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42nd Omloop van het Waasland-Kemzeke - 1.2
Belgium, March 12, 2006
Rambo wins in Kemzeke
By Brecht Decaluwé in Kemzeke
In a cold but sunny Kemzeke, Niko 'Rambo' Eeckhout racked up another win, arriving solo after 184 kilometres. The "Omloop van het Waasland-Kemzeke" was his third win of the young season. Last week, Eeckhout won the last stage and the overall of the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen. "Afterwards I was really tired," said the Chocolade Jacques rider. "In the last two days I felt better. I was really motivated to win over here, but it was not easy. The other competitors weren't of a real high quality, so they were all looking at me and our team. Waiting for a sprint was tricky, that's why I decided to attack."
Normally, a rider of Eeckhout's class doesn't show up at these races, but Eeckhout explained, "I asked our coach to race over here because I needed some competition. Sadly enough, our Chocolade Jacques team isn't allowed to start in Paris-Nice nor Tirreno-Adriatico."
The 24-year old Markus Eichler finished third behind the two Chocolade Jacques riders, Eeckhout and Koen Barbé. The young German is doing very well this year. He won the Prix de Lillers 'Bruno Comini' in France, last week. "These races suit me very well," he said. "Unlike most riders, I like the cobbles and the cold. My dream is racing in a ProTour team. making it possible to compete in the real Northern classics."
How it unfolded
The Omloop van het Waasland-Kemzeke starts in Stekene, Flanders. In sunny but cold weather, 161 riders started for 184 km of racing on flat and sometimes cobbled roads. Erwin Goenga (Piels) and Peter Ronsse (Jartazi) were the first riders to get away but they didn't get too far. After 30 kilometres, David Boucher (Unibet) got away with Dirk Bellemaekers (Van Vliet) and Valeriy Dmitriyev (Capec). Bellemaekers had a flat tyre and disappeared at the front. 17 riders joined the lead, but going into the local laps at km 110, everything got back together, as is normal.
With 50 kilometres to go, 18 riders got away in what proved to be the decisive escape. Boucher was there again, and so were the likes of Eeckhout, Barbé (Chocolade Jacques), Criquielion, De Wilde and Habeaux (Landbouwkrediet), Blanchy and local boy Robby Meul (Jartazi). Most teams had a rider in the leading group so the peloton let them go. The advantage grew to four minutes. Seven riders from the leading group couldn't keep up with the pace. So, going into the final lap, 12 leaders raced for victory.
Habeaux was the first one to attack but he wasn't allowed to go the distance. Niko Eeckhout tried twice and his second attempt proved to be successful. Team mate Koen Barbé managed to win the sprint for second place, making it a one-two for the Chocolade Jacques team. German Markus Eichler finished third ahead of the strong Boucher.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com
1 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 4.43.30 2 Koen Barbe (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 0.15 3 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Regiostrom-Senges 4 David Boucher (Fra) Unibet.com 5 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Continental 6 Tim Meeusen (Bel) Pictoflex Bikeland Hyundai 0.27 7 Chris Sörensen (Den) Designa Kokken 8 Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 9 Rune Udby (Den) Glud & Marstrand Horsens 0.40 10 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 11 Robby Meul (Bel) Jartazi - 7Mobile 1.14 12 Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Advocaten 3.05 13 Denis Flahaut (Bel) 4.40 14 Dimitri De Fauw (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen 15 Patrick Van Roosbroeck 16 Ilya Chernyshov (Kaz) Capec 17 Roy Hegreberg (Nor) Glud & Marstrand Horsens 18 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen 19 Tom Veelers (Ned) Rabobank (Continental) 20 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 21 Kevin Neyrinck (Bel) 22 Jurgen Van Loocke (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 23 Adriaan Helmantel (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 24 Ronny Poelvoorde (Bel) Flanders 25 Jonas Owczarek (Ger) Team Sparkasse 26 Steffen Weigold (Ger) Team Lamonta 27 Alexandr Dymovskikh (Kaz) Cycling Team Capec 28 Alexander Gut (Ger) Team Lamonta 29 Sebastian Frey (Ger) Team Sparkasse 30 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DFL-Cyclingnews 31 Malaya Van Ruitenbeek (Ned) Van Vliet-EBH Advocaten 32 Arjen De Baat (Ned) Rabobank (Continental) 33 Martin Vestby (Nor) ProComm-Van Hemert 34 Mart Van Zandbeek (Ned) Flanders 35 Vytautas Kaupas (Ltu) Jartazi-7Mobile 36 Alexander Maul (Ger) Team Sparkasse 37 Ken De Vos (Bel) 38 Steven Thys (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile 39 Gregory De Munster (Bel) Flanders 40 Mike Van Putten (Ned) Yawadoo-Colba-ABM 41 Cameron Jennings (Aus) DFL-Cyclingnews 42 Erwin Goenga (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 43 Kor Steenbergen (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 44 Peter Ronsse (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile 45 Valeriy Dmitriyev (Kaz) Cycling Team Capec 46 Sven De Weerdt (Bel) DFL-Cyclingnews 47 Christophe Lembrechts (Bel) Yawadoo-Colba-ABM 48 Nico Van Dijk (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels 49 Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Rietumu Bank-Riga
2005 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) MrBookmaker.com - SportsTech 2004 Christoph Roodhooft (Bel) MrBookmaker.com-Palmans 2003 Geert Omloop (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 2002 Peter Van Agtmaal (Ned) Bert Story Piels 2001 Martin Van Steen (Ned) 2000 Jans Koerts (Ned) 1999 Geert Omloop (Bel) 1998 Frank Hoj (Den) 1997 Wim Omloop (Bel) 1996 Michel Van Haecke (Bel) 1995 Hendrik Redant (Bel) 1994 Jan Bogaert (Bel) 1993 Menno Vink (Ned) 1992 Fabrice Naessens (Bel) 1991 Jerry Cooman (Bel) 1990 Luc Govaerts (Bel) 1989 (2) Frank Pirard (Ned) 1988 Erik Breukink (Ned) 1987 Frank Pirard (Ned) 1986 Frank Verleyen (Bel) 1985 William Tackaert (Bel) 1984 Yvan Lamote (Bel) 1983 Alain Van Hoornweder (Bel) 1982 (2) Johnny Denul (Bel) 1981 Patrick Versluys (Bel) 1980 Willem Peeters (Bel) 1979 Johnny Denul (Bel) 1978 Frans Van Looy (Bel) 1977 Marc Renier (Bel) 1976 Eddy Verstraeten (Bel) 1975 Serge Van Daele (Bel) 1974 Tino Tabak (Ned) 1973 Gerben Karstens (Ned) 1972 Luc Van Goidsenhoven (Bel) 1971 Walter Planckaert (Bel) 1970 Etienne Antheunis (Bel) 1969 Jean-Claude Genty (Bel) 1968 Joseph Boons (Bel) 1967 Martin Van Den Bossche (Bel) 1966 Hendrik Wouters (Ned) 1965 Martin Van Ginniken (Ned) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com