Luca Paolini has won its first Classic, the Omloop Het Nieusblad. The Katusha rider was surprisingly the best after a supreme effort with Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Stijn Vandenbergh.
Just one man could make the leap. Top favourite Jurgen Roelandts joined tthe leaders with 45 kilometers to go. They worked well together so the peloton was then already 3 minutes back.
On the cobblestones of Lippenhovestraat placed Stijn Vandenbergh one witty attack. Only Luca Paolini could follow the Belgian rider. In the last 20 kilometers the chasing group lost time, so Paolini and Vandenbergh had to sprint for the victory.
Paolini started sprinting early.The tired Vandenbergh could no longer hold the wheel of the 36-year old Italian rider.Paolini took hos first victory in a Flemish classic race.
1 Luca PAOLINI 4:52:15
2 Stijn VANDENBERGH s.t 0
3 Sven VANDOUSSELAERE +1:13
4 Geraint THOMAS +1:13
5 Greg VAN AVERMAET +1:13
6 Marco BANDIERA +1:13
7 Sylvain CHAVANEL +1:13
8 Jurgen ROELANDTS +1:13
9 Maarten WYNANTS +1:13
10 Egoitz GARCIA +1:13
by Niels Bastiaens (Wijnegem, Belgium)