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62nd Dwars door Vlaanderen - 1.1

Belgium, March 28, 2007

2006 Results    Results    Past winners

Boonen is back

By Gregor Brown

Boonen takes the sprint
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

After suffering a near-miss in Milano-Sanremo and a win-less Paris-Nice, Tom Boonen bounced back with a commanding win the 62nd Dwars door Vlaanderen. The early escape attempts were reeled in, including a long effort by David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner), and then the 2005 World Champion's Quick-Step team started with the grind to the finish in Waregem. Fighting off Stuart O'Grady's CSC and Niko 'Rambo' Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen), Boonen reigned supreme after 200 kilometres of racing.

How it unfolded

This Belgian Semi-Classic was to be the stomping ground for CSC and Quick-Step, both of whom nearly missed out in last Saturday's Milano-Sanremo. The 200 kilometres of racing, with 12 Hellingen (hills or bergs in Flemish), would be hard enough to shake the weak sprinters and give the hard-men of speed a chance of victory.

The first 80 kilometres were mostly flat and proved an excellent point for an escape bid. After numerous attempts Boucher moved free at kilometre 53. With 147 kilometres of racing and 12 Hellingen remaining the Frenchman would have his work cut out for him.

His advantages on the easterly route shot up to eight minutes by the race's midway point but his legs were wearing after having covered the Katteberg, Berendries and Valkenberg. The Eikenberg and Oude Kwaremont did him in and forced the favourites to the front of the charging peloton, notably Gert Steegmans (Quickstep-Innergetic).

After Boucher's defeat there was immediately a move by Matthé Pronk ( and Wim Vansevenant (Predictor-Lotto). They were allowed little freedom, gaining up to 15". Their lack of freedom could not have been more evident than on the Knokteberg; Quick-Step was lined out and working to control the day for Tom Boonen. In the mix included Belgian legend Peter Van Petegem, who was displaying the danger he will be when paired with Boonen in races like Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix.

The duo was brought back to terms with the aid of Liquigas. The Italian team had three men in the thinning front group, including Enrico Gasparotto, Murilo Fischer and Roberto Petito. Gasparotto was most active, leaving Brazilian Fischer to save himself for the sprint.

The 2005 Italian Champion worked well and was in the next significant move formed at 48 kilometres remaining, including Matti Breschel (Team CSC), Roy Sentjens (Predictor-Lotto), Kevin Van Impe (Quickstep-Innergetic), Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) and Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo). Van Impe's presence was important as it held off the chase of Quick-Step and gave the six a chance at succeeding.

However, the group of six did not cooperate well. 27 year-old Masciarelli cramped and was dropped, and soon the remaining escapees only had 36 seconds with two ascents of the Holstraat remaining, the final being at six kilometres to go.

The final podium:
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

Gasparotto struck out on the first go of Holstraat and cracked his companions, while behind a move was formed by Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) and Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile). The small Belgian and big German worked well together and quickly joined the Italian. There was one final circuit of 15 kilometres remaining and the newly formed trio held on to only 11 seconds.

CSC and Quick-Step were in full-force on the front of the peloton and it became evident that any escapes were to be damned. Eight kilometres later, on the final ascent of the Holstraat, two Belgians fired. Rising star Nick Nuyens (Cofidis) shot off and Boonen immediately followed. The two duelled and cancelled each other out over the cobbled climb. The front group was more or less back together and was set for an O'Grady versus Boonen sprint.

Burghardt gave a dig with Tomas Vaitkus (Discovery Channel) in the final kilometre but they were overcome by Quick-Step. The boys rolled to the finish and left Boonen to open his sprint on the heels of 'Rambo' Eeckhout. The former World Champion easily succeeded and crossed the line pointing at his Specialized machine, a new bike which had been recently developed for the big sprinter.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Luc Claessen/

Results - 200 km

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic                               4.47.00 (41,81 km/h)
2 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC
4 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
5 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner
6 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
7 William Bonnet (Fra) Crédit Agricole
8 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic
9 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC
10 Antonio Murillo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
11 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil - Shimano
12 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Rabobank
13 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Predictor - Lotto
14 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
15 Roger Hammond (GBr) T-Mobile Team
16 Bert Roesems (Bel) Predictor - Lotto
17 Antonio Cruz (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
18 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance
19 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner
20 Jimmy Casper (Fra)
21 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) Team Wiesenhof Felt
22 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Predictor - Lotto
23 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner
24 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quickstep - Innergetic
25 Roberto Petito (Ita) Liquigas                                            0.07
26 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                     0.09
27 Matthé Pronk (Ned)                                            0.17
28 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic                           0.24
29 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC
30 Markus Eichler (Ger)                                          0.25
31 Arnaud Coyot (Fra)                                            0.55
32 Cédric Pineau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole                              1.04
33 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
34 Hilton Clarke (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
35 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
36 Nico Mattan (Bel) DFL - Cyclingnews - Litespeed
37 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel)
38 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
39 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner
40 Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
41 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil - Shimano
42 Eduard Bogaert (Bel) Yawadoo - ABM - TV Vlaanderen
43 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
44 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team CSC
45 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Predictor - Lotto
46 Daniel Lloyd (GBr) DFL - Cyclingnews - Litespeed
47 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner
48 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
49 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2r Prévoyance
50 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
51 Tom Steels (Bel) Predictor - Lotto
52 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Team Wiesenhof Felt
53 Janek Tombak (Est) Jartazi Promo Fashion
54 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank
55 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas
56 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Liquigas
57 Aleksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Liquigas
58 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                                            1.33
59 Roy Sentjens (Ned) Predictor - Lotto
60 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic
61 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC
62 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic
63 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic
64 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Gerolsteiner                                       2.53
65 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe)
66 Allan Johansen (Den) Team CSC
67 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team                  3.35
68 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank                                              6.36
69 Thomas Ongena (Bel) Yawadoo - ABM - TV Vlaanderen
70 Jarno Van Mingeroet (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion
71 Kevin Neirynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner
72 Niels Scheuneman (Ned)
73 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Skil - Shimano
74 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic
75 Christoph Meschenmoser (Ger) Skil - Shimano
76 Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner
77 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Skil - Shimano
78 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance
79 David Harrigan (Aus) DFL - Cyclingnews - Litespeed
80 Jean-Paul Simon (Bel) Babes Only - Villapark Langemeer - Flanders
81 Adam Hansen (Aus) T-Mobile Team
82 Eric Baumann (Ger) T-Mobile Team
83 Johan Coenen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
84 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
85 Benjamin Brooks (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
86 Kristian House (GBr) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team                   6.38
87 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
88 Jörg Ludewig (Ger) Team Wiesenhof Felt
89 Artur Gajek (Ger) Team Wiesenhof Felt
90 Jens Renders (Bel) Palmans Collstrop
91 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
92 Servais Knaven (Ned) T-Mobile Team
93 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank
94 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion
95 Laurent Mangel (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance
96 Robert Wagner (Ger) Team Wiesenhof Felt                                  6.40
97 Sven Nevens (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion
98 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas
99 Cycril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole
100 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Crédit Agricole
101 Bastiaan Giling (Ned) Team Wiesenhof Felt
102 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance
103 Dmitry Kozontchouk (Rus) Rabobank
104 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
105 Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner
106 Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
107 Andrea Rossi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
108 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo
109 Fabien Patanchon (Fra) Française des Jeux
110 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux
111 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
112 Anthony Colin (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
113 Ian McLeod (RSA) Française des Jeux
114 Tyler Farrar (USA) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
115 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Française des Jeux                                  6.43
116 Mathieu Heijboer (Ned) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
117 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team CSC
118 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team CSC
119 Matt Cooke (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
120 John Gadret (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance
121 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
122 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner
123 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Predictor - Lotto
124 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Crédit Agricole
125 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Crédit Agricole
126 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DFL - Cyclingnews - Litespeed                  6.45
127 Alex Coutts (GBr) Babes Only - Villapark Langemeer - Flanders
128 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux
129 Koen Das (Bel) Yawadoo - ABM - TV Vlaanderen
130 Alexandre Usov (Blr) AG2r Prévoyance

Past winners

Dwars Door Vlaanderen/A Travers la Belgique
2006 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen
2005 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-T Interim
2004 Ludovic Capelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
2003 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo
2002 Baden Cooke (Aus)
2001 Nico Eeckhout (Bel)
2000 Tristan Hoffman (Ned)
1999 (2) Johan Museeuw (Bel)
1998 Tom Steels (Bel)
1997 Andrej Tchmil (Mda)
1996 Tristan Hoffman (Ned)
1995 (2) Jelle Nijdam (Ned)
1994 Carlo Bomans (Bel)
1993 Johan Museeuw (Bel)
1992 Olaf Ludwig (Ger)
1991 (2) Eric Vanderaerden (Bel)
1990 Edwig Van Hooydonck (Bel)
1989 Dirk De Wolf (Bel)
1988 (2) Eddy Planckaert (Bel)
1987 Jelle Nijdam (Bel)
1986 Eric Vanderaerden (Bel)
1985 Eddy Planckaert (Bel)
1984 (2) Walter Planckaert (Bel)
1983 Etienne De Wilde (Bel)
1982 Jan Raas (Ned)
1981 Frank Hoste (Bel)
1980 Johan Van der Meer (Bel)
1979 Gustave Van Roosbroeck (Bel)
1978 Adri Schipper (Ned)
1977 Walter Planckaert (Bel)
1976 Willy Planckaert (Bel)
1975 Cees Priem (Ned)
1974 Louis Verreydt (Bel)
1973 Roger Loysch (Bel)
1972 Marc Demeyer (Bel)
1970 (2) Daniel Van Ryckegem (Bel)
1969 Eric Leman (Bel)
1968 (2) Walter Godefroot (Bel)
1967 Daniel Van Ryckegem (Bel)
1966 Walter Godefroot (Bel)

Dwars door Belgie

1965 Albert Hermans (Bel)
1964 Piet Van Est (Ned)
1963 Clément Roman (Bel)
1962 Martin Van Geneugden (Bel)
1961 Maurice Meuleman (Bel)
1960 Arthur Decabooter (Bel)
1959 Roger Baens (Bel)
1958 André Vlayen (Bel)
1957 Noél Fore (Bel)
1956 Lucien Demunster (Bel)
1955 (2) Alberic Schotte (Bel)
1954 Germain Derijcke (Bel)
1953 Alberic Schotte (Bel)
1952 André Maelbrancke (Bel)
1951 (2) Raymond Impanis (Bel)
1950 (2) André Rosseel (Bel)
1949 Raymond Impanis (Bel)
1948 André Rosseel (Bel)
1947 Albert Sercu (Bel)
1946 Maurice Desimplaere (Bel)
1945 b) Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
1945 a) Joseph Somers (Bel)

Past winners by Mario Stiehl,