Kevin van Impe (Quick Step) took what was only his fifth career victory today in the Dwars door Vlaanderen, comprehensively beating his breakaway companion Niko Eckhout in the dash to the line.
Van Impe and Eckhout escaped from the main group of favourites with about 25km to go and with Quick Step represented heavily behind, the impetus to chase fell on to the shoulders of Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo).
Pegging the gap at around 20 seconds, Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder (both Quick Step) were content to sit on Haussler’s wheel forcing him to do all of the chasing.
Eckhout did the lion’s share of the work driving the break along and entering the final kilometre, it had clearly taken its toll as van Impe jumped with about 500 metres to go to take his first semi-classic win.
DWARS DOOR VLAANDEREN RESULTS
1. Kevin van Impe (Bel) Quick Step
2. Niko Eckhout (Bel) AN Post
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
4. Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo
5. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step
6. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française des Jeux
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
8. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
Britain’s Jeremy Hunt
Kevin Van Impe takes a tough victory
Tom Boonen rolls in third and celebrates for team-mate Van Impe
Niko Eckhout, Kevin Van Impe and Tom Boonen on the podium
Photos by Luc Claessen
Valverde wins Castilla y Leon stage
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) won stage three of the Castilla y Leon stage race in Spain on Wednesday.
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Cunego wins at Coppi & Bartali
Damiano Cunego (Lampre) took his first win of the 2009 on the second day of the Coppi & Bartali race in Italy.
Clearly on form after two weeks of training at altitude in Tenerife, the Little Prince of Italian cycling was part of a nine-rider group that formed on the steep Monte Trebbio climb. He and Jose Serpa (Diqigiovanni) managed to escape on the descent and Cunego easily won the sprint in the centre of Faenza.
Giovanni Visconti (ISD) finished third at 20 seconds and so took the overall race lead because his ISD team won Tuesday?s team time trial. Cadel Evans (Silence) was fourth after impressing on the climbs.
Britain?s Ian Stannard played a key part in ISD TTT victory doing long turns on the front, and did a large part of the work to bring back an early break before Visconti got in the break. 22 year-old Stannard seems to be thriving at ISD. He failed to finish Saturday?s Milan-San Remo but has slimmed down and is already a key part of the ISD team. If all goes well there is no reason why he will not be part of the ISD line-up for the Giro d?Italia in May.
COPPI & BARTALI RESULTS: STAGE THREE
1. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 182km in 4hrs 00mins 1sec
2. Jose Serpa (Col) Diquigiovanni at 2secs
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD aat 20secs
4. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence
5. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Amica Chips
6. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas
7. Massimo Giunti (Ita) Miche
8. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Miche
9. Juan Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld all same time
10. Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Barloworld at 32secs.
38. Chris Froome (Gbr) Barloworld at 1min 23secs
52. Charly Wegelius (Gbr) Silence at 2mins 9secs
119. Ian Stannard (Gbr) ISD at 14mins 41secs.
Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD