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52nd E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - 1.HC
Belgium, March 28, 2009
Pozzato blasts Boonen in Belgium's E3 Prijs
By Gregor Brown in Harelbeke, Belgium
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
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
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.