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Weylandts’ Nokere-Koerse victory shows Quick Step’s depth

Quick Step is so deep in talent on its classics team it can put up a half-dozen candidates for victory. With the team’s big stars Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini resting their guns for Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, other riders are getting a chance to step into the spotlight. Last week, it was Gert Steegmans winning two stages at Paris-Nice.

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By Andrew Hood

Quick Step is so deep in talent on its classics team it can put up a half-dozen candidates for victory.

With the team’s big stars Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini resting their guns for Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, other riders are getting a chance to step into the spotlight. Last week, it was Gert Steegmans winning two stages at Paris-Nice.

On Wednesday in the 63rd Nokere-Koerse in Belgium, rising star Wouter Weylandt took advantage of his opportunity.

The 23-year-old easily out-kicked the pack in the 196km course through cool and windy weather to claim the mid-week semi-classic for his first win this season.

“I’m very happy with this victory. Today was a difficult race, conditioned by the strong wind and bitter cold. The team was super and they put me in the best position for the final sprint,” Weylandt said. “On Easter, I’ll be racing the Ronde Van Groen Hart-Utrech, where I already won last year. This result even gives me more confidence for (Waregem) on March 26, a very important race in which I want to do well.”

Three riders tried their luck early, with David Boucher, Sep Vanmarcke and Bjorn Papstein peeling away at 50km. The trio opened up a gap of more than 10 minutes before the sprinter teams got busy with the chase.

With 45km to go, the gap was down to three minutes and Vanmarcke fought to the end, but the main pack swallowed him up to set up the mass sprint.

Weylandt — a fourth-year pro who enjoyed a breakthrough season last year with five wins – made easy work of his rivals to snag the victory. Coming through second was Jurgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto) while Andre Greipel (High Road) slotted in for third. American John Devine (High Road) came through 33rd with the main pack.

Results

1. Wouter Weylandt BEL Quickstep

2. Jurgen Roelandts BEL Silence – Lotto

3. Andre Greipel GER Team High Road

4. Bobbie Traksel NED Cyclingteam P3transfer – Batavus

5. Sjef De Wilde BEL Willems Verandas

6. Yauheni Hutarovich BLR Francaise des Jeux

7. Niko Eeckhout BEL Topsport Vlaanderen

8. Fabien Bacquet FRA Skil-Shimano

9. Frederic Amorison BEL Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner

10. Dennis Pohl GER Team C3 Gruppe

11. Bert De Waele BEL Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner

12. Matthias Friedemann GER Team C3 Gruppe

13. Johan Coenen BEL Topsport Vlaanderen

14. Mark Renshaw AUS Crédit Agricole

15. Tom Veelers NED Skil-Shimano

16. Johann Offredo FRA Francaise des Jeux

17. Daniel Lloyd GBR An Post -M.Donnelly-Grant thornton -Sean Kelly Team

18. Rene Joergensen DEN Designa Køkken

19. Mathieu Criquielion BEL Mitsubishi-Jartazi

20. Johnny Hoogerland NED Van Vliet – EBH Elshof

21. Kurt Hovelijnck BEL Topsport Vlaanderen

22. Paidi O’Brien IRL An Post -M.Donnelly-Grant thornton -Sean Kelly Team

23. Geert Steurs BEL Silence – Lotto

24. Tobias Erler GER Team C3 Gruppe

25. Bauke Mollema NED Rabobank

26. Kristof De Zutter BEL Willems Verandas

27. Stefan Ganser GER Team Kuota – Senges

28. Jan Kuyckx BEL Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner

29. Gennady Mikhaylov BEL Mitsubishi-Jartazi

30. Wim De Vocht BEL Silence – Lotto

31. Aart Vierhouten NED Cyclingteam P3transfer – Batavus

32. Edvald Boasson Hagen NOR Team High Road

33. John Devine USA Team High Road

34. Stefan van Dijk NED Mitsubishi-Jartazi

35. Tomas Buchacek CZE PSK Whirlpool-Author

36. Stijn Ennekens BEL Willems Verandas op 20 sec.

37. Janek Tombak EST Mitsubishi-Jartazi

38. Andreas Klier GER Team High Road

39. Dmytro Grabowskyy UKR Quickstep

40. Bastiaan Gilling NED Cycle-Collstrop

41. Steffen Wesemann GER Cycle-Collstrop

42. Frantisek Rabon CZE Team High Road

43. Romain Zingle BEL groupegobert.com CT

44. Yannick Talabardon FRA Crédit Agricole

45. Tom Criel BEL Cycle-Collstrop op 31 sec.

46. Matthe Pronk NED Cycle-Collstrop op 34 sec.

47. James Vanlandschoot BEL Mitsubishi-Jartazi

48. Koen Barbe BEL Topsport Vlaanderen

49. Arnaud Gerard FRA Francaise des Jeux

50. David Kopp GER Cycle-Collstrop

51. Jean-Paul Simon BEL Josan-Mercedes Benz – Aalst Cycling Team op 40 sec.

52. Igor Abakoumov RUS Mitsubishi-Jartazi

53. Michiel Elijzen NED Rabobank

54. Kenny Van Braeckel BEL Willems Verandas

55. Kevin Hulsmans BEL Quickstep

56. Quincy Vens BEL Davitamon-Win for Life-Jong Vlaanderen

57. Bjorn Papstein GER Team C3 Gruppe

58. Justas Volungevicius LTU Rietumu Bank – Riga

59. Rike Dijkxhoorn NED Van Vliet – EBH Elshof

60. Kasper Jebjerg DEN Designa Køkken

61. Arnoud Van Groen NED Cyclingteam P3transfer – Batavus

62. Jérémy Roy FRA Francaise des Jeux

63. Maarten Den Bakker NED Skil-Shimano

64. Laszlo Bodrogi HUN Crédit Agricole

65. Kenny Van Hummel NED Skil-Shimano

66. Kristof Vandewalle BEL Topsport Vlaanderen

67. Wim Botman NED Cyclingteam P3transfer – Batavus

68. Philip Meirhaeghe BEL Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner

69. Tom Leezer NED Rabobank

70. Greg Van Aevermaet BEL Silence – Lotto

71. Thomas Bodo FRA Differdange – Apiflo Vacances

72. Bram Schmitz NED Van Vliet – EBH Elshof

73. Ivor Bruin NED Van Vliet – EBH Elshof

74. Jan Boven NED Rabobank

75. Geert Omloop BEL Mitsubishi-Jartazi

76. Dimitri Claeys BEL Davitamon-Win for Life-Jong Vlaanderen

77. Detlef Moerman BEL Willems Verandas

78. Viktor Folkesson SWE An Post -M.Donnelly-Grant thornton -Sean Kelly Team

79. Markku Ainsalu EST Rietumu Bank – Riga

80. Jonathan Hivert FRA Crédit Agricole

81. Maurice Vrijmoed NED Van Vliet – EBH Elshof

82. Maxime Mederel FRA Crédit Agricole

83. Arturs Ansons LAT Rietumu Bank – Riga

84. Rene Obst GER Team C3 Gruppe

85. Timothy Vangheel BEL Cyclingteam P3transfer – Batavus

86. Pieter Jacobs BEL Silence – Lotto

87. Vojtech Dlouhy CZE PSK Whirlpool-Author

88. Bert Roesems BEL Silence – Lotto

89. Sebastien Rosseler BEL Quickstep

90. David Boucher FRA Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner

91. Hubert Schwab SUI Quickstep

92. Andre Schulze CZE PSK Whirlpool-Author

93. Leonardo Scarselli ITA Quickstep

94. Sebastian Forke GER Team C3 Gruppe

95. Bram De Groot NED Rabobank

96. Dennis Kreder NED Van Vliet – EBH Elshof

97. Emmanuel Ruitenbeek NED Van Vliet – EBH Elshof

98. Laurens Ten Dam NED Rabobank

99. Nick Gates AUS Silence – Lotto

100. Martin Mares CZE PSK Whirlpool-Author

101. Rick Flens NED Rabobank op 2min. 16 sec.

102. Kenny Lisabeth BEL An Post -M.Donnelly-Grant thornton -Sean Kelly Team op 2min. 57sec.

103. Stanislav Kozubek CZE PSK Whirlpool-Author op 3min.01sec.

104. Kevin Neirynck BEL Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner op 3min. 59 sec.