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52nd E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - 1.HC

Belgium, March 28, 2009

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Pozzato blasts Boonen in Belgium's E3 Prijs

By Gregor Brown in Harelbeke, Belgium

The thrill of victory for Pozzato…
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Filippo Pozzato sprinted to his first win in over a year at the E3 Prijs Saturday in Harelbeke, Belgium. Team Katusha's mercurial Italian beat home favourite Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Kazakh Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) after 208 kilometres of racing.

"I was able to get Boonen up front for the finale, that was important," said Pozzato. "He is faster than I am, for sure, but in a hard course I have a chance."

Boonen formed the winning move of three on the Knokteberg climb with 25 kilometres remaining. Pozzato immediately reacted to his former teammate and Iglinsky crossed the slight gap afterwards. The trio battled a chase behind from Rabobank and Columbia Highroad.

"We got up to 50 seconds, and that allowed us time to fight for the sprint," said Pozzato.

The three men entered the final two kilometres with 54 seconds. Pozzato led Boonen and Iglinsky into the final kilometre in an increasing cold Harelbeke (4°C). He succeeded in slowing enough to force Boonen to the front at the final left hand turn with 500 metres to go.

Pozzato opened up the sprint on Boonen's left as they traveled down the right side of the road into a headwind. They dueled to the line for a tight sprint and Iglinsky remained in third.

"I am happy, I am sorry for him because we are great friends," Pozzato said.

"Iglinsky was a problem for me because if I was alone with Pozzato then I know what to do to win," said Boonen. "Pozzato moved onto my rear wheel. I was on the front and that was a mistake."

Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) led home a group of six at 45 seconds for fourth. Boonen's teammates finished fifth and sixth, Sylvain Chavanel and Stijn Devolder. Nick Nuyens (Rabobank), George Hincapie (Columbia-Highroad) and Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) took spots seven to nine.

"I was having problems with my bike," said Hincapie to Cyclingnews. "On all the cobblestones it was just skipping so I could never really go with the attacks and I had to keep coming back... Despite the bike problems, I am good shape and I was with the best guys the whole race."

Four men fought for glory

Stijn Devolder (Quick Step)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Four men - Steve Chainel (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) and Jean Zen (Palmans - Cras) - moved free at seven kilometres into the race. The four built a gap of seven minutes with 140 kilometres remaining.

Fighting heavy winds, intermittent showers and the work of Silence-Lotto and Cervélo, the escape's advantage fell to five minutes. On the second of 12 climbs, Berg Stene at 75km remaining, they lost Chainel. Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) took off from the group in pursuit of the front men.

Boonen was the first of the favourites to show his cards. He punched the accelerator hard on the 500-metre cobbled climb of Taaienberg, with 56 kilometres remaining, as Marcus Burghardt (Columbia-Highroad) was returning from a flat tire. Hushovd and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) joined Boonen and the trio passed McEwen and Hoogerland.

The Boonen move faded, but Flecha went on a solo sortie at 48 kilometres to go. The Spaniard shaped the finale with his attack that brought across Boonen, Chavanel, Devolder, Pozzato, Burghardt, Bernhard Eisel (Columbia-Highroad), Hushovd, Jeremy Hunt and Andreas Klier (Cervélo TestTeam), Marco Bandiera (Lampre-NGC), Nuyens and Langeveld, Grega Bole (Amica Chips-Knauf) and Iglinsky (Astana).

Devolder used strength in Quick Step's numbers with a solo move over the Kwaremont climb (2200m long with 1500m of pavé). He passed Zen and joined the last remaining escapee, Westra. Their gap was small and Quick Step had to play its ace, Boonen.

Boonen opened the throttle again on the Knokteberg, the penultimate climb with 25 kilometres remaining.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by DCP/Bert Geerts

Images by AFP Photo

Images by Gregor Brown/Cyclingnews.com

Results - 208km

1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha                 5.11.49 (40.024 km/h)
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                               
3 Maxim Iglinskyi (Kaz) Astana                              
4 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam                   0.45
5 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step                         
6 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step                           
7 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank                                
8 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - Highroad            
9 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank                        
10 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team Columbia - Highroad      1.02
11 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia - Highroad        2.07
12 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux               2.13
13 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank                   2.18
14 Grega Bole (Slo) Amica Chips - Knauf                 2.59
15 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                          
16 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam                 
17 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team     
18 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                     
19 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
20 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana                            
21 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Silence-Lotto                    
22 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank                        
23 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Team Katusha                     
24 Leif Hoste (Bel) Silence-Lotto                           
25 Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam                     
26 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - Highroad      
27 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - N.G.C.                       
28 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto                    
29 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step                          
30 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team     3.40
31 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator        
32 Jean Zen (Fra) Palmans Cras                              
33 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank                      
34 Michael Schär (Swi) Astana                               
35 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha                        
36 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team Saxo Bank                        
37 Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator        
38 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Silence-Lotto                    
39 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                 
40 Michal Golas (Pol) Amica Chips - Knauf                   
41 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Vacansoleil                           
42 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago            
43 Jérôme Vincent (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom               
44 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam                     
45 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom             
46 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux              
47 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas                          
48 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step                          
49 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step                         
50 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                            
51 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago        5.50
52 Vicente Reynes (Spa) Team Columbia - Highroad       10.36
53 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team       
54 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano                        
55 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                          
56 Josep Jufre (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                          
57 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                      
58 Kenny Van Braeckel (Bel) Revor-Jartazi                   
59 Kenny Van Der Schueren (Bel) Palmans-Cras                
60 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank                         
61 Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram                         
62 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale                    
63 Grégory Rast (Swi) Astana                                
64 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                      
65 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team Saxo Bank                   
66 Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team           
67 Iker Camano (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                          
68 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Saxo Bank                   
69 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence-Lotto                         
70 Lars Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank                            
71 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Saxo Bank                           
72 Wim Vanhuffel (Bel) Vorarlberg-Corrratec                 
73 Geert Omloop (Bel) Palmans Cras                          
74 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step                          
75 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                           
76 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas                            
77 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas                            
78 Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad                
79 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator       
80 Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram                          
81 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram                         
82 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Cervélo TestTeam                   
83 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Fuji-Servetto                      
84 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam                     
85 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team Katusha                         
86 Matija Kvasina (Cro) Amica Chips - Knauf                 
87 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                       
88 Saïd Haddou (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom                  
89 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
90 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux              
91 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas                             
92 Marcin Sapa (Pol) Lampre - N.G.C.