|94th Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen|
Tom Boonen and Quick Step back to their winning ways...
The Cobbled Start
Photo c. Karen Lambrecht & www.dailypeloton.com
World champion and Tour of Flanders winner Tom Boonen got back to winning ways today in the 94th Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, after some impressive team riding from his Quick Step squad. The team remarkably packed the decisive twenty-three man split with seven men (including Boonen) and let valiant lone breakaway Stefan Cohnen (Naturino-Sapore di Mare) stay out in front till the last few kilometres. Their leadout train then fired into action and quickly pulled back the few riders brave enough to attack before delivering Boonen to a routine sprint victory - his second win in this event - ahead of teammate Steven de Jongh and the Belgian's rival in the amateur ranks, Gert Steegmans of Davitamon-Lotto.
The selection was formed after just twenty kilometres of racing, and once the pack were distanced, the gap grew to more than fourteen minutes; ultimately only twenty-two riders were classified. However, the front group contained a fair few fast men (as well as English speakers), including Italian champion Enrico Gasparotto, Nico Eeckhout, Jeremy Hunt and Australians Baden Cooke and Graeme Brown. Chocolade Jacques also had four riders in contention, while Unibet.com had three. However, ultimately, they could do little against the power of Boonen and his domestiques; Stephen de Jongh's second further compounded defeat.
Smiling Super Tom Boonen Photo c. Karen Lambrecht &
This victory, and its air of comfortability, will certainly help Boonen and the squad to put the blip of Paris-Roubaix behind them. Though stopped by a train in the Hell of the North some ten kilometres from the finish, the Quick Step juggernaut rolls on and, from the signs of this victory, unaffected. Some of the team will now head for the Ardennes, while Boonen and his faithful workers will take a well-earned rest, as the cobbled Classics season is effectively over.
Tom Boonen photo c. Karen Lambrecht &
94th Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, 200km - Results
1. Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic, Bel) 4h 31m 00s
2. Steven de Jongh (Quick Step-Innergetic, Ned) at same time
3. Gert Steegmans (Davitamon-Lotto, Bel) s.t.
4. Nico Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport, Bel) s.t.
5. Graeme Brown (Rabobank, Aus) s.t.
6. Enrico Gasparotto (Liquigas, Ita) s.t.
7. Jens Renders (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport, Bel) s.t.
8. Aart Vierhouten (Skil-Shimano, Ned) s.t.
9. Jeremy Hunt (Unibet.com, Gbr) s.t.
10. René Weissinger (Skil-Shimano, Ger) s.t.
11. Kurt Hovelynck (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport, Bel) s.t.
12. Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Unibet.com, Spa) s.t.
13. Massimiliano Mori (Naturino-Sapore di Mare, Ita) s.t.
14. Baden Cooke (Unibet.com, Aus) s.t.
15. Evert Verbist (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport, Bel) s.t.
16. Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step-Innergetic, Bel) at 0'02"
17. Matthew Hayman (Rabobank, Aus) 0'07"
18. Stefan Cohnen (Naturino-Sapore di Mare, Ned) 0'11"
19. Wilfried Cretskens (Quick Step-Innergetic, Bel) 0'31"
20. Geert Verheyen (Quick Step-Innergetic, Bel) s.t.
21. Servais Knaven (Quick Step-Innergetic, Ned) 0'33"
22. Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step-Innergetic, Bel) s.t.