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

OMEGA PHARMA - 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:

OPQS with Stybar, De Gendt and Terpstra in final European stage race »

Bos wants to give Belkin farewell present in Belgium »

Sky signs Roche, König, Poels, Nordhaug, Fenn »

A beautiful world champion for Tom Boonen »

Lefevere: Sagan fades as Kwiatkowski is yet to flourish »

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Zaugg ready to support Contador in Italian classics 30.09.2014 @ 23:16Tinkoff-Saxo with Contador and Kreuziger in Milan-Turin 30.09.2014 @ 21:34OPQS with Stybar, De Gendt and Terpstra in final Europe... 30.09.2014 @ 21:30BMC extends contract for Ben Hermans 30.09.2014 @ 21:27Degand not disappointed after missing overall win 30.09.2014 @ 16:03Pinot narrowly denied first season win 30.09.2014 @ 15:54Costa to wear Lampre jersey in Lombardy 30.09.2014 @ 14:47Bos wants to give Belkin farewell present in Belgium 30.09.2014 @ 14:42Bardet signs four-year contract with Ag2r 30.09.2014 @ 14:38Rodriguez and Moreno lead Katusha in Milan-Turin 30.09.2014 @ 14:29Magnus Cort makes Orica-GreenEDGE debut in Belgium 30.09.2014 @ 14:26Rusvelo duo on the podium in Duo Normand 30.09.2014 @ 14:22Haussler leads IAM in final European stage race 30.09.2014 @ 14:19Giant-Shimano signs classics talent Waeytens 30.09.2014 @ 14:16Ji to ride in front of home crowd at Tour of Beijing 30.09.2014 @ 14:12MTN-Qhubeka extends with three African riders 30.09.2014 @ 14:06Lotto Belisol signs exciting track talent 30.09.2014 @ 14:02Sky signs Roche, König, Poels, Nordhaug, Fenn 30.09.2014 @ 13:56Katusha signs with Ilnur Zakarin and Sergei Lagutin 30.09.2014 @ 11:25Greg van Avermaet expected better 30.09.2014 @ 10:29Fall and broken collarbone for Eduardo Sepulveda 30.09.2014 @ 10:15A beautiful world champion for Tom Boonen 30.09.2014 @ 09:40Lampre to support Costa’s ambitions in the 2015 Tour 30.09.2014 @ 03:26U.S. team encouraged before Worlds in Richmond 30.09.2014 @ 02:53Gerrans and Valverde promise their revenge in Ardennes 30.09.2014 @ 02:22Rodriguez: I was almost glad that it rained 30.09.2014 @ 01:34Belkin to become TEAMLottoNL in 2015 30.09.2014 @ 01:29Movistar signs Sutherland and Anacona 30.09.2014 @ 01:25Spanish coach pleased with better cooperation in the squad 30.09.2014 @ 01:17Lefevere: Sagan fades as Kwiatkowski is yet to flourish 30.09.2014 @ 00:53Bouhanni: I haven’t trained to fight for 10th place 30.09.2014 @ 00:30Matthews pleased after finishing Worlds road race 29.09.2014 @ 21:55Cramps derailed Cancellara’s bid for the rainbow jersey 29.09.2014 @ 21:53Roche reflects on tough Worlds road race 29.09.2014 @ 20:05Stybar prolongs season with two cyclo-cross races 29.09.2014 @ 20:01Kittel targets sprint success in Tour de l'Euromet... 29.09.2014 @ 19:35Dumoulin, Geschke, Barguil lead Giant-Shimano in Lombardy 29.09.2014 @ 19:30Nicki Sørensen reflects on final Worlds road race 29.09.2014 @ 19:19MTN-Qhubeka extend with three Vuelta riders 29.09.2014 @ 19:14Duarte spearheads Colombia in Milan-Turin 29.09.2014 @ 19:11Lars Bak extends with Lotto Belisol 29.09.2014 @ 19:08Tschopp and Reichenbach lead IAM in Milan-Turin 29.09.2014 @ 19:03Orica-GreenEDGE celebrate successful Worlds 29.09.2014 @ 18:59Marco Marcato joins Wanty-Groupe Gobert 29.09.2014 @ 18:55Contador to go to Beijing to try to win the WorldTour 29.09.2014 @ 18:52Gallopin: My result should have been better 28.09.2014 @ 20:44Joker duo take Duo Normand 28.09.2014 @ 20:21Quintero: World's is simply just special 28.09.2014 @ 20:16Txurruka and Vuillermoz share Gevaudan spoils 28.09.2014 @ 20:06Kwiatkowski: A great thanks to my team 28.09.2014 @ 20:03Winning Txurruka praises his team 28.09.2014 @ 19:57Swift ready for more leadership roles in the future 28.09.2014 @ 19:08Kristoff: I could have won the rainbow jersey 28.09.2014 @ 19:08Mollema had hoped for more than 18th 28.09.2014 @ 19:03Valverde: Kwiatkowski deserved this win 28.09.2014 @ 18:51

Valérie HOFSTETTER
30 years | today
Abram MANION
30 years | today
Ismail BOURICHA
18 years | today
Andy BAKER
25 years | today
Radim PETR
27 years | today
ALL BIRTHDAYS

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013