Roelandts off to a flier
Belgian wins from select group
Last Updated: 27/09/12 6:27pm
Jurgen Roelandts: Took his second win of the season after a day in the break
Jurgen Roelandts outsprinted his breakaway rivals to win a dramatic opening stage of Circuit Franco-Belge.
The Lotto-Belisol rider infiltrated the decisive eight-man move which went clear with 10km to go, and after a late attack from Team Sky’s Juan Antonio Flecha had been snubbed out in the dying seconds, Roelandts kicked on and narrowly edged Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) for his second win of the season.
Not surprisingly, that triumph saw Roelandts take control of the leader’s jersey and open up a nine-second advantage over Van Keirsbulck, courtesy of bonuses accrued throughout the stage. Wynants sits a further second back in third.
The race had got off to a stormy start and after numerous early attacks, five riders eventually moved clear, and had built a lead of almost four minutes when a large crash caused a large split in the peloton.
It took a determined chase by those riders caught behind to restore parity, and after the break had been reeled back in soon after, another 24-man move raced up the road.
It was from that group that the eight contenders emerged, distancing themselves in the last 10km and working together productively to evade their pursuers.
That was until Flecha launched his determined late attack as they passed under the one kilometre to go banner, but the move ultimately proved fruitless and Roelandts was well-placed to capitalise with his triumphant kick for the line.