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Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) wins the Tour of Flanders 2011!

Added: sunday 03 April 2011 at 16:12:00
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    Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) wins the Tour of Flanders 2011!This morning everyone thought this Tour of Flanders would be won by Fabian Cancellara. Spartacus gave it a try and as usual he seemed to be stronger than anyone else but in the end what seemed to be a hunger knock cramps made an end to the dream of the Swiss rider.

    A complete change in the race which finally gave the chance to a Belgian rider to win this race "at home", Nick Nuyens was the fastest in the sprint!

    The summary of the Tour of Flanders 2011

    For a race like the Tour of Flanders, the peloton is always quit nervous since each of the teams want to have a rider in the first breakaway.

    It was thus not surprising to see that quickly after the start, several riders tried their chance to break away from the peloton. It was however only after 50 kilometers that Jeremy Hunt (Team Sky), Roger Hammond (Team Garmin-Cervélo), Sébastien Turgot (Team Europcar), Stefan van Dijk (Veranda's Willems) and Mitchell Docker (Skil-Shimano) formed today's breakaway.

    Not really surprising when you know that in the first hour of the race, the average speed was 49.7 km/h since with those kind of speeds it's quite difficult to get away from the peloton.

    After a difficult start for this breakaway, the 5 riders finally saw their gap going up to 6 minutes on the climb of the Nokereberg

    At a bit over 130 kilometers from the finish, a group of 20 riders got away from the peloton and started the pursuit of the 5 leading riders. In this group we saw riders like Gert Steegmans (Quick Step), Vladimir Gusev and Luca Paolini (Katusha Team), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing Team), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Highroad), André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Tyler Farrar and Matthew Wilson (Team Garmin-Cervélo), Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team), Mirco Lorenzetto (Astana), Steven van Vooren (Topsport Vlaanderen), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ), Koen de Kort (Skil-Shimano), Lloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale) and Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team).
    They were however probably to many to be able to really work together and led by Team Leopard-Trek, the peloton thus rapidly got back on this group.

    Andriy GrivkoA few kilometers further, Andriy Grivko tried to bridge the gap with the leading group, but alone the rider from the Astana team never managed to do so and thus decided to abandon this idea and drop back to the peloton.

    The race situation compeltely changes when the different bergs are coming up. First of all with Jeremy Hunt and Stefan van Dijk who can no longer follow the speed of the leading group and than on the Paterberg with Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Simon Clarke (Astana) who bridge the gap with the leading trio.

    Sylvain ChavanelThe bergs continue their selective work and the leading group again gets reduced, this time to only two riders: Sylvain Chavanel and Simon Clarke. Their gap however slowly goes down and, while Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) is trying to bridge the gap alone, it was mostly thanks to the hard work of Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) that the gap was slightly reduced. Lars Boom (Rabobank) joins Hagen when he arrives at the level of the leading duo and a new leading group is thus formed by these 4 riders with an initial gap of 22 seconds on the first group of riders in pursuit.

    Just before the Molenberg, I'd almost say as usual, it was up to Frédéric Guesdon (FDJ) to attack but ... while approaching the top, Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) accellerates and tries to break away. He didn't count on Fabian Cancellara (Team Leopard-Trek) and Thor Hushovd (Team Garmin-Cervélo) however because they stuck to his wheel. This was thus the end of Guesdon's attempt but it didn't really impact anything else in the race situation.

    Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) starts the pursuit of Tom Leezer (Rabobank), Matthew Hayman (Team Sky) and Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) who were ahead of the peloton and of Sylvain Chavanel who managed to get rid of the other riders of the leading group. Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank-Sungard) comes to help Leukemans while Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) gets a flat tyre.

    Fabian CancellaraAt 43 kilometers from the finish, the favourites show up, starting with Thor Hushovd (Team Garmin-Cervélo) giving it a try and followed by a real attack by Tom Boonen (Quick Step). Not surprisingly, le the Belgian rider immediately got company from Fabian Cancellara (Team Leopard-Trek) and also from Filippo Pozzato (Katusha Team).

    On the Leberg, with still 41 kilometers to go, Cancellara attacked and despite a big effort by Boonen who gave everything he had to follow the Swiss rider, Cancellara once again shows he still is the strongest rider and drops back all the others.

    At 32 kilometers from the finish Spartacus joins Chavanel while ... Gilbert bridges the gap with the Boom and Boonen group in a very impressive way. It's quite surprising to see that Cancellara than starts looking for water ... he tries to get a bidon from another team without success and finally has to wait for the neutral Shimano car to get one and ... throw it away just a few kilometers further!! Indeed, Spartacus didn't seem to really want a bidon other than the one from his team ... which he finally gets from his team car only a few meters before a soigneur of Quick Step simply hands out one to Sylvain Chavanel the way it should be done!

    When the gap comes close to one minute, the BMC Racing Team gets at the head of the peloton with no less than 7 riders.

    At 15 kilometers from the finish, at the foot of the Kapelmuur, the gap of the leading duo is down to only 10 seconds and the riders thus get back together quite quickly in this short but steep climb.

    Philippe GilbertThe new leading group gets formed around Leukemans, Alessandro Ballan, Cancellara, Gilbert and Chavanel. George Hincapie and Geraint Thomas join this group to start the climb of the Bosberg with 7 riders. That's where Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) decided to attack but at 8 kilometers from the finish, the group with the favourites also gets back on the Belgian rider. The effort it took him to get back after his flat tyre probably were too much for him ...

    A group of 12 riders thus starts the final part of the race, that doesn't happen very often in the the Tour of Flanders!

    At 4 kilometers from the finish, Sebastian Langeveld cleverly uses a traffic island to surprise the 11 other riders, but Alessandro Ballan manages to bridge the gap. Cancellara refinds his forces and manages to get away with Sylvain Chavanel and Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard).

    At 1 kilometer from the finish, Juan Antonio Flecha and Tom Boonen finally really start the pursuit of this leading trio but it's already too late ... in the sprint Nick Nuyens wins the Tour of Flanders, ahead of Chavanel and Cancellara!

    The top 10 ranking of the Tour of Flanders 2011

    Here's the top 10 of the classification of the Tour of Flanders 2011:

    1/ Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) - 6h01'20"
    2/ Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
    3/ Fabian Cancellara (Team Leopard-Trek)
    4/ Tom Boonen (Quick Step) - +0'02"
    5/ Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) - +0'05"
    6/ George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team)
    7/ Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
    8/ Staf Scheirlinckx (Veranda's Willems)
    9/ Philippe Gilbert (Omegae Pharma-Lotto)
    10/ Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

    > Check out the videos of the Tour of Flanders 2011 in the interactive UCI cycling calendar

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 1 comments!
  1. je suis belge et donc content q'un belge gagne, mais ce qui est injuste BOONEN incapable de suivre,QUICK STEEP aurais du laisser faire CHAVANEL. Il était TRES CAPABLE de remporter cette course et il la méritait.

    | laurent | monday 04 April 2011 at 11:57:25

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