CyclingQuotes.com uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.
ACCEPT COOKIES » MORE INFO »

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Steegmans does a fantastic work to pass the usually flawless Lotto Belisol train and delivers Boonen perfectly to the first sprint win in the Tour of Belgium

Photo: Sirotti

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

ETIXX-QUICKSTEP

TEAM PROFILE
|
NEWS

TOUR OF BELGIUM

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS
28.05.2014 @ 19:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) proved that his time as a top sprinter is not over yet when he beat one of the very best, André Greipel (Lotto Belisol), in the first stage of the Tour of Belgium. The Belgian star benefited from an excellent lead-out by his teammate Gert Steegmans who passed the usually flawless Lotto Belisol train and delivered his captain perfectly on the front, with Boonen easily holding off Greipel and Theo Bos (Belkin) to become the first leader of the race.

 

Tom Boonen didn't have the spring campaign that he had hoped for but the Belgian star hopes to bounce back with a strong showing in the second half of the season. Based on today's performance in the first stage of the Tour of Belgium, great things may be in store from the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider.

 

Over the last few years, Boonen may have focused more on his classics skills than his sprints but occasionally he still tries his hand in the bunch sprints. Today he proved that he is still a very fast rider when he beat no less of a figure than André Greipel in his home race.

 

All seemed to be going according to plan for Lotto Belisol when their train - usually the best in the peloton - strung things out in the finale. Jens Debusschere set a brutal pace and when Jurgen Roelandts took over just before the flamme rouge, he went so fast that a gap appeared a few positions behind Greipel.

 

At this point, Boonen seemed to be out of contention as he was on Gert Steegmans' wheel just behind the Belkin train. However, the Dutch team used a lot of energy to close the gap and at this point Steegmans kicked into action.

 

While Greg Henderson was powering along on the front as he final lead-out man for Greipel, Steegmans moved up on the right-hand side with Boonen on his wheel. In an impressive display of strength, the pair passed Henderson easily and Boonen was delivered perfectly on the front.

 

For once, Greipel had to come from behind but the German champion didn't even seem to make up ground on Boonen. The Belgian easily held off his German rival and Theo Bos to take the first stage win and leader's jersey in his home tour.

 

The flat 173.6km stage from Lochristi to Buggenhout had been off to a very fast start with several attacks in the early part of the stage. It wasn't until the 24km mark that Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen), Laurens De Vreese (Wanty) and Antoine Demoitie (Wallonie) established the early break. For some time, the Cibel pair of Thomas Ongena and Mathias Van Holderbeke tried to bridge the gap but they never got closer than 30 seconds and were ultimately swallowed up

 

The gap reached a maximum of 5.43 after 56km of racing but the peloton always had everything under control. After 125km of racing, the gap was below the 2-minute mark and 7km further up the road, the escapees had less than a minute in hand.

 

Vanspeybrouck launched an attack that spelled the end for Demoitie and the leading pair was still 28 seconds ahead with 30km to go. At that point, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) launched an attack and he made it up to the leaders but 16km from the line, it was back together.

 

A crash brought down Stephen Cummings (BMC) while Timothy Stevens (3M) tried to surprise the peloton with a late attack. A few crashes brought down Kevin Peeters (Vastgoestservice), Kevin Hulsmans (Vastgoestservice) and Kenny Van Hummel (Androni) but nothing could stop Belkin, OPQS and Lotto Belisol that battled for position and set up the first bunch sprint of the race.

 

Boonen gets a chance to make it two in a row in tomorrow's second stage. The riders go up two famous hellingen in the first part but it is very unlikely that the stage won't end with a bunch sprint of the uphill finishing straight in Knokke-Heist.

RELATED NEWS:

Farrar and Bos lead MTN-Qhubeka in West-Flanders »

Boonen and Lefevere handed reprieve in tax case »

Terpstra determined to play sufficient role in classics »

Meersman: I suffered from stomach cramps »

Museeuw: Terpstra should take victory to ease macho behavior »

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Strade Bianche preview 05.03.2015 @ 16:43Great performance by Le Bon in Le Samyn 05.03.2015 @ 13:11Weening and Ewan lead Orica-GreenEDGE in Langkawi 05.03.2015 @ 12:58Vinokourov to leave Astana? 05.03.2015 @ 12:40Lampre-Merida to sign Thomas Dekker? 05.03.2015 @ 12:31Contador and Sagan lead formidable Tinkoff-Saxo team in... 05.03.2015 @ 12:21Farrar and Bos lead MTN-Qhubeka in West-Flanders 05.03.2015 @ 12:18American U23 champion with breakthrough performance in... 05.03.2015 @ 12:13Bardiani with young team for Tour de Langkawi 05.03.2015 @ 12:05Movistar with strong teams for Strade Bianche and Paris... 05.03.2015 @ 12:02Gesink out of Tirreno-Adriatico 05.03.2015 @ 11:58Marco Fontana will race the Strade Bianche 05.03.2015 @ 10:28Ben Gastauer in confident before Paris-Nice 05.03.2015 @ 10:20Ag2r outline ambitions for Paris-Nice 05.03.2015 @ 10:07Who will win the yellow jersey in Malaysia? 05.03.2015 @ 09:49Boonen and Lefevere handed reprieve in tax case 05.03.2015 @ 09:46Terpstra determined to play sufficient role in classics 05.03.2015 @ 09:28Caja Rural pleased with Le Samyn performance 05.03.2015 @ 09:00Pozzovivo calls Liège and the Giro his major objectives 05.03.2015 @ 08:58Peraud with modest expectations for Paris-Nice 05.03.2015 @ 08:30Sanchez set for European debut at Strade Bianche 05.03.2015 @ 08:00Strong line-up for Strade Bianche 05.03.2015 @ 07:30Hofland and Kelderman lead LottoNL-Jumbo in Paris-Nice 05.03.2015 @ 07:00Astana doctor explains team's anti-doping policy 04.03.2015 @ 21:30Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen preview 04.03.2015 @ 21:17Boeckmans: Finally I don't have bad luck 04.03.2015 @ 20:54De Gendt: This was good training for Paris-Nice 04.03.2015 @ 20:45Barta tests his form in Le Samyn 04.03.2015 @ 20:35Three Katusha riders animate Le Samyn 04.03.2015 @ 20:32Bad luck takes IAM out of contention on Belgian cobbles 04.03.2015 @ 20:30Farrar gets close on Belgian cobbles 04.03.2015 @ 20:28Nizzolo: My brake pad was rubbing my rim 04.03.2015 @ 20:24Meersman: I suffered from stomach cramps 04.03.2015 @ 20:19Teams for 2015 Scheldeprijs announced 04.03.2015 @ 20:14In-form Boeckmans beats Meersman in Le Samyn 04.03.2015 @ 17:40Fairly finding his feet at Giant-Alpecin 04.03.2015 @ 16:43Astana preparing response to Licensing Commission 04.03.2015 @ 16:37Stannard: Etixx guys served me that victory on a plate 04.03.2015 @ 15:21Le Samyn preview 04.03.2015 @ 15:00Museeuw: Terpstra should take victory to ease macho beh... 04.03.2015 @ 14:48Welsh team target Tour de France by 2019 04.03.2015 @ 14:43E3 Harelbeke removes offensive poster 04.03.2015 @ 14:40Goos may miss whole season with hip injury 04.03.2015 @ 14:37Final stage of Giro del Trentino announced 04.03.2015 @ 14:32Talansky: The Tour podium would be a dream result 04.03.2015 @ 14:15Turgot out of Belgian races 04.03.2015 @ 13:00Betancur: I hope I can do the Tour instead of the Giro 04.03.2015 @ 12:41Quintana to end spring campaign in Romandie 04.03.2015 @ 12:31Roelandts: My condition cannot be gone 04.03.2015 @ 12:29Dumoulin set back by illness ahead of Paris-Nice 04.03.2015 @ 12:22Three teams show interest in Coquard 04.03.2015 @ 11:58MTN-Qhubeka with team of climbers in Langkawi 04.03.2015 @ 11:46Bardiani send the A team to Strade Bianche 04.03.2015 @ 11:42Orica-GreenEDGE with multiple objectives in Paris-Nice 04.03.2015 @ 11:39Lodewyck and Flakemore to make comeback in West-Flanders 04.03.2015 @ 08:30

Klaas VAN HAGE
30 years | today
Gianfranco ZILIOLI
25 years | today
Ziga SLAK
24 years | today
Matthias BLUMER
31 years | today
Florian FROMM
35 years | today
ALL BIRTHDAYS

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013