Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd has taken victory in the Het Nieuwsblad classic.
In an action-packed finale, Hushovd took advantage of strong team riding by his Cervelo squad to win the sprint with ease, after several rivals were impeded by a crash.
A two-up break by Hushovd's team mate Heinrich Haussler and Rabobank's Sebastian Langeveld, which went away with 35 kilometres to go, looked like it might be successful. But the pair were caught with less than a kilometre to go.
As the sprint opened, several riders hit the deck, while Hushovd forged ahead three lengths clear of Belgium's Kevyn Ista.
HET NIEUWSBLAD 2009 RESULTS
1. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo
2. Kevyn Ista (Bel) Agritubel
3. Juan-Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto
5. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Columbia
6. Frederic Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
7. Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervelo
8. Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo
9. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Milram
10. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
61. Roger Hammond (GB) Cervelo at 45secs
62. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at same time
142. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 12-32
The bunch on the cobbles
Brit Roger Hammond in action
Jeremy Hunt leads on the cobbles
Thor Hushovd scores another win for Cervelo
Thor Hushovd: Rider Profile
Hammond looks forward to Belgian season opener
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