Three Days of De Panne 2013: stage one - gallery

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Three Days of De Panne 2013: stage one – gallery

Make mine a double.

Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) was first across the line on the opening stage of last year’s Three Days of De Panne and sealed a second consecutive stage one victory in the race yesterday.

The victory was the second in as many races for the absurdly talented Slovakian, following his solo victory in last Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem.

On this form, few will bet against The Terminator to win his first ‘Monument’ Classic at the Tour of Flanders (Ronde Van Vlaanderen) on Sunday (March 31).

Here’s the best of the first day’s action on the 199.8km run from Middelkerke to Zottegem, captured through the lens of photographer, Stefano Sirotti.

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Belgian national champion, Tom Boonen, proved a popular figure in Middelkerke

Belgians need little encouragement to line the streets for a bike race

Cavendish was feisty on the climbs, even leading the bunch up the second ascent of the Valkenberg

The Manx Missile and team-mate, Sylvain Chavanel, remained in close proximity for much of the day 

Neither man was equal to the accelaration of Sagan, although Chavanel finished in a respectable fifth place

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