Nizzolo edges Eneco sprint
Boonen extends his advantage
Last Updated: 10/08/12 3:57pm
Giacomo Nizzolo: Took another big step in his young career with a win in Belgium
Giacomo Nizzolo came out on top as stage five of the Eneco Tour came down to a photo finish on the line.
The young Italian (RadioShack-Nissan) hit out early in the sprint and fought off a late charge from Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) by little over an inch at the stripe in Aalter.
Manuel Belletti (AG2R La Mondiale) rounded out the podium just behind after a third consecutive bunch kick which saw the peloton lined out following a tight right-hander inside 500 metres to go.
Tom Boonen remained upright in a hectic finish to increase his lead at the top of the standings to three seconds, the Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider fifth across the line to narrowly miss out on more bonus seconds.
Every second was crucial ahead of Saturday’s time trial which should see the general classification shaken up once again.
Dmitriy Muravyev (Astana), Sjef De Wilde (Accent.Jobs) and Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen), the leader of the combativity competition, struck out early on to make the day’s break.
With 25km to go the trio were reeled in and a fight broke out ahead of the final intermediate sprint across the finish line in Aalter. Gert Steegmans (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) jumped clear to take three seconds on behalf of team-mate Boonen, the Belgian instead opting instead to save his energy.
Sprint trains formed in the final 10km as the pace increased further, stage three winner Theo Bos (Rabobank) going down following a touch of wheels to take him out of the equation for the finish.
Roundabouts caused havoc on the run to the line as some riders took the long way around, others a shortcut but it was all back together for the finish as Nizzolo held firm.