Brief:Tom Steels found his fastest legs in the Criterium Oostrozebeke to win his 15th race for the season. The sprinter who usually patents his wins with a all-out assault at the end broke away from the top group to win by 20 seconds. In the final kms, Steels put on the pressure and it was Verstrepen, Eeckhout and Dewaele who were the final ballast to go overboard. De Wilde, Verstrepen, Planckaert, Peeters and Eeckhout had attacked earlier and built a maximum gap of less than 30 seconds on the peloton. They were chased by 12 riders who eventually caught them and a top group of 17 formed.
Johan Museeuw was present in a small third peloton. He was riding for training only. It was Eeckhout who made the final move which saw him, Steels, Dewaele and Verstrepen breakaway. Steels was then predicted to be the rider for the final sprint. In the final lap the Belgian National Champion made a small but effective attack and was never headed.
Oostrozebeke, 100 kms:
1. Tom Steels (Bel) Mapei-Bricobi 2.14.00 (44.776) 2. Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 0.20 3. Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 4. Fabien De Waele (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 0.27 5. Chris Peers (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 3.35 6. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Mapei-Bricobi 3.40 7. Jo Planckaert (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 3.45 8. Wim Feys (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 9. Geert Omloop (Bel) Spar-RDM 10. Mario De Clercq (Bel) Palmans-Ideal 11. Peter Spaenhoven (Bel) Palmans-Ideal 12. Tom Desmet (Bel) Collstrop 13. Nico Mattan (Bel) Mapei-Bricobi 14. Franky De Buyst (Bel) Tonissteiner 15. Etienne De Wilde (Bel) Spar-RDM 16. Kurt Van Lancker (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 17. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx (Bel) Home Market-Charleroi 18. Matthew Gilmore (Bel) Spar-RDM 19. Dylan Casey (Usa) Elite 20. Tony Decock (Bel) Elite 21. Rik Van Slycke (Bel) Spar-RDM 22. Leif Hoste (Bel) Vlaanderen 2002 23. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei-Bricobi 24. Peter Peys (Bel) Elite 3.45 Started: 40* stagiaire