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E3 Prijs Vlaandren
By Staff
Date: 3/25/2006
E3 Prijs Vlaandren

E3 Prijs Vlaandren
Boonen and Ballan attack to the finish. Boonen does a Hat Trick in the Semi Classic joining legends Van Looy and Raas in the record books in the 49th edition of the Belgian semi-classic.

Boonen made his hat trick following up two earlier victories in 2004 and 2005. Super Tom won the sprint from 200meters from Allesandro Ballan (Lampre/Fondital). Boonen and Ballan attacked the lead group of 24 at 35km to go and soon built up a lead of over 1 minute as they worked well together to keep the peloton at bay with a gap that hovered between 50 to 1:20 increasing the gap as they approached the finish.

Art Verhouten (Skil/Shimano) won the sprint for third passing the early effort by Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel) and Bert De Waele (Landboukredit/Colnago)at 500 meters. Verhouten, Hoste and De Waele made the selection at 20km to go attempting to bridge up to Boonen and Ballan but the duo was too strong.  The trio lost time as they jockeyed for position in the last km to the chasing mob, but still managed to finish ten seconds in front of the chase with the attack first by Hoste and at 200 meters Vierhouten and De Waele nipping Hoste at the line.

After Ballan and Boonen escaped the lead group all attempts to once they gained a minute on the chase were unsuccessful, not that Klier(T-Mobile), Johansen (CSC), Van Petegem (Davitamon/Lotto) attempt to draw the duo back to the group.

The trio of Vierhouten, De Waele and Hoste counterattack got a gap on the Tiegemberg and mounted an attempt to join Boonen and Ballan, but the two with a minute gap were a powerful machine that only increased their gap denying any attempt to catch them. By the same token the trio chasing the duo maintained their advantage as the chasing group of 15 were to busy attacking each other in an attempt to bridge that no organised chase could be mounted.

Boonen joins cycling legends Rik Van Looy with a hat trick of wins in 64-66 (returning in 69 to add the fourth and the record for victories), and Jan Raas 79-81.

E3 Prijs Vlaandren 200 Km
1 Tom Boonen  Quickstep/Innergetic 4.43.38 (42.3 km/h)
2 Alessandro Ballan   LampreFondital 0.02
========= 1:32 ===========
3 Aart Vierhouten   Skil/Shimano 1.32

4 Bert De Waele   Landbouwkrediet/Colnago s.t.
5 Leif Hoste   Discovery Channel  s.t.
========= 1:42 ===========
6 Marcus Ljungqvist   CSC 1.42
7 Luca Paolini   Liquigas s.t.
8 Roger Hammond   Discovery Channel  s.t.
9 Peter Van Petegem   Davitamon/Lotto s.t.
10 Baden Cooke s.t.

11 Matteo Carrara   Lampre/Fondital s.t.
12 Erik Zabel   Team Milram s.t
13 Allan Johansen   Team CSC s.t
14 Staf Scheirlinckx   Cofidis  s.t
15 Frédéric Guesdon   Française des Jeux s.t
16 Roberto Petito   Team Tenax/Salmilano s.t
17 Andreas Klier   T-Mobile s.t
18 Juan Antonio Flecha   Rabobank s.t
19 Francis Mourey  Française des Jeux 1.51
20 Sergey Ivanov   T-Mobile 2.48


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