Share

Road Cycling News

E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke: record fifth victory for Boonen

Tom Boonen continued a superb start to the 2012 season with victory today  at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke.

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) sprints to victory at the E3 Harelbeke

Boonen took a record fifth victory in the race by outsprinting three-time world road race champion, Oscar Freire (Katusha).

Numerous attacks throughout the race came to nought, leaving Boonen perfectly placed to sprint to victory.

“It was not only important for a good result, but also important for the head a little bit and the sensations on the climbs,” said Boonen.

“That’s why I was doing a few big attacks. I wasn’t really saving myself for the sprint. But then in the end, everything came together and I think everybody was suffering. It doesn’t matter if they were in the front or the back. I was not very comfortable in the sprint but sure, I was still going to do a good sprint and was trying to win. I could get 2nd or 3rd, it’s always possible, but in the end I won. So I’m happy.”

Boonen had already taken overall victory in the Tour of Qatar, won a stage of Paris-Nice, and finished second in Omloop Het Niewsblad this season.

A disappointed Freire said Boonen’s knowledge of the course helped the Belgian secure the victory, and paid tribute to his rival, describing his sprint as ‘perfect’.

“He did a really good sprint, he was perfect, and instead I made a mistake: there was a bend in the last few hundred metres, and I couldn´t see that the finishing line was so close, so I started my rush too late. I almost caught him: with a few more metres, I could have won,” said Freire.

The Spaniard said he would race for victory in Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem, but declared himself ‘not one of the forerunners’ for the Ronde van Vlaanderen in a week’s time.

The final step on the podium was claimed by Bernard Eisel, who followed Mark Cavendish to Team Sky after serving as the Manx Missile’s lieutenant at the now defunct HTC-Highroad.

Team Sky directeur sportif, Steven de Jong, said: “It was a really nice podium finish from Bernie. I think having six guys on the start grid and doing a ride like the boys did we can’t complain. Me and Servais [Knaven, directeur sportif] are really proud about of what the team did today.”

Discuss in the forum

E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke – result

1) Tom Boonen (BEL) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep – 4:51:59
2) Oscar Freire (SPA) – Katusha Team
3) Bernhard Eisel (AUT) – Sky Procycling
4) Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) – Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
5) Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) – Garmin-Barracuda
6) John Degenkolb (GER) – Project 1t4i
7) Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA) – FDJ-Big Mat
8) Alexandre Pichot (FRA) – Team Europcar
9) Alessandro Ballan (ITA) – BMC Racing Team
10) Sébastien Turgot (FRA) – Team Europcar

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production