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Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) shines under the sun of Houdan - Paris-Nice 2011 first stage

Added: sunday 06 March 2011 at 16:48:00
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    Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) shines under the sun of Houdan - Paris-Nice 2011 first stageAfter a quiet start, two riders created a gap on the peloton early this afternoon during the first stage of Paris-Nice 2011 around Houdan. When they were taken back by the peloton, Jérémy Roy initiated a new breakaway which almost continued until the finish. This breakaway was almost taken by the peloton but Thomas De Gendt insisted and became the winner!

    The summary of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2011

    Not quite usual, Paris-Nice 2011 started this morning with a stage in line over 154.5 kilometers from Houdan to ... Houdan.

    The early start probably made the riders start slowly and it was thus only at kilometer 15 that Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar) manage to get away from the peloton. The peloton continues quietly behind them and the race thus gets delayed quite a lot compared to the initial schedule.
    Damien Gaudin & Gorka IzagirreOnce they passed the Côte de Septeuil where Damien Gaudin takes the first points for the classification of best climber, which allowed him to put on the polka dot jersey, the two riders continue to increase their gap and after about twenty kilometers in the breakaway their gap on the peloton was up to the maximum of 8'15".

    About ten kilometers further, the HTC-Highroad team finally reacts and works at the head of the peloton to take back some time on the leader's duo. Only 40 kilometers from the finish the two riders are taken back and the Jérémy Roypeloton gets back together ... not for long however because Jérémy Roy decides to continue like he's been doing since the start of season and the rider of FDJ thus attacks to get away from the peloton. Accompanied by Jens Voigt (Team Leopard-Trek) and Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team), a new breakaway is formed and takes a one minute gap on the peloton.

    This didn't seem to be enough to go on until the finish and everything thus seemed to be ready for a bunch sprint as everyone expected in Houdan today, especially because at 5 kilometers the gap was down to only 20 seconds and the peloton thus had a free sight on the leading trio. With a 13 seconds gap and still one kilometer to go until the slightly uphill finish in Houdan, the three riders probably didn't believe in it anymore either.

    Thomas De Gendt however decided to do a final effort at 300 meters from the finish. The two other riders of the breakaway seemed a bit surprised and the Belgian rider thus finished the stage alone, leaving only a few meters between him and Jérémy Roy behind him, who recognised that the young 24 old year rider was stronger than him. Jens Voigt than saw Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Greg Henderson (Team Sky) pass in front of him and took the 6th place.

    Thanks to the bonifications he took in the sprint and at the stage finish, Thomas De Gendt, former rider of Topsport Vlaanderen, is now leading the general classification, 6 seconds ahead of Jérémy Roy and 9 seconds ahead of Heinrich Haussler.

    The classifications of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2011

    The stage classification

    Thomas De GendtHere's the top 10 of the first stage of Paris-Nice 2011:

    1/ Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 4h05'06"
    2/ Jérémy Roy (FDJ)
    3/ Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo)
    4/ Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    5/ Greg Henderson (Team Sky)
    6/ Jens Voigt (Team Leopard-Trek)
    7/ Wouter Weylandt (Team Leopard-Trek)
    8/ Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing Team)
    9/ Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
    10/ Gert Steegmans (Quickstep)

    The general classification

    Thomas De GendtThe top 10 of the general classification is as follows:

    1/ Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 4h04'53"
    2/ Jérémy Roy (FDJ) - +0'06"
    3/ Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) - +0'09"
    4/ Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar) - +0'10"
    5/ Jens Voigt (Team Leopard-Trek) - +0'11"
    6/ Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - +0'12"
    7/ Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) - +0'13"
    8/ Greg Henderson (Team Sky)
    9/ Wouter Weylandt (Team Leopard-Trek)
    10/ Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing Team)

    More photos will follow later today!!!

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Paris-Nice 2011| Paris-Nice | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 2 comments!
  1. Mais qu'est ce qu'il faisait froid sur le plateau... le vent soufflait!

    | Pierre | sunday 06 March 2011 at 19:12:33

  2. Weer een leuk verslagje.
    Je stond ook op een prima plek zie ik aan de foto's.
    Nou nog een verhaaltje ven Jeremy over zijn ervaring van deze eerste etappe!
    Hij reed wel erg sterk, maar Thomas maakte het net wat slimmer/sterker af.
    Leuk dat Vacansoleil zo weer eens positief in het nieuws komt. Hadden ze wel weer nodig na al die perikelen met die domme Italiaan.

    | Tonn Vergouwen | sunday 06 March 2011 at 23:44:12

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