Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma QuickStep) closed out a dominant performance in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne to hold off Moreno Hofland (Belkin) in a tight sprint in Belgium yesterday.
The Omega Pharma leader made it three wins in the one-day race – a new record – after superb work from his team.
Belkin and Omega Pharma split the race to pieces with over 70 kilometres remaining, positioning strong contingents of their squads in a 10-man move.
Despite chase efforts from Sky, Lotto Belisol and Katusha, the break stayed clear.
Boonen was joined by teammates, Stijn Vandenbergh, Matteo Trentin, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Sep Vanmarcke, Moreno Hofland, Maarten Wynants (Belkin), Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp), Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), and the 10-man break quickly established a lead of over a minute.
“This first small record is hopefully the start of more records later this season,” Boonen said.
“Our plans were completely different to what we did. Once we were up the road I thought the peloton was playing around with us. I figured we should drop back. Then it got serious. Trentin was supposed to lead out the sprint but he reacted on the first attack. Maes took over but he had cramps. It was chaos.”
The race started under bright skies and with an electric pace. A group of four eventually sailed clear and animated the first hours of the race, featuring Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha), Silvan Dillier (BMC), Gert Jõeäär (Cofidis) and Michaël Vingerling (Team 3M).
The four had a maximal lead of four minutes, but with Omega and Lotto keen to make up for mediocre showings in Omloop, the break was given little leeway.
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