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

BELGIUM TOUR

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS

QUICK-STEP FLOORS

TEAM 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.

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

List of CyclingQuotes previews 11.01.2017 @ 00:08End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13Lampre leave the peloton 04.01.2017 @ 17:03Nibali to skip the classics 04.01.2017 @ 16:58Kolobnev announces retirement 04.01.2017 @ 15:08Young Dimension Data team targets third consecutive win... 04.01.2017 @ 14:01Vakoc leads Quick-Step at Tour Down Under 04.01.2017 @ 13:58Puncheur course for 2017 Arctic Race of Norway 04.01.2017 @ 13:55Ewan makes it itwo in row at Criterium Championships 04.01.2017 @ 13:53Track world champion wins Australian U23 criterium title 04.01.2017 @ 13:50Orica-Scott target numerous Australian titles 04.01.2017 @ 13:472017 team analysis: Movistar Team 03.01.2017 @ 17:30Wilier-Selle Italia confirm signing of Italian talent 03.01.2017 @ 17:21Novo Nordisk under pressure to secure new sponsorship 03.01.2017 @ 17:15Report: Dumoulin to focus on the Giro 03.01.2017 @ 17:06U23 World Champion forced to turn down Quick-Step 03.01.2017 @ 17:03Ag2r veteran announces retirement 03.01.2017 @ 16:59Thurau finds new team in Kuwait 03.01.2017 @ 16:5520 teams for Challenge Mallorca 03.01.2017 @ 16:47Tony Martin unveils new rainbow jersey 03.01.2017 @ 16:39

Josh BARLEY
31 years | today
Romain LAVANDIER
32 years | today
Karol OLEJNICZAK
32 years | today
Medhi FAHRIDI KOVIJ
40 years | today
Pontus KASTEMYR
22 years | today

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013