A BUSY AFTERNOON at the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (“Three Days of De Panne”) culminated in a commanding peformance from French national champion Sylvain Chavanel in the 14.7km individual time trial, the second of the final day’s two stages.
Beginning the time trial in a tie for twelfth position overall, the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step rider recorded a time of 17:49 to outpace rival Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) by four seconds and seize control of the General Classification.
A two-time winner of the Tour de France’s “super combativity” award, the Frenchman considered the victory overdue, telling CyclingNews.com:
“First of all I am super happy with this victory… This year I did not win until now, and a lot of our riders have already won. It was a little disappointing that I was riding well but unable to win a race.”
Alexander Kristoff, racing in the red and white of Katyusha, endured a bittersweet final day.
After capturing the penultimate stage in a chaotic sprint for the line, the 24-year-old entered the time trial hopeful of securing a maiden GC victory, but he lacked the wherewithal to keep pace with Chavanel, and plummeted from a position at the summit of the general classification to a place outside the top-ten.
1. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 12:05:44
2. Liewe Westra (NED) Vacansoleil +4
3. Maciej Bodnar (POL) Liquigas +14