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66th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Elite Men
By Bart Hazen
Date: 2/26/2011
66th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - Elite Men

66th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Sebastian Langeld and Juan Antonio Flecha go man on man to the line in a photo finish...

Rabobank's Sebastian Langeveld won the Omloop in a finish line shootout nipping Antonio Flecha (SKY) on the line.

Langeveld was launched by his team with with 55 km to go after the early break of a nine riders were caught. The niine riders opened a gap of 8 minutes before being hauled back in the in the final quarter of the 203 kilometer battle in the wind and rain.

Happy winner Sebastian Langeveld Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Langeveld risked it all on a solo break opening a 40 second gap at that grew to 1:20. A chase group of 5 riders chased the Dutch rider with Flecha and Sky teammate Matthew Hayman (Sky), Maarten Maaskant (Garmin-Cervelo), Niki Terpstra (Quick Step), and Lars Boom.  Hayman and Flecha dropped  the group; but when Hayman crashed he continued the chase on his own.

Fletcha bridged to Langeveld's wheel with 15 km to go. The two riders worked very well together in the freezing cold rain and wind gaining 2 minutes on the first group of chasers with Hayman chasing alone in between.

Juan Antonio Flecha   Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Flecha set to attacking Langeveld in the last 4 kilometers but Langeveld refused to be dropped fighting back to regain Flecha's wheel at each attempt. The two riders came in to the final kilometer with Langeveld attacking - starting his sprint with 300 meters to go.

The two riders fought to the line side by side but it was Langeveld who delivered the final payoff on the line to grab the victory over Flecha. 

Matthew Hayman arrived at 1:47 later to finish third,

Matthew Hayman a picture of grit after today's race.  Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Yoann Offredo of Francaise des Jeux and Luca Paolini followed to claim fourth and fifth 30 seconds later.

66th Omloop podium: Juan Antonio Flecha, Sebastian Langeveld and Matthew Hayman
Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

Complete results and photo galleries to come...

66th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Elite Men's Results

1 Langeveld Sebastian Rabobank Cycling Team 5:18:03
2 Flecha Giannoni Antonio Sky Team SKY - 0:00
3 Hayman Mathew Team SKY - 1:01

4 Offredo Yoann Française des Jeux - 1:04
5 Paolini Luca Katusha Team - 1:21
6 Terpstra Niki Quick Step Cycling Team - 1:24
7 Maaskant Martijn Team Garmin-Cervelo - 1:30
8 Quinziato Manuel BMC Racing Team - 1:30
9 Roelandts Jurgen Omega Pharma-Lotto - 1:30
10 Boom Lars Rabobank Cycling Team - 1:30
11 Amorison Frédéric Landbouwkrediet - 1:34
12 Degenkolb John HTC-Highroad - 1:39
13 Weylandt Wouter Leopard Trek - 5:05
14 Hinault Sébastien Ag2r La Mondiale - 5:05
15 Trusov Nikolay Katusha Team - 5:05

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