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Fabian Cancellara wins his 3rd Tour of Flanders!

Added: sunday 06 April 2014 at 16:58:00
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    Fabian Cancellara wins his 3rd Tour of Flanders!It was today that the Tour of Flanders - or Ronde van Vlaanderen or even "Hoogmis" (the High Mass) as the Belgian call it - took place with its 98th edition between Brugge and Oudenaarde.

    A race which led to numerous crashes but most of all with the suspense which makes us love these Belgian classics! After 259.8 kilometers, it was finally Fabian Cancellara who crossed the finish line first. The Swiss rider thus won the Tour of Flanders for the 3rd time!

    The summary of the Tour of Flanders 2014

    The Tour of Flanders 2014 started in Brugge with a bit of rain at 10.15AM.

    Despite several attempts right from the start, it was only after a bit more than 35 kilometers that a group of 11 riders went off, with the following riders in this group: Stig Broeckx (Lotto-Belisol), Davide Appollonio (AG2R La Mondiale), Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge), Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha), Romain Zingle (Cofidis, solutions crédits), James Vanlandschoot and Wesley Kreder (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and his cousin Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Sharp), Andrea Palini (Lampre-Merida) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

    About thirty kilometers further their gap was already up to 5 minutes when we learned that Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp), the winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2011, ran into a lady who was, with two other people, standing on separator in the middle of the road. The lady was not on the road and didn't try to approach, but this is yet another example showing that when you assist to a cycling race, the best place to be is on the side of the road, without trying to get on the road. The lady and Vansummeren have both been transported to the hospital and the lady seems to be in a critical state. Let's hope she'll get out of this accident fine.
    (the images in the video below can be shocking; what's shocking as well is that the two other people don't pay attention to the two victims of this crash at all!)

    Due to a flat tyre, Davide Appollonio gets dropped from the breakaway while a flat tyre for Daryl Impey requires him to do an additional effort to get back in the leading group. Wesley Kreder and Andrea Palini don't get a flat tyre but they don't manage to keep up with the speed of the breakaway in the climb of the Molenberg, which means the group is down to 8 riders.

    In the mean time, several new crashes take place in the peloton and one of these crashes was again related to a spectator. This time it seemed like Yaroslav Popvych (Trek Factory Racing) didn't correctly follow the turn in the paved road of the Paddestraat but the lady's coat was definitely sticking out on the road.

    The breakaway then again loses other riders, first with Raymond Kreder and then Jelle Wallays in the climb of the Valkenberg which led to a reduction of this group to 6 riders. Their gap is around 3 minutes 30 at that time and the 6 leading riders continue to collaborate in a good way.

    At a bit over 75 kilometers from the finish, Damien Gaudin (AG2R La Mondiale) is the first rider to start chasing the breakaway while Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing Team) waits for the climb of the Kanarieberg about 5 kilometers further to start the chase. While Gaudin went off alone, the Italian rider sees other riders get away from the peloton with him: Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky) and Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
    In the second climb of the Old Kwaremont, Trentin accellerates and goes off alone before he gets company from Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEDGE) who made a nice jump from the peloton to get back on the early breakaway.

    In the Steenbeekdries it's the turn for Dries Devenyns and Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) to attack and get in the lead of the race. In the climb of the Taaienberg, Greg van Avermaet starts the chase and gets back on these 3 leading riders, and a bit later the group of favourites gets completed with Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano), Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale).

    Greg van Avermaet then attacks again in the climb of the Kruisberg, and is only followed by Stijn Vandenbergh this time. For several kilometers, the rider of the BMC Racing Team does all the work in the lead alone, never being relayed by Vandenbergh because he had several team mates in the group of favorites behind them.

    While several attempts follow up on each other in the group of favorites, a first part of the peloton gets back on this group, thus forming a group of about fourty riders behind the two leading riders. At a bit over 15 kilometers from the finish, in the climb of the Old Kwaremont, Fabian Cancellara's attempt turns out to be the right one because, together with Sep Vanmarcke, he gets back on Stijn Vandenbergh in the climb of the Paterberg because the long rider of the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team could no longer follow Van Avermaet there.
    Thanks to the efforts of the Swiss Fabian Cancellara, this trio gets back on Greg van Avermaet just after the top of this last of the 17 climbs of this Tour of Flanders 2014 and they thus form a new leading group of 4 riders. At that time they have about thirty seconds on the first chasing riders behind them.

    In the last few kilometers, the 4 leading riders observe each other and try some attacks but they all remain without success. The 4 riders thus go off together towards the finish line and only 200 meters from the finish, Cancellara attacks and manages to win the Tour of Flanders for the third time, after 2010 and 2013.

    In the same race for the ladies, Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) won the Tour of Flanders, crossing the line alone, followed a bit later by her team mate Elizabeth Armitstead and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS).

    The classification of the Tour of Flanders 2014

    Here's the top 10 of this Tour of Flanders 2014:

    1/ Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) - 6h15'25"
    2/ Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team)
    3/ Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)
    4/ Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    5/ Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) - +0'20"
    6/ Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    7/ Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) - +0'28"
    8/ Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
    9/ Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)
    10/ Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp)

    The video of the finish

    Here are the images from Sporza of the finish of the Tour of Flanders 2014:

    This text will be replaced

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 2 comments!
  1. Une très belle édition, j'ai trouvé la course animé du début de la retransmission (sur Eurosport) à la fin de la course, indécise jusqu'au bout.

    | Olivier73 | sunday 06 April 2014 at 20:28:32

  2. En effet, très belle course, avoir modifié le final pour ne pas offrir de répit à été véritablement un plus, et du coup, plus aucune surprise dans le top 10.
    Dommage pour nos Français, mais Gaudin et Turgot sont vraiment trop justes cette année, tout comme Chavanel. Quant à Ladagnous, je ne me prononce pas. J'espère qu'ils me feront mentir à Paris-Roubaix.

    | Aurélien M. | tuesday 08 April 2014 at 9:25:36

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