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97th Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen - 1.HC
Belgium, April 15, 2009
Petacchi's first win in Belgium
By Bjorn Haake in Schoten
Alessandro Petacchi took his first win in Belgium by out-sprinting his competition in the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen on Wednesday. The LPR Brakes rider stayed clear of a big crash involving favourites Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and Greg Van Avermaet (Silence-Lotto).
"I did a great sprint, although I found myself at the front a little early, since I had no teammates with me." Petacchi followed the Silence-Lotto train before taking off. "I didn't see the crash, but I don't know if I would have lost without it. Again, I think I did a perfect sprint."
Petacchi's team was reduced due to Lorenzo Bernucci being in the break of the day, which was caught only seven kilometres from the finish. "[Alberto] Ongarato crashed on the pavé sector," Petacchi added. Ongarato had to abandon with a broken collarbone.
Petacchi doesn't race in Belgium too often. "I have never won in Belgium, although I was third in Gent-Wevelgem." The race went very well for him. "Usually racing here [in Belgium] is very nervous, but today it was quite good after the break was established. We had a man in the break, so I was able to relax in the bunch."
Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano), Dominique Rollin (Cervélo TestTeam) and Antonio Cruz (BMC Racing Team) took second through fourth.
Rollin is getting closer to a big win. "Fifth on Monday, third today - the next step is a top two, I guess. This was a good result, I am quite excited." His path in the sprint was free of obstacles. "The crash happened just behind me. I heard it, but I just put my head down.
"I couldn't catch Alessandro. I thought 'second is good' and then Kenny just came flying by me."
International quartet on the run
A four-man lead group with Italian Lorenzo Bernucci (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini), Dutchman Matthé Pronk (Vacansoleil), Russian Pavel Brutt (Katusha) and American Jeff Louder (BMC Racing Team) formed quickly and built a maximum lead of about a six minutes.
With Katusha and LPR Brakes represented in the break, most of the work in the peloton had to be done by Silence-Lotto and Quick Step. The gap was still close to three minutes when the leaders came through the finish area to begin the first of three laps (16.5km each).
A crash on the cobbles of the 1700m long Broekstraat disrupted the chase with a little more than 30 kilometres to go. The most notable riders who were held up included Gerald Ciolek (Milram), Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) and Swiss champion Marcus Zberg (BMC Racing Team).
"I didn't really see what happened, but I was trying to avoid it by going left," Zberg told Cyclingnews after the race. "I was lucky I fell down into the creek, so I didn't crash too hard," he said with a smile. "It's too bad as I was feeling quite well until then. Fortunately, Tony [Cruz] was still able to go in the sprint."
Haussler was chasing behind with two Landbouwkrediet-Colnago riders but never made it back.
With one lap to go the gap was down to one minute. Roger Hammond (Cervélo TestTeam) and Servais Knaven (Milram) escaped the field, but were quickly brought back.
With nine kilometres to go Louder was the first one to let go off the front group. "I felt bad in the end for not pulling through, but I was just fried," Louder said. "I had to do a lot of work to get into the break; you know how it is sometimes, you have to try 20 times."
Louder did his share for the BMC team. "I am glad that Tony [Cruz] was able to finish it off. The result is really important for the team."
Bernucci and Brutt resisted the longest but sat up with four kilometres to go. "I went into the break to work for the team," Bernucci said. "We are quite happy that we won." But he was already looking forward. "Tomorrow is another race [GP de Denain Porte du Hainaut - ed.] and we hope to win there as well."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Bjorn Haake/Cyclingnews
Images by Tom De Meyer/www.tomdemeyer.be
Images by ISPA/www.ispaphoto.be
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 4.27.20 (44.87 km/h) 2 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano 3 Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team 4 Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team 5 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram 6 Harald Starzengruber (Aut) Elk Haus 7 Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram 8 Jose Antonio Carrasco Ramirez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur 9 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia-Highroad 10 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Verandas Willems 11 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0.08 12 Alessandro Maserati (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce 13 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD 14 Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 15 Markus Zberg (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0.11 16 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Columbia-Highroad 17 Jochen Summer (Aut) Elk Haus 0.13 18 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano 19 Petr Bencik (Cze) PSK Whirlpool-Author 20 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano 0.15 21 Jesus Rosendo Prado (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur 22 Harald Totschnig (Aut) Elk Haus 0.17 23 Jonathan Bertrand (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 0.18 24 Jurgen Francois (Bel) Palmans-Cras 25 Matthias Brandle (Aut) Elk Haus 26 Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Palmans-Cras 0.20 27 Gerhard Trampusch (Aut) Elk Haus 28 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Silence-Lotto 29 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur 30 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Palmans-Cras 31 Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator 32 Maarten Neyens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator 33 Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram 0.24 34 Fabio Negri (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 35 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Verandas Willems 0.26 36 Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce 0.28 37 Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 38 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 39 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team 0.30 40 Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia-Highroad 41 David Deroo (Fra) Skil-Shimano 42 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram 43 Sibrecht Pieters (Bel) Jong Vlaanderen-Bauknecht Jvb 44 Simon Clarke (Aus) Amica Chips-Knauf 0.32 45 Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC Racing Team 46 Edward King (USA) Cervelo Test Team 47 Jean Zen (Fra) Palmans-Cras 0.34 48 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator 0.36 49 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0.38 50 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator 0.39 51 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step 52 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank 53 Jakub Danacik (Cze) PSK Whirlpool-Author 54 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo Test Team 55 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 56 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 0.43 57 Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram 58 Geert Omloop (Bel) Palmans-Cras 0.45 59 Marco Cattaneo (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 60 Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil-Shimano 0.47 61 Gregory Henderson (NZl) Team Columbia-Highroad 62 Matija Kvasina (Cro) Amica Chips-Knauf 63 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Team Katusha 64 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Katusha 65 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD 66 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank 67 Claudio Cucinotta (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 68 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Team Columbia-Highroad 69 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 70 Francis De Greef (Bel) Silence-Lotto 71 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce 72 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur 73 Timothy Vangheel (Bel) Palmans-Cras 74 Leopold Konig (Cze) PSK Whirlpool-Author 75 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Silence-Lotto 76 Michal Golas (Pol) Amica Chips-Knauf 0.54 77 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini 0.56 78 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step 0.57 79 Igor Abakoumov (Bel) ISD 1.04 80 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step 1.08 81 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step 82 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step 83 Olivier Pardini (Bel) Verandas Willems 84 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step 1.13 85 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha 1.16 86 Alexei Markov (Rus) Team Katusha 87 Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Silence-Lotto 1.28 88 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 1.43 89 Domenic Klemme (Ger) Team Saxo Bank 90 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Team Katusha 91 Alexander Serov (Rus) Team Katusha 92 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team Columbia-Highroad 93 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 94 Petr Kubias (Cze) PSK Whirlpool-Author