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97th Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen - 1.HC

Belgium, April 15, 2009

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Petacchi's first win in Belgium

By Bjorn Haake in Schoten

Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) sprinted to victory
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

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

Results - 200km

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