1. Carlo Bomans (Bel, Mapei-GB) 206km in 5.10.44 2. Peter Van Petegem (Bel, TVM) + 0.23 secs 3. Wilfried Nelissen (Bel, Lotto) + 0.29 4. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus, Rabobank) + 0.34 5. Olaf Ludwig (Ger, Telekom) 6. Johan Museeuw (Bel, Mapei-GB) 7. Tristan Hoffman (Neth, TVM) 8. Lance Armstrong (USA, Motorola) 9. Andrei Tchmil (Rus, Lotto) 10. Massimo Strazzer (It, Brescialat) all s.t. (184 starters, 78 classified)
Bomans, not wanting to spend more than five or so hours out in this sort of weather, escaped halfway through the race with Massimo Strazzer. The pair built a lead of four minutes before being halted by Belgian Railways -- it was that classic incident of European bike racing, a closed level crossing... This reduced their lead to two minutes over a chase group that included Museeuw, Tchmil, Nelissen, Armstrong, Baldato, Ludwig, Michaelsen, Hoffman, Ekimov, Hoffman and Van Petegem. Bomans never got caught, attacking on the Tiegemberg 15km from the finish and, in L'Equipe's effectively untranslatable words, "s'offrir une soiree au domicile conjugal" [awarded himself an evening in his conjugal dwelling].