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Arnaud Demare sprints to victory in 2012 Vattenfall Cyclassics

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) takes second with Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) third

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HAMBURG, Germany (VN) — Arnaud Demare (FDJ-BigMat) out-kicked Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) to win the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday.

Demare, the under-23 world road champion, sped to victory after a late break by RadioShack-Nissan’s Ben Hermans was snuffed out by a hard-charging peloton on the downhill run to the finish of the 245.9km race. It was his sixth victory of the season.

There was a big pileup in the final meters, but the front-runners were unfazed and fought it out at the line, with Greipel hanging on for second and Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) third, just ahead of Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) in fourth.

Defending champion Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) finished fifth.

The race proved costly for the Orica-GreenEdge squad. Jens Keukeleire, Daryl Impey and Stuart O’Grady all crashed earlier in the race, with Impey and O’Grady breaking ribs; O’Grady also broke a collarbone, team officials said. Keukeleire required stitches to one thigh.

• Race results