Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) took an imperious solo victory at the Tour of Flanders, blowing the opposition away with several well-timed attacks.
Double Flanders winner Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was the only man who could follow Cancellara’s decisive attack on the Molenberg climb, but simply didn’t have the motor to continue at the time trial world champion’s pace on the ascent of Kapelmuur.
Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) came home third, with Britain’s Roger Hammond (Cervelo) putting in a strong ride for seventh.
Cycling photographer Graham Watson was there tracking the action, and we present a selection of his best shots from the day as it unfurled.
Fans turned out in their thousands to enjoy the racing
A few crashes punctuated the day’s racing, thankfully none were serious – the dry weather helped
Early escape headed by Bernhard Eisel
Boonen was the only man to follow Cancellara’s attack on the Molenberg, but even he got dropped
Britain’s David Millar was one of a group of three chasers, with Gilbert and Leukemans, who pursued Cancellara and Boonen. The De Panne winner later fell back to the large chase group
George Hincapie was right in the action, coming home in sixth
Armstrong put in a strong ride to finish in the same time as Hincapie and Millar
Legendary Muur at Geraardsbergen
Grit: Boonen on the Muur
With time trial motor at full rev, no one was going to catch Cancellara by the time he hit Meerbeke
An emotional third monument victory for Fabian Cancellara
Three great riders who did three great rides in Flanders (l-r): Tom Boonen (second), Fabian Cancellara (winner) and Philippe Gilbert (third)
Spring Classics 2010: CW’s coverage index