This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Monday 22 April, 2019
Advertisement

Boonen takes Tour of Flanders

Local knowledge and a well-timed burst of acceleration helped the home favourite to victory over Italians Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan.

Image: Yves Logghe/AP/Press Association Images

HAVING ALREADY TASTED victory in front of home crowds on two occasions this year, in the E3 Prijs and Gent-Wevelgem road races, Tom Boonen entered today’s 256 km Tour of Flanders the overwhelming favourite to capture a third career victory in the most prestigious of the Flemish Classics.

Billed by less partisan commentators as a duel between the Omega Pharma-Quick Step specialist and a resurgent Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan), the Swiss rider’s catastrophic failure to negotiate a chaotic feed zone with 60 kms to go allowed the Belgian free reign in which to express his talent.

Breaking clear with the Italian duo of Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC) on the penultimate climb of the day, Boonen reached the closing straight with a 40-second advantage over the main peloton.

Lurking on Ballan’s wheel until the 350-metre mark, the 31-year-old brought his superior stamina to bear in the closing sprint, eventually crossing the line with a bike length to spare over Pozzato.

Typically for an early season Classic, crashes and injuries took their toll on the peloton. In additon to Cancellara, who was later diagnosed with a triple fracture of the right collarbone, the race claimed noteworthy casualties in Sebastian Langeveld (GreenEdge), Jeremy Hunt (Team Sky), Lars Boom (Rabobank) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar).

NHL round-up: Tipperary and Cork ends in stalemate

United boss Ferguson says Michael Owen will feature in title run-in

Ultrarunner perishes in New Mexico wilderness

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)