group led by Cannodale’s Vincenzo Nibali failed to catch Kadri and got caught by the bunch group in the final kilometer. Which resulted to a bunch sprint on the cobblestones of central Rome, won by Filippo Pozzato of Lampre, celebrating, believed he had won the race for a second. With no race radio allowed, probably he was not the only one unaware of Kadri, but still the 26-year-old Frenchman won this race on a day he was not supposed to race at all, replacing Steve Chainel since he was ill.
Roma Maxima 2013 Results
1. Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 4:26:27
2. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida 37″
3. Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team (more…)
A very new addition to the European calendar, 1.1 ranked Strade-Bianche, in its 7th edition finally got an Italian winner. Moreno Moser of Cannondale clinched not only his first victory of the season but the most important one of his career as well.
Within the last 20 kilometers, the 22 year-old Italian made a successful attempt and with 15km to go, got to the backwheel of Flecha, who was relentlessly chasing the 4-rider breakaway group. Moser’s attack changed things dramatically as well in the breakaway group and after some attacks within the 4 riders, things eventually settled when Moser managed to catch Schar and Belkov from the original breakaway and once again formed a 4 rider group. But it was Moser who was hiding in the peloton most of the race compared to the other original riders in the breakaway group, so when they hit the last hill with a kilometer to go, Moser easily pushed himself ahead and soloed to his greatest victory so far.
Within the bunch of main contenders, Peter Sagan burst clear to snatch the second place, whereas it was Rinaldo Nocentini who got the last spot in the podium out-sprinting last year’s winner Fabian Cancellara and Alexander Kolobnev. Could Sagan catch the breakaway group if it was not his team-mate Moser? We’ll never know that but that was a wonderful day for team Cannondale and the new generation of cyclists in their early 20s.
Strade-Bianche 2013 results:
1. Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling) 5:01:53
2. Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) 5″
3. Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) 7″ (more…)