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Mont Ventoux
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68th Gent-Wevelgem - PT

Belgium, April 5, 2006

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Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Brecht Decaluwé

Live report

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 16:30 CEST

Waiting for Boonen
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image)

14:17 CEST   
Welcome back to sunny (I am not lying) Belgium for our live coverage of the 68th Gent-Wevelgem. It was a cold and windy start, nevertheless, for the midweek classic between the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. The wind is from the northeast, which means it will be behind the riders on the way out to the coast, then against them coming back into Wevelgem. It's going to be selective, for sure.

The UCI carried out blood tests this morning before the start, testing six teams: Rabobank, Quick.Step, Euskaltel, AG2R, Française des Jeux and Cofidis, with all riders declared fit to race.

14:24 CEST    120km/90km to go
The race started near the banks of the Leie in Deinze's Grote Markt at 11:30am. John Gadret (AG2R) and Daniele Colli (Liquigas-Bianchi) were non-starters, while T-Mobile's Lorenzo Bernucci got off the bike after 4 km, reducing T-Mobile to five riders.

After 25 km, three riders tried to attack: Iker Flores (Euskaltel-Euskadi), David Boucher (Unibet.com) and Cyril Lemoine (Crédit Agricole). They weren't allowed to get away, and the peloton stayed together for the first hour, covering 40 km. Carlos Zarate (Saunier Duval) and Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) were able to get away for longer, but were brought back by halfway.

A crash - there are always crashes in this race - took out Bernard Van Ulden (Navigators). He has been taken to hospital.

Vladimir Gusev (Discovery Channel) and Bernhard Eisel (Française des Jeux) - two strong riders - have jumped clear of the bunch and have a small gap. We've just been through Westvleteren, the town of a certain trappist beer...

14:33 CEST    125km/85km to go
The two leaders have 15 seconds as they race through Poperinge, en route to the first ascent of the Kemmelberg.

Nico Mattan, the controversial winner of last year's edition of Gent-Wevelgem wasn't on the start list for RVV last Sunday. The team management had left the eccentric Mattan at home. According to HNB because they didn't appreciate Mattan going to a party after the E3 Prijs last week.

"I didn't see one reason not to be selected. On the flat I could have helped Van Petegem. I have the experience; according to me that's the sum of all the mistakes you have made in the past."

"The team management knew that I needed the kilometres of Milan-San Remo for the Flemish period. Via the media I heard I wasn't selected. Then I had to read in an e-mail that I was expected to ride GP Rudy Dhaenens in Nevele. I was having some problems with my knee. There has to be a lot more communication in this team; but we're on the right track," Mattan told Sportwereld.

"I'm not the team leader for G-W, I wasn't last year either. I'm not someone who can finish things off. Everything starts and ends with the legs. If I feel good than I'll aim for top-three, but it's not because you're racing on your training parcours that you are in for the win. I'm fifteen percent below the level I was at last year."

As he did last year, Mattan did manage a sip of jenever on the podium to stave off the cold.

Glen Chadwick (Navigators)
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image)

14:36 CEST   
We spoke to Navigators' Glen Chadwick before the start today, and the Australian was looking a little tired: His wife Belle had just given birth to a baby girl, Jade.

"I've got a bit of an achilles problem, but it seems to be getting better," said Chadwick about his current form. "I'll ride a bit of a support role today. Four of us are trying to look after four others: Hilton, Valeri, Oleg, and Dolly - David O'Loughlin, the Irishman, who is going good. I think around 93 km there's the feed zone. After that, that's when the smack goes down. We have to try and keep them up the front."

14:37 CEST    130km/80km to go
The still fairly large peloton is now 1'21 behind the two leaders, with lots of blue Quick.Step jerseys in front.

14:40 CEST    132km/78km to go
Matt White (Discovery) and Sergei Ivanov (T-Mobile) are at the front of the peloton, working for their teammates. The pace has picked up a little, and they're sitting on 60 km/h on the flat (with tailwind). Tom Boonen is very close to the front.

14:43 CEST    134km/76km to go
Ivanov continues to drive the bunch, as the leaders pass a car that is parked perpendicular to the road, but in a ditch. Eisel now takes the lead as Gusev takes on some food.

14:45 CEST   
Alessandro Petacchi is looking forward to today's Gent-Wevelgem, his last one in the spring classics campaign. Petacchi himself expected more of his RVV debut.

In an interview with HNB, Petacchi said, "That casino on the Koppenberg and the stampede towards the foot of that climb! Fear? Of course I was afraid! Even in the sprint I feel that fear; but I can push that aside when the peloton races towards the finish. In the Ronde, I was thinking of all the races that are still to come though, the Giro, the Tour. No, you don't take any crazy risks in a race in which you aren't one of the top-favourites. That's why I'm not riding Paris-Roubaix. There's too much risk to ruin the important part of my season. And, we do have Zabel!

Petacchi confirmed that he will be back for next year's RVV, to achieve that top ten placing he had hoped for last Sunday. But first things first, Gent-Wevelgem: "Luckily this is a less difficult race than Flanders. It's not that hard, less technical. One needs to be aware of the wind, and be careful in the descent of the Kemmel, which is doable. If I'm not wrong, they aren't predicting any rain.

"I'm not saying it will be easy. On the contrary. To ride a stage in the Giro means only 30km of stress. Here you have the whole race, but that's how it is here in Belgium. With how many riders will we go into the finale after the Kemmel? Thirty, forty men? Never a guarantee for a sprint which I'm hoping for. There's always a possibility for a break to get away, like last year. Gent-Wevelgem is a race in which also the sprinters need to make the right moves. Yes, like Cipollini, the last time he won, that's a good example."

14:46 CEST    136km/74km to go
Skil-Shimano is now working on the front of the peloton, which has started to shed riders. Euskaltel jerseys are prominent at the back. The action has reduced the gap to 45 seconds as the leaders continue in front.

14:48 CEST    137km/73km to go
Gusev takes the points for the Scherpenberg (De Klijte) ahead of Eisel, with the peloton just 32 seconds behind. Davitamon-Lotto has massed on the front.

14:50 CEST    139km/71km to go
Eisel is not working a lot with Gusev, much to the annoyance of the Russian. They will lose their gap before the hills, it looks like.

Van Bon takes a turn, then a Lampre rider. The next climb is the Vidaigneberg then the Rodeberg.

14:52 CEST    141km/69km to go
The bunch is getting closer all the time as it races through Westouter just 17 seconds behind the break. It's lost a few riders, but there are still well over 100.

The Vidaigneberg starts, with Nico Mattan himself attacking and joined by David Kopp (Gerolsteiner) and Philippe Gilbert (FDJ).

14:55 CEST    141km/69km to go
A new break is forming on the Vidaigneberg, with Vladimir Gusev (Discovery), Bernhard Eisel and Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), Nico Mattan (Davitamon), Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis), Andre Greipel (T-Mobile), David Kopp (Gerolsteiner) and a few more riders gaining 5-10 seconds on the bunch. Alan Davis (Liberty) is also there, and leads with Kopp now.

14:57 CEST    143km/67km to go
The group grows on the Rodeberg, with Allan Davis (Liberty), David Kopp (Gerolsteiner), Marco Milesi (Liquigas), Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step), Vladimir Gusev (Discovery), Bernhard Eisel and Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), Nico Mattan and Gert Steegmans (Davitamon), Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis), Andre Greipel and Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile) all there. But Lampre leads a chase behind and the gap is closing. Or the peloton is splitting. We'll see soon enough.

14:57 CEST   
The peloton is now in one long line over the top of the Rodeberg, Kopp and Davis still have a tiny lead.

14:59 CEST    144km/66km to go
All back together with 66 km to go. The Monteberg will be the next climb.

Henk Vogels gets on the front of the bunch with Baden Cooke in tow.

15:01 CEST    147km/63km to go
Hoste and Van Bon lead through Dranouter, with Boonen lurking in about 5th wheel, wanting to stay out of trouble before the Kemmelberg.

15:02 CEST   
The Monteberg starts, with Boonen in fourth wheel. Willems is up there for JAcques, as is Vansevenant and Baden Cooke. There's a bit of jostling.

15:04 CEST    149km/61km to go
A crash at the back! Gennadi Mikhailov (Discovery) was too close to the edge of the road on the Monteberg, clipped a wheel and went down. But he's not hurt much.

Nick Nuyens sets tempo over the top of the climb. Boonen is next to him, finding his wheel now. Zabel is also up there and now the Discoverys move up with Hincapie, Hoste and Devolder.

15:06 CEST    150km/60km to go
The Kemmelberg begins! Hushovd is near the front and drives the pace. Klier is second with Boonen and Hoste right up there. Hushovd keeps a little gap, but it's not much. Davitamon fall back en masse.

15:08 CEST    151km/59km to go
Hoste now takes over then Cancellara (CSC), who goes over the top first. Hoste next, then Hushovd. The peloton is stringing out, and Mattan is now a long way back. After the descent of the Kemmel, it gets hard through the flat fields where there is no shelter.

Many riders lose bidons on the descent. But Everyone is staying on their bikes.

15:09 CEST   
Klier, Cancellara and Hushovd push the pace with Ventoso, Hincapie and Boonen also coming through. Looks like Petacchi has made it too. The bunch is in a long long line, and now the pace should stay high.

Martin Elmiger (Phonak)
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image)

15:10 CEST    153km/57km to go
Swiss champ Martin Elmiger (Phonak) leads, driving the pace up and trying to split the bunch. There are holes appearing everywhere.

Ventoso has a gap. Impressive riding by the Saunier Duval man.

15:11 CEST   
Ventoso sits up though, as the front part of the peloton catches him. It's a messy situation now. Gilbert and Flecha move up behind Elmiger, who has a bit of a lead.

15:13 CEST    154km/56km to go
Nuyens does a turn, then Vansevenant and a Bouygues rider attack. They take another three with them: Milram, Gerolsteiner and Quick.Step.

15:15 CEST    155km/55km to go
The group: Wim Vansevenant (Davitamon-Lotto), Steven De Jongh (Quick.Step), Anthony Geslin (Bouygues) Alessandro Cortinovis (Milram), Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner). They have 22 seconds on the bunch, which has taken a short break.

Rabobank and Discovery have missed the break, so they'll want to do some chasing soon. And Unibet.

15:18 CEST    158km/52km to go
The chase is started as the crosswinds hit the peloton. A Lampre, FDJ and Unibet rider push the pace. The oft-present Enrico Franzoi is up the front of the bunch on the Scherpenberg. Matt Wilson is in third wheel.

But the break has 48 seconds!

15:19 CEST   
Russian champion Serguei Ivanov was riding strong in the Tour of Flanders but just couldn’t bridge the gap with the leaders. Eventually, he was captured by a big group a few kilometres of the finish to finish 25th: "Sunday was a terrible day for me, but I recuperated very well," Ivanov told Cyclingnews at the start. "I’m eager to take revenge on how things unfolded in the Tour of Flanders. It was also my mistake because I was too far behind at the Koppenberg. Maybe I should try and improve my running abilities for next year," the Russian champion joked.

"It would’ve been nice if Klier could wait for me, but it was too dangerous. We couldn’t take the risk that we both lost contact with the leaders. This is a new day and thus a new chance to take revenge. In the past, I always missed the decisive escape. Hopefully I can be there up front in the leading group today."

15:21 CEST    160km/50km to go
The five leaders work hard together, as the chase carves a little bit of time off. Still 44 seconds though. De Jongh is the fastest man in the break, but Haselbacher is pretty handy.

A Discovery rider: Matt White, does a huge turn in the peloton and takes another 5 seconds off the lead. It's 39 seconds.

15:23 CEST    161km/49km to go
The pace is high on the cobbles in Westouter as Roesems tries to slow it down. But White gets back on the front and keeps the pace up, pegging the gap back to 32 seconds.

Uros Murn (Phonak) had a promising start of the season, but couldn't get any good results in the past weeks. "Today, I'm working to get Robert Hunter into the leading group at the finish," Murn told CN. "This race suits me well, but last year I also worked for Hunter. I'm feeling really well, but I need a bit luck to stay in the front group."

The Slovenian Phonak rider may be hindered by his elbow. "I fell in the Tour of Flanders while getting ready for the Taaienberg. We were chasing on the Pozzato group at that moment. I had to be brought to the hospital with an ambulance. I feel a bit pain right now, but I'm not hurt too much."

15:25 CEST    162km/48km to go
It's Discovery continuing to work as Iker Flores (Euskaltel) attacks on the Vidaigneberg, trying to close the 32 seconds gap alone. Nice jump.

15:27 CEST   
The peloton still lags 42 seconds behind the five leaders, who are working well together. Flores made some impression but is caught on the Rodeberg by the Discovery-led bunch.

15:28 CEST    164km/46km to go
In the lead group, De Jongh takes a fast turn on the descent of the Rodeberg at 70 km/h. Geslin comes through, then Haselbacher, Vansevenant and Cortinovis. Over a couple of traffic islands now.

15:30 CEST    166km/44km to go
They're now in Loker, gaining some shelter form the wind through the houses. DIscovery has set a hard tempo, and the back of the peloton is one long line. Corioni punctures and is now chasing.

32 seconds, stable. The five leaders are working well. Now Marc Wauters does a turn for Rabobank in the peloton, helping out Matt White.

15:32 CEST    167km/43km to go
The gap is coming down now through Dranouter as Wauters hammers. But he's got a Davitamon for company, and the pace eases off. 20 seconds. The five leaders are on the Monteberg.

Matt Wilson (Unibet.com)
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image)

15:33 CEST    168km/42km to go
Vansevenant leads the break on the Monteberg, while behind it's Stijn Devolder doing a solid turn on the front. Matt Wilson is up there too, having a good race today.

15:35 CEST    169km/41km to go
Boonen has dropped back a fair way on the second ascent of the Monteberg, and is trying to move up. The bunch is still quite big, riding as one block on this climb. Milram looks to be blocking a little and the gap goes out to 27 seconds again.

15:36 CEST   
On the Kemmelberg now, and Vansevenant leads the break, with Haselbacher and De Jongh behind. Geslin is the first to drop.

15:37 CEST    170km/40km to go
The bunch is led by Davis (Liberty), 24 seconds behind. Four of the five leaders stick together on the steep cobbles, with Geslin trying to stay in contact. He could get back on.

Flecha leads the bunch behind Davis. Boonen comes over in about 50th position.

15:38 CEST   
Geslin is back on on the descent, and the five fly down the cobbles. Davis is first in the peloton, and makes it down safely ahead of Flecha and Dekker.

15:39 CEST    172km/38km to go
White is off the back with Beppu, their work done. Now the peloton strings out through the fields, 25 seconds behind the breakaways.

15:40 CEST   
Nick Nuyens finished a disappointing 17th in the Tour of Flanders: "I'm not happy about that," he told Cyclingnews. You don't plan to have the worst day of your season right at the Tour of Flanders."

Looking at today's race he was more optimistic: "Hopefully we can again play the tactics like in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. But I assume the others know how we like to play it now. Still, to try these tactics your legs have to be alright."

Asked about the comparison with his teammate Tom Boonen he is clear. "You can't make a comparison between apples and tomatoes. Tom is on another level than most of the peloton. I have less speed than him, so I can't win that much races like he does. I will be happy with my performances if I can keep make progression."

15:41 CEST    173km/37km to go
A group of 25-30 has split off the front of the peloton in pursuit of the leaders. Then the rest of the bunch is in bits. There are three main groups on the road behind the quintet in front.

15:42 CEST    174km/36km to go
Flecha is certainly in the front group, as is Davis. And Alessandro Petacchi! He has three Milram riders with him. He could be the man today.

The gap is down to 13 seconds.

15:44 CEST    176km/34km to go
Well, this is an interesting situation. Not only does Petacchi have three teammates with him in the front bunch, he also has Cortinovis in front. That's enough for a decent lead out. Cortinovis is still working though, as the gap narrows to 11 seconds. The front bunch grows to 40, and doesn't look to have Tom Boonen in it. The World Champ is taking it easy today.

15:46 CEST   
Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) had a good opening of his season with a win in the Tour Méditerranéen in February. "The last weeks I'm feeling good but not super," he told us. "Thor Hushovd is our team leader, and he was doing well in the Tour of Flanders. I exploded at the Oude Kwaremont. Afterwards, I fumbled from one group to another, and I finished 65th in the end. Not a great result, but I'm happy that I could finish. It's the first time I compete in these races so I'm willing to learn a lot. Today's race should fit me more than last Sunday, so I'm a bit freer today, as is Hinault. Sunday we're all working for Thor again."

15:46 CEST    178km/32km to go
The break is caught, and we have a peloton of 40 riders with Petacchi as the quickest man. Hincapie is also up here.

15:48 CEST    179km/31km to go
Mattan and Van Bon are working had in the second group, trying to get back to the front. They're half a minute behind though, which is not easy. 27 seconds... Petacchi had better get his men to work hard in front to keep Boonen away.

15:49 CEST    180km/30km to go
And Milram is working hard now, as Van Bon leads a small group with Steels and Boonen off the front of peloton 2. Den Bakker is also there, and Devolder. More help for Hincapie and Petacchi?

15:49 CEST   
De Jongh punctures from peloton 1. Bad luck for the Quick.Step sprinter.

15:51 CEST   
The chasing group grows again and has got the gap down to 17 seconds. The lead group is in reach, but it'll be a tough job to close it.

In peloton 1, Milram and Rabobank are driving the pace, while Nuyens is up there trying to slow it down.

15:52 CEST   
Aart Vierhouten (Skil Shimano) didn't have any good memories about last Sunday's Tour of Flanders. "I already fell down at km zero," he told Cyclingnews. "A guy crossed the road and I couldn't avoid a crash. At km 80 I had to change my bike. I waited a long time, but I could come back in the peloton. Unfortunately, the new bike had some gear problems so I was riding with a handicap. I decided that I shouldn't bother about winning and consider the race as good training.

"Today is a beautiful race where I can ride in the front lines again. We will all look at the Quickstep team. When they are in the front, you shouldn't be too far at the back. The race will be decided in the flatland of the Moeren and in the battle before the two hills. Next Sunday in Paris-Roubaix, you can still recover from certain problems or mistakes. Today's race is shorter, so there are less chances to come back at the leaders."

15:53 CEST    182km/28km to go
Zabel, Pozzato, Eisel, Haussler, Klier, Hushovd, Vierhouten, and Dekker are also in the first group.

Group 2 is still at 24 seconds.

15:55 CEST    183km/27km to go
As Van Bon and Mattan get no help from the rest of the group, the gap goes up to 31 seconds. It looks like the winner will come from the front group with Petacchi in it.

15:58 CEST    186km/24km to go
Pagliarini punctures out of the front group, which is splitting as Rabobank drives the pace up. Group 2 still follows at 23 seconds.

Petacchi has made the split with the Rabo riders: he's having a fantastic race.

16:00 CEST    187km/23km to go
The front group is in a very long line as Rabobank and Milram keep pouring on the pace. The second group takes corner, led by Van Bon, now 29 seconds back. Doesn't look like they're coming back. Boonen isn't working, as he's got Pozzato and Nuyens in front.

16:01 CEST    188km/22km to go
Group two has sat up. It's over for them.

16:03 CEST    190km/20km to go
Well, although Tom Boonen isn't in the front group, Alessandro Petacchi certainly is. Rabobank is keeping the pace high, which works in Petacchi's favour at the moment.

16:05 CEST    191km/19km to go
Van Bon and Mattan are working again in the second group, but it's a 55 seconds gap and they will not come back unless the whole front group goes the wrong way. This is not unheard of (our group was led astray by a couple of Italians on Saturday...)

Vansevenant has attacked the front group with Eisel, but they won't get clear. Milram has control of the peloton.

16:07 CEST    192km/18km to go
The bunch fans out as the blue jerseys of Milram keep Petacchi in a good position. Pozzato moves up, while Hushovd sits back behind a teammate.

16:09 CEST   
Boonen relaxes in the second group, zipping up his jersey. Hoste and Devolder are with him, thinking of Sunday probably. Their race is over for today.

16:10 CEST    195km/15km to go
Milram has got four riders in front working for Petacchi, while past winner Lars Michaelsen (CSC) gets a handy motorbike to attack off. The Dane has a small gap and tries to increase it, but it's to no avail. Milram is riding a great race today.

16:12 CEST    196km/14km to go
Michaelsen holds a few seconds gap around a roundabout with 14 km to go. Milram has the bunch strung out, a little bit in the gutter. Michaelsen looks back, puts his head down and keeps trying.

Allan Davis (Liberty) is another sprinter in the front group.

16:14 CEST    198km/12km to go
Milram tries to put everyone in the gutter, before Bert Roesems (Davitamon-Lotto) puts in a massive attack. You don't want to let him go.

16:15 CEST    198km/12km to go
Roesems, the big Davitamon time trialist, slowly eases away from Cortinovis on the front of the peloton. It's 54 km/h now.

16:17 CEST    200km/10km to go
Roesems has 8 hard won seconds as he drives along with 11 km to go. Impressive attack, this one. There's no panic in the peloton yet.

16:18 CEST    201.5km/8.5km to go
12 seconds and increasing, and no the counters come. Flecha and Arvesen shot off the front of the peloton, breaking the rhythm of Milram, who are down to three plus Petacchi.

Roesems doesn't care, stomping on the pedals with 9 seconds of his gap intact.

16:19 CEST    202.5km/7.5km to go
Milram might have to use some of its leadout men to chase, depending on what the others do now. There is a brief respite and Roesems gets 10 seconds. Cadamuro working on the front now to try and bring back Big Bert. He is cracking the Milram team, one by one, with his powerful pedaling.

16:21 CEST    204km/6km to go
Vogels is just behind the Petacchi train, hoping his teammate won't get caught. Nuyens is also up there.

Roesems takes a right hander with 10 seconds on the group. He's not slowing down, but he can't get completely clear. Cadamuro buries himself on the front as his teammate Knees moves back up again.

16:21 CEST    204.5km/5.5km to go
Can Davitamon make it two in a row, or will it be an Italian win today? Or someone else? Bert Roesems is now 13 seconds clear of the peloton, 14 seconds. And Milram is really hurting now. The bunch is lined out.

16:23 CEST    205.5km/4.5km to go
5 clicks to go and Bert Roesems has 13 seconds as he reaches the safety of the houses and is out of the wind. The more corners, the better for the solo rider.

16:24 CEST    206km/4km to go
It looks like Milram will bury itself to bring back Bert Roesems, and the Others are going to have a hard time putting any counter attacks in. They'll need to, or Petacchi or Roesems will win.

10 seconds.

16:25 CEST    206.7km/3.3km to go
Bert Roesems gets out of the saddle for a bit and keeps the speed up as he hits a blast of wind. Headwind now. 9 seconds. But Cadamuro has cracked and he's gooone. Still two men before Petacchi: Velo and Zabel.

16:25 CEST    207.5km/2.5km to go
5 seconds with 3 km to go and Roesems is fighting a losing battle. He looks back, but keeps going. It ain't over yet.

16:26 CEST    208.5km/1.5km to go
The bunch is edging towards the lone leader, but they're running out of kilometres. But Roesems needs more time if he's to hold off the sprint in the final kilometre.

Counter attacks: Gilbert. No, he can't get clear. Petacchi is rapidly being isolated, and Roesems is still away.

16:27 CEST    209km/1km to go
Roesems gives it one last massive effort and is chased down by Pozzato, who has pulled a nice counter with just over 1 km to go.

16:28 CEST   
Pozzato has a big gap now! They can't get him from here, surely. But here's the sprint winding up. Will it be enough?

16:29 CEST    210km/0km to go
Filippo Pozzato pours on the pace in the last 500 metres as the sprint reaches full speed behind him. The Quick.Step rider is dying in the headwind and is just just caught on the line by Thor Hushovd!!!! Winner of Gent-Wevelgem. Impressive stuff.

16:30 CEST   
Hushovd is congratulated at the finish, the first Norwegian to win this race. David Kopp finished second, with Petacchi third and Pozzato fourth, it looks like.

What a finish!

16:41 CEST   
Well, it was a slightly different finish to Gent-Wevelgem than predicted, with the two top sprinters being beaten today by strongman Thor Hushovd, who is often good into a headwind. Petacchi's losses often happen when it's a headwind, but a tailwind finish today probably would have led to a Pozzato victory. Or even Roesems.

Tom Boonen keeps the ProTour jersey with Petacchi moving into second, 17 points behind Boonen.

That's all from us today in Wevelgem. Join us on Sunday, April 9, for Paris-Roubaix, the Hell of the North!


1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole       4.57.33
2 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram
4 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) QYea it was uick.Step
5 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel
6 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC
7 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Francaise des Jeux
8 Erki Putsep (Est) AG2R
9 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros
10 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC