Classic Cool for Paolini
photo: Tim De Waele
A classic win for Luca Paolini taking the sprint from Stijn Vandenbergh to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Sylvain Chavanel showed promise attacking with about 50km remaining but it was not to be for the Frenchman. He showed gusto in the sub-freezing temperatures (-1C). In fact, most of the riders wore thermal gear and wrapped like mummies. Except for Heinrich Haussler who went gloveless.
The rest of the stars stayed in protective custody in the peloton. A safer option than dealing with the tough headwind.
The race whittled down to the two strongest, and at the end, the tall Vandenbergh leading out his old team mate Paolini to secure a classic cool win. The race for third was the most exciting part of this race as Sven Vandousselaere refused a fast charging Geraint Thomas to complete the podium.
I awoke early this morning anticipating Kuurne Brussels Kuurne only to have it cancelled due to snow. Yes, the third cancellation in it's history (since 1945) and a wise decision by the organizers to scrub it. Also, GP Lugano was cancelled due to snow.
1. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha...4:52:15
2. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
3. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6. Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
10. Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
Meanwhile, I scoured Facebook and came up with this image from KBK...
Time for cross bikes.
So, all is not lost classic fans, in case you missed it, here's OHN with 76 km remaining...