By Nigel Wynn
Lieuwe Westra (Astana) achieved a final stage upset in the Three Days of De Panne in Belgium on Thursday to win the race overall.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) headed the general classification after the morning's short road stage, but could not produce the performance in the afternoon's time trial to keep Dutchman Westra at bay.
The 14.2-kilometre decisive test against the clock around De Panne featured a series of tight corners and dead turns. Kristoff – still suffering from the after-effects of a cold – was not at 100 per cent and failed to defend his title from 2015.
Kristoff slipped to second place overall behind Westra, with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) completing the podium in third.
The TT was won by Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff), who beat pre-stage favourite Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) by hundredths of a second. Swiss rider Tom Bohli (BMC Racing) was third, also on the same time.
Many of the riders taking part in the Three Days of De Panne will now ride the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, April 3, one of the most prestigious one-day races of the season.
Three Days of De Panne, stage 3b: De Panne to De Panne, 14.2km ITT
1. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff in 17-39.27
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx-QuickStep at same time
3. Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing at same time
4. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana at 3 secs
5. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 19 secs
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 22 secs
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 24 secs
8. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 28 secs
9. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing at 29 secs
10. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 31 secs
Final general classification
1. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana in 12-08-19
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 13 secs
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 16 secs
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx-QuickStep at 35 secs
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 59 secs
6. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-04
7. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing at 1-06
8. Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group
9. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha at 1-19
10. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ at 1-19
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