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:

Kwiatkowski ready for his first big goal in the rainbow jersey »

Kwiatkowski leads Etixx-QuickStep in Amstel Gold Race »

Yves Lampaert about Paris-Roubaix: I did my job »

Boonen confirmed for the Giro, Cavendish to California »

Youngsters to get their chance for Etixx-QuickStep in Brabantse Pijl »

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Barbero takes lead in Castilla y Leon 19.04.2015 @ 00:38Training in Colombia pays off for Rubiano 19.04.2015 @ 00:35FDJ: Mechanical cost Geniez the win 18.04.2015 @ 20:58Movistar split the peloton in Castilla y Leon 18.04.2015 @ 19:54Dumoulin ready for mini Paris-Roubaix 18.04.2015 @ 19:10De Troyer: I thought Voeckler would win 18.04.2015 @ 19:05Shilov confirms potential with win in Castilla y Leon 18.04.2015 @ 18:43Duarte and Torres lead Colombia in Trentino 18.04.2015 @ 18:01Winless LottoNL-Jumbo not panicking 18.04.2015 @ 17:47De Troyer takes first pro win in Tour du Finistere 18.04.2015 @ 17:30Van der Lijke proud to get selected for European Champi... 18.04.2015 @ 16:34Nieve to support Porte in the Giro 18.04.2015 @ 15:33Wellens ready for leadership role in Amstel Gold Race 18.04.2015 @ 15:30Tanner to help teammates in Amstel 18.04.2015 @ 14:51Gerrans has full confidence in Matthews at Amstel 18.04.2015 @ 14:36Gilbert: The strongest always wins Amstel 18.04.2015 @ 14:28Dumoulin hoping to be a protagonist in Amstel 18.04.2015 @ 13:10Kelderman sick ahead of Amstel 18.04.2015 @ 13:05Simon Yates gives up Turkey to ride Ardennes 18.04.2015 @ 12:59Amstel Gold Race preview 18.04.2015 @ 12:50Matthews: Amstel Gold Race suits me 18.04.2015 @ 12:43Bardet, Peraud, Pozzovivo to share leadership in Trentino 18.04.2015 @ 12:29Bakelants leads Ag2r in Amstel Gold Race 18.04.2015 @ 12:23Giro del Trentino preview 18.04.2015 @ 00:00Bilbao: This makes up for our unfortunate start 17.04.2015 @ 20:24Mollema hopes for hard Amstel Gold Race 17.04.2015 @ 20:15Movistar sprinter agonizingly close to second pro win 17.04.2015 @ 19:20IAM with all-inclusive list of climbers in Fleche Wallonne 17.04.2015 @ 19:17Lotto Soudal with three leaders in Amstel Gold Race 17.04.2015 @ 19:13Bilbao takes surprise win in Castilla y Leon opener 17.04.2015 @ 17:01Kwiatkowski ready for his first big goal in the rainbow... 17.04.2015 @ 15:05Katusha's Giro roster takes shape 17.04.2015 @ 14:58Pineau out of Amstel Gold Race 17.04.2015 @ 14:45MTN-Qhubeka with three leaders in Amstel Gold Race 17.04.2015 @ 14:42Rebellin back for another edition of Amstel Gold Race 17.04.2015 @ 14:39Dumoulin: Hopefully the hard work will pay off on Sunday 17.04.2015 @ 14:36Cannondale-Garmin in full support of Martin in Amstel G... 17.04.2015 @ 14:32Henao leads Sky in Amstel Gold Race 17.04.2015 @ 14:29Quintana, Froome and Nibali to clash in mountainous Tou... 17.04.2015 @ 14:25Peter Sagan: In Slovakia, my private life is nonexistent 17.04.2015 @ 10:11The Yates twins will ride the Tour de France 17.04.2015 @ 09:35Romain Sicard would like to ride the Tour de France 17.04.2015 @ 08:53Luke Rowe: We are role models to some people 17.04.2015 @ 08:14Kreder continues good season start in Denain 16.04.2015 @ 23:33Bouhanni: The Coupe de France is not a goal 16.04.2015 @ 23:28BMC with Gilbert and Van Avermaet in Amstel Gold Race 16.04.2015 @ 22:32Rodriguez leads Katusha in Amstel Gold Race 16.04.2015 @ 20:57Geniez shows Giro form in Denain 16.04.2015 @ 20:17This Month in Cycling History: The Monuments 16.04.2015 @ 19:56Dumoulin scores important Coupe de France points in Denain 16.04.2015 @ 19:52Italian sprint talent shows his potential in Denain 16.04.2015 @ 18:39Kwiatkowski leads Etixx-QuickStep in Amstel Gold Race 16.04.2015 @ 18:36Van Avermaet and BMC respond to doping case 16.04.2015 @ 17:15Two-year suspension for Van Avermaet? 16.04.2015 @ 17:09Costa leads Lampre-Merida in the Ardennes 16.04.2015 @ 17:01

Paolo VALOTI
44 years | today
Shane HAGA
24 years | today
Yonder GODOY
22 years | today
Martin ZLAMALIK
33 years | today
Federico PAGANI
30 years | today
ALL BIRTHDAYS

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013