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3rd Ronde van het Groene Hart - 1.1

Netherlands, March 22, 2009

2008 Results    Results    Past winners

Omloop beats the big guns

By Bjorn Haake

Geert Omloop of the Palmans-Cras team surprised heavy favourites Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Robert Förster (Milram) to win the sprint of a seven-man front group in the Ronde van het Groene Hart. Brown was a close second, with Aart Vierhouten (Vacansoleil) in third. Förster missed the podium, finishing fourth.

ProTour teams Milram and Rabobank, as well as Professional Continental outfit Vacansoleil had the numbers in the end, but couldn't prevent the upset from the lone Palmans rider. There were several attacks from Vacansoleil team inside the last 20km, the most promising coming from Aart Vierhouten.

But besides shelling Paul Martens (Rabobank) and Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank), the attacks did little to the integrity of the remaining seven riders. They reached the final kilometre together, with Förster opening up the sprint early – too early, as it turned out. Milram's directeur sportif Ralf Grabsch was happy nonetheless. "We are on the right way. Everyone was very strong today, we used our initiative to bring about the decisive move."

With Vacansoleil having the numbers, Rabobank and Milram were forced to go with several attacks. "Up until the finish anything was possible. But Robert Förster used up to much strength in the finale to be able to use his end speed in the closing sprint," Grabsch said.

After 50km a group of 23 riders formed, never to be seen again by the peloton. The move was down to 16 riders with less than 30km to go, before the attacks reduced the group to the seven men that contested the victory (besides Omloop, Brown, Vierhouten and Förster there were Martin Müller (Milram), Vacansoleil's Bobbie Traksel and Lieuwe Westra).

It was a sunny but windy day in the Netherlands, which made it necessary to carefully pick your spots. At one point in the final kilometres Müller was leading the group on the right hand side of the road, with the wind coming from the left. That was bad news for his captain Förster, who was at the tail end struggling to stay in the game. Förster had to yell into his microphone in order to get Müller to move over to the left and ensure an echelon where Förster was protected from the wind as well.

It wasn't the only problem for Förster, who took a bad line at a road divider and had to pedal a few hundred metres by himself before an opening in the divider allowed him re-join the group and continue sucking down his power gel.

Results - 204km

1 Geert Omloop (Bel) Palmans - Cras                       4.30.43 (45.08 km/h)
2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
3 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team
4 Robert Förster (Ger) Team Milram
5 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team           0.03
6 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team            0.05
7 Martin Müller (Ger) Team Milram                            0.07
8 Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team              1.32
9 Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Team Milram                           1.36
10 Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team
11 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank
12 Arnoud Groen van (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team
13 Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
14 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank                            1.39
15 Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram                          1.42
16 Luc Hagenaars (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team            3.59
17 Michiel Elijzen (Bel) Silence - Lotto                     7.49
18 Andy Capelle (Bel) Palmans - Cras
19 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Silence - Lotto
20 Kenny De Haes (Bel) Team Katusha                         10.29
21 Matthias Friedemann (Ger) PSK Whirlpool - Author
22 Kenny Lisabeth (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly Team
23 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil - Shimano
24 Marc De Maar (Ned) Rabobank
25 Romain Zingle (Bel) Verandas Willems
26 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Team Katusha
27 Markus Zberg (Swi) BMC Racing Team
28 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
29 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
30 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Verandas Willems
31 Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Palmans - Cras
32 Stefan Vreugdenhil (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
33 Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
34 Wesley Kreder (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
35 Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team
36 Gerrit Soepenberg (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team
37 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
38 Frantisek Kloucek (Cze) PSK Whirlpool - Author
39 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
40 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
41 Matt Brammeier (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly Team
42 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence - Lotto
43 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
44 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly Team
45 Philip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
46 Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank
47 Paul Sneeboer (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team
48 Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
49 Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram
50 Vojtech Dlouhy (Cze) PSK Whirlpool - Author
51 Bart Dockx (Bel) Silence - Lotto                         10.36
52 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team
53 Ian Mc Kissick (USA) BMC Racing Team
54 Maarten Neyens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
55 Timothy Vangheel (Bel) Palmans - Cras
56 Jurgen Francois (Bel) Palmans - Cras
57 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano
58 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
59 Bert Roesems (Bel) Cinelli-Down Under                    10.39
60 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil - Shimano                         10.41
61 Nick Mitchell (Aus) Cinelli-Down Under                   10.45
62 Jos Pronk (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team
63 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram
64 Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil ProCycling Team
65 Jos van Enden (Ned) Rabobank
66 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
67 Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
68 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Verandas Willems
69 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank                                10.48
70 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank
71 Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team
72 Gennady Mikhaylov (Rus) Team Katusha
73 Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
74 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
75 Tom Stubbe (Bel) Silence - Lotto
76 Jasper Lenferink (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team        10.53
77 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence - Lotto
78 Marco Bos (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels                    10.56
79 Andre Schulze (Ger) PSK Whirlpool - Author               10.58
80 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil - Shimano                      12.01
DNF Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Katusha
DNF Denis Galimzyanov (Kaz) Team Katusha
DNF Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha
DNF Ivan Rovny (Rus) Team Katusha
DNF Ben Swift (GBr) Team Katusha
DNF Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Silence - Lotto
DNF Thomas Fothen (Ger) Team Milram
DNF Artur Gajek (Ger) Team Milram
DNF David Deroo (Fra) Skil - Shimano
DNF Chen Ji (Chn) Skil - Shimano
DNF Long Jin (Chn) Skil - Shimano
DNF Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil - Shimano
DNF Stijn Joseph (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
DNF Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
DNF Denis Flahaut (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Jonathan Bertrand (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
DNF Thomas Frei (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNF Petr Bencik (Cze) PSK Whirlpool - Author
DNF Pavel Zitta (Cze) PSK Whirlpool - Author
DNF Petr Kubias (Cze) PSK Whirlpool - Author
DNF Antonin Linda (Cze) PSK Whirlpool - Author
DNF Stephen Gallagher (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly Team
DNF Ronan Mc Laughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly Team
DNF Paidi O'Brien (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly Team
DNF Justin van Hoecke (Bel) Verandas Willems
DNF Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Verandas Willems
DNF Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Verandas Willems
DNF Bjorn Coomans (Bel) Palmans - Cras
DNF Stijn Hoornaert (Bel) Palmans - Cras
DNF Tom Vanbecelaere (Bel) Palmans - Cras
DNF Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Cinelli-Down Under
DNF Daniel Furmston (Aus) Cinelli-Down Under
DNF Logan Hutchings (NZl) Cinelli-Down Under
DNF Tommy Nankervis (Aus) Cinelli-Down Under
DNF Peter Ronsse (Bel) Cinelli-Down Under
DNF Mathias Jelitto (Ger) Team Kuoto - Indeland
DNF Tim Klessa (Ger) Team Kuoto - Indeland
DNF Florenz Knauer (Ger) Team Kuoto - Indeland
DNF Oliver Johr (Ger) Team Kuoto - Indeland
DNF Michael Kurth (Ger) Team Kuoto - Indeland
DNF Jakob Massen (Ger) Team Kuoto - Indeland
DNF Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
DNF Bas Stamsnijder (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
DNF jesper Asselman (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
DNF Jarno Gmelich Meijling (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH - Elshof
DNF Peter Möhlmann (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
DNF Adriaan Helmantel (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
DNF Rik Kavsek (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
DNF Johim Ariesen (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
DNF Marco Brus (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
DNF Sjoerd Botter (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team
DNF Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team
DNF Fulco Van Gulik (Ned) KrolStonE Continental Team

Past winners

2008 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana
2007 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic