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72nd Gent-Wevelgem - 2010 Updated
By Staff
Date: 3/28/2010
72nd Gent-Wevelgem - 2010 Updated

72nd Gent-Wevelgem - 2010 Results & Photos
Forget March Madness the Belgian Classics are ringing the bell in Deinze for Spring and Bernard Eisel  lit up the line for glory with room to spare... Updated

HTC/Columbia's sprinter Bernard Eisel won the 219 kilometer Spring semi-classic out of a sprint of six survivors of a break of around ten riders who escaped with 45 km to go. Eisel the first Austrian to stamp the race with authority swept by George Hincapie who started the sprint first coming around Belgians Sep Vanmarcke (Topsport-Vlaanderen) and Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto).

Eisel dominates the finish for his finest victory. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

BMC's George Hincapie held on to take 4th place bettering his performance of 2006 in the race when he finished 5th with Eisel on his wheel at sixth. Daniel Oss (Liquigas) filled out the top 5 with Omega Pharma/Lotto's Jurgen Roelandts the final member of the lead group in at sixth.

Astana's Maxim Iglinsky and Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel who were dropped from the escape finished at round a minute back out sprinting the first chase group; with Tyler Farrar (Garmin/Transitions) and Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone) filling out the top ten in the sprint with the first chase group of 8.

 The rest of the field finished in groups first at 3:14, 5 minutes, 11:46 and finally a large group at over 22 minutes.

After race comments from Bernhard Eisel...
HTC-Columbia's Bernhard Eisel says he was surprised but delighted that he could take his biggest career win in the Ghent-Wevelgem Classic.

"If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting too much from here, and I think quite a few people were surprised by this result, but everything fell into place for me to win even before the race happened," Eisel said.

"We took the right decision to check out the new Ghent-Wevelgem climbs beforehand and not participate in the E-3 Harelbeke Classic immediately before Ghent-Wevelgem."

"When we took part in this race we were rested and in good shape, knew what was coming up and we were ready to go. I felt in good form here, but my teammates really helped put me in a great position for the win. Matt Goss and Hayden Roulston are two names I'd like to mention but everybody did a great job."

Eisel said there was no doubt this was the high point of his career so far - but he will be looking for more big results this spring. "Winning stages in the Tour of Switzerland was good, and leading there was something very special, too. But this is Ghent-Wevelgem. It's a major Classic and it's always been one of my biggest dreams to take a race like this. And after this, who knows what could happen in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix?"

Copyright 2010 Gent-Wevelgem

The race got underway with 194 riders signing in today in Deinze for the 219 km test to Wevelgem for a day in the wind. A group of 4 animated the first part of the race escaping after 18 kilometers. The quartet,  eert Steurs (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator), Angel Madrazo (Caisse d'Epargne), Tom Van den Haute (Landbouwkrediet) and Matthe Pronk (Vacansoleil Pro) opened a gap that rose to over three minutes but on the  first climb of the Kemmelberg. the four were caught.

A full on attack by the green & blu crew of Liquigas split the peloton leading to formation of a break with the key move coming on the Kemmelberg with 45 km to go with Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) attacked out of the lead group and was joined by Daniel Oss (Liquigas) went after him and caught the Astana rider.

The group eventually included favorites: George Hincapie (BMC), Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) and Bernard Eisel (HTC), Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Behind a chase of 4 riders followed at 30 seconds.

With 12 km to go the group 9 riders increased the pace dropping Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liguigas), Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) and Spaniard Oscar Freire were dropped leaving six in the lead group. 

Jürgen Roelandts opened the hostilities attacking at 3 km to go but had little luck losing the group with a kilometer to go Hincapie started his sprint from afar; but it was HTC's Austrian sprinter Bernhard Eisel countered the move and quickly caught and passed the American to win by two bike lengths.

Astana's Maxim Iglinsky fiinshes alone in 7th place. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

HTC-Columbia's Bernhard Eisel blasted to victory in the Ghent-Wevelgem Classic on Sunday, outpowering five riders in a small group sprint. Eisel took off with the other breakaways before the usually decisive Kemmelberg climb. The Austrian then outsprinted them at the finish in Wevelgem for HTC-Columbia's second straight victory in one of Belgium's biggest Classics and top ProTour events.

"Bernie won it by two bike lengths," said HTC-Columbia sports director Tristan Hoffman. "The other guys tried everything they could to get rid of Bernie because they knew he would be the fastest if it came down to a sprint, but it just wasn't possible. HTC-Columbia had been on the front all day. Bernie and Marcel [Sieberg] and Matt [Goss] were all working away and keeping everything under control. There were some new climbs before the Kemmel, which we'd checked out and ridden over on the Friday before the race, and that was where it all split apart. There were groups everywhere but Bernie stayed calm, got into the right break and then played it perfectly at the finish."

Eisel wins going away with two bike lengths. Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

For HTC-Columbia men's team, Eisel's win is the fourteenth victory of the 2010 season. Eisel will now go on to race in two more top northern Classics, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

BMC Racing
George Hincapie scored his best finish at a Classic since 2008 with fourth place Sunday at Gent-Wevelgem. The U.S. national road champion led out the six-man sprint that was won by Bernhard Eisel (Team HTC-Columbia).

Hincapie Pleased With Result
Hincapie had not placed in the top five in a one-day classic since running fifth at Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2008. The 11-time Tour de France veteran said he was trying to surprise Eisel and Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) when he launched his sprint with 300 meters to go. “In hindsight, if I had waited, I would have been for sure in the first three, but I would not have been able to beat Eisel,” Hincapie said. “I’m pleased. I was very focused and concentrated all day. The team really helped me out.”

A Hard Race
Hincapie was among a group of 10 who crested the Kemmelberg, the last of 16 major climbs of the 219 km race, with a 30-second lead over a small group of chasers. That group dwindled to six in a race over a new course that was deemed harder than previous editions.

“If you look at most of the top 20, there were very few guys who raced yesterday (E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke) and today who did well,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said. “Probably Matti Breschel was one of the strongest in that group, but he flatted with 17 kilometers to go.”

MILRAM allrounder Christian Knees made his mark as best German rider in the Belgian Classic Gent-Wevelgem (UCI ProTour). He put in a very combative performance, bringing his four-rider chase group back into the race, and finished eleventh overall. The winner after 219 kilometers from  near Gent to Wevelgem was

„Christian Knees rode a classy race,“ said Ralf Grabsch, Team MILRAM's Directeur Sportif. :On the Kemmelberg he formed the chase group at exactly the right moment. As strong as he rode today, he deserved to be rewarded with a top ten finish. But that didn't work out, which is really too bad.“

 There was a bad moment for Team MILRAM early in the race, as Peter Wrolich was involved in a crash. Despite light injuries to his mouth, he pulled himself together and kept on riding.  "We are in Belgium, you simply have to be able to bear more, and that is exactly what Paco is doing," was how Directeur Sportif Ralf Grabsch praised the Milram veteran.

Philippe Gilbert  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti

72nd Gent Wevelgem
219 km - 5:17:12 - 39.723 km/h

1  Aut Eisel Bernhard Thr Team Htc - Columbia 5:17:12
2 Bel Vanmarcke Sep Tsv Topsport/Vlaanderen/Mercator0:00
3 17 Bel  Gilbert Philippe Olo Omega Pharma-Lotto  0:00

4 193 Usa1 Hincapie George Bmc Bmc Racing Team 0:00
5 105 Ita Oss Daniel Liq Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:02

6 16 Bel  Roelandts Jurgen Olo Omega Pharma-Lotto 00:07

7 46 Kaz Iglinsky Maxim Ast Astana 0:00:51
8 171 Den  Breschel Matti Sax Team Saxo Bank  1:01
9 133 Usa  Farrar Tyler Grm Garmin - Transitions  1:01
10 187 Ita  Paolini Luca Asa Acqua & Sapone  1:01
11 155 Ger Knees Christian Mrm Team Milram 0:01:01
12 113 Esp  Freire Gomez Oscar Rab Rabobank 0:01:01
13 104 Blr  Kuschynski Aleksandr Liq Liquigas-Doimo 0:01:01
14 173 Aus  Cooke Baden Sax Team Saxo Bank 0:01:08
72nd Gent - Wevelgem Full Results and Photos

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