By Nigel Wynn
Niki Terpstra successfully held off a strong chasing group to take a solo win in Wednesday's Belgian semi-classic, Dwars door Vlaanderen.
Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) broke free with Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen) just before the Paterberg, 30 kilometres from the line in Waregem. However, Wallays was unable to keep pace with a storming Terpstra, and was soon dropped.
Terpstra's Omega Pharma-QuickStep team-mate and 2008 winner Sylvain Chavanel came home in second, with Koen De Kort (Project 1t4i) in third.
Chavanel had sat tight in the chasing group, unwilling to work in bringing the gap down on his team-mate up front. When De Kort launched a late attack, Chavanel followed, closed him down and took second place on the line.
It was a flawless display of team riding and once again marked out Omega Pharma-QuickStep as the squad to watch out for in the Spring Classics
Despite some effort from the bunch to reel the break back earlier in the day, they collectively failed to regain contact as the 200km race worked its way through 13 punishing Belgian bergs.
World Champion Mark Cavendish was a late addition to Sky's roster at Dwars door Vlaanderen as he prepares for Sunday's Ghent-Wevelgem. The Manxman Tweeted after the race that he crashed hard in the final 15km as a result of another rider throwing a bottle into his front wheel. An event over which he expressed a certain degree of unhappiness.
Dwars door Vlaanderen 2012: 200km
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 47 secs
3. Koen De Kort (Ned) Project 1t4i at same time
4. Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis at 51 secs
5. Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Europcar at 53 secs
6. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini-Selle Italia at 1-00
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin-Barracuda at 1-05
8. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank at 1-16
9. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
10. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) GreenEdge at same time
58. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky at 3-06
64. Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky at 3-06
Jan Ghyselinck leads escape
Filippo Pozzato (left) and Sep Vanmarcke (right) in the break
Niki Terpstra goes solo
Niki Terpstra celebrates his solo win
Spring Classics 2012: Coverage index
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