Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2013: the first Belgian classic for Paolini
It's the start of the Belgian classics season, with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad today and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne tomorrow.
Het Nieuwsblad was won today by Luca Paolini. Quick flashback on how the race unfolded ...
The summary of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2013
With a very frisky temperature, the riders came to the start of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this morning. Not like for La Drôme Classic in the south of France, where the snow forced the organisors to cancel the race, the Belgian routes turned out to be in good shape for a cycling race.
Just before noon, the riders went off for almost 199 kilometers with start and finish in the city of Ghent.
After several unsuccessful attempts, it was up to William Clarke (Argos-Shimano), Nico Sijmens and Julien Fouchard (Cofidis solutions crédits), Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun), Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Jérôme Cousin (Team Europcar) and Zakkari Dempster (Team NetApp-Endura) to form the breakaway of the race. When Gatis Smukulis (Katusha Team) and Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) joined this leading group, the 9 riders continued to work perfectly well together and thus bridge a gap which went up to over 5 minutes at one point.
Indeed, the peloton first let these 9 leading riders go and it was only in the last 100 kilometers that the teams without a rider in the lead started to get organised for the chase behind them. This was mainly done by the FDJ and Blanco teams which helped bring down the gap to 3 minutes and a half at 80 kilometers from the finish.
On the Kruisberg, Cyril Lemoine and Will Clarke had to let the leading group go and at the foot of the Taaienberg (at 57 kilometers from the finish), the gap of the 7 remaining riders in the lead was down to 1 minute and thirty seconds.
In this climb, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Marco Bandiera (IAM Cycling) really get in the chase and while Vachon, Dempster and Smukulis are taken back by the peloton, this chasing duo comes back on the leading group at 48 kilometers from the finish.
Behind this group, a new chasing group gets formed with riders like Luca Paolini (Katusha Team), Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Cofidis solutions crédits), Maarten Wynants (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) and Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) who all want to save a good place to keep a chance for victory in this first Belgian classic.
In the climb of the Haaghoek Sylvain Chavanel attacks alone but thanks mainly to Greg van Avermaet's efforts, the chasing group comes back on the former French champion.
At 26 kilometers from the finish, the group of 10 last candidates for victory sees Stijn Vandenbergh followed by Luca Paolini attack and since the 8 remaining riders don't manage to get organised behind them, this new leading duo rapidly creates a small gap.
It thus becomes clear that victory will be disputed between these two riders and it becomes a real strategic game of who goes on first. In the final part of the race, Paolini leaves it up to Vandenbergh to do all the work before placing an attack quite early to win this 2013 edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
At 30 seconds behind them, Sylvain Chavanel was the first to go on for the sprint but it was finally up to Sven Vandousselaere to win the sprint for the 3rd place.
The top 10 of the final classification of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Here's the top 10 of this first Belgian classic of the 2013 season:
1/ Luca Paolini (Katusha Team) - 4h52'14"
2/ Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
3/ Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) - +0'30"
4/ Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
5/ Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team)
6/ Marco Bandiera (IAM Cycling)
7/ Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
8/ Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol)
9/ Maarten Wynants (Blanco Pro Cycling Team)
10/ Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Cofidis solutions crédits) > 1 comment | shown 1734x
Currently 1 comments!
Stijn Vandenbergh a couru comme un cadet...1ière année !
Je tiens à préciser aussi qu'il ne faut pas confondre "ancien champion français" et "ancien champion de France", en parlant de Sylvain Chavanel ! Ce dernier est TOUJOURS un grand champion français, et il devrait encore le prouver assez souvent.
| Pierre CROLAIS | saturday 23 February 2013 at 20:35:28