Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) won the first stage of the ENECO Tour of the Benelux, continuing his rich vein of form after Sunday’s win at the Vattenfall Cyclassics.

In the Flemish town of Ardooie, the American edged out Belgian champion Tom Boonen in a chaotic sprint, which saw only a dozen riders cross the line together after a crash in the final 150 metres took out several frontrunners. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Columbia-HTC) was third.

Just behind the front row of sprinters, Euskaltel rider Koldo Fernandez and Baden Cooke (Vacansoleil) bumped shoulders and hit the deck, taking out several riders around and behind them.

The stage-winning time bonus also lifted Farrar into the race lead, after finishing within a second of winner Sylvain Chavanel in yesterday’s prologue around Rotterdam.

After Boasson Hagen’s bonus seconds for third place, Bradley Wiggins slipped one place in the general classification to fifth.

Results
ENECO Tour stage one: Aalter-Ardooie, 185.4km
1. Tyler Farrar (Usa) Garmin-Slipstream
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia-HTC
4. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
5. Robert Forster (Ger) Team Milram
6. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Francaise des Jeux
7. Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano
8. Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence-Lotto
9. Matt Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
10. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank

Overall standings after stage one
1. Tyler Farrar (Usa) Garmin-Slipstream 4-23-26
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step at 4sec
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step at 9sec
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia-HTC at 10sec
5. Bradley Wiggins (Gbr) Garmin-Slipstream at 11sec
6. Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank at same time
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 13sec
8. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank at same time
9. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank at 14sec
10. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator at same time

2009 ENECO Tour reports

Chavanel wins ENECO Tour prologue