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Saxo’s Breschel wins Flanders semi-classic

Saxo Bank’s Danish road champion Matt Breschel won Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen (“Across Flanders” in English), the 204-kilometer Belgian semi-classic.

Matti Breschel on his solo break. AFP PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

Breschel broke away alone from the lead group with 22km to go. A chase group that included Tom Boonen (QuickStep) and Saxo’s Fabian Cancellara closed to within a handful of seconds in the final kilometers, but Breschel held off across the line, finishing with a seven-second gap.

”We knew we had the strength to do it and eventually it was a question of how to put in the crucial attack,” Breschel said. “Fabian approached me and said that he would help me today and he asked me to stay in his wheel. Then he put up an incredible pace in the front of the group. As he let go of the front, I launched a counter-attack and the gap was created immediately. On my way to the finish line, Torsten (Schmidt, the team’s sports director) gave me the confidence to believe I could go all the way. The victory is important to me and to the team and it provides us with the confidence we need to succeed in the next races. Today’s race also proves that we have two cards to play in the upcoming classics and we are not just in perfect shape. Our team spirit is intact.”

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