Chicchi takes Omega Pharma’s 18th win of season in Handzame Classic
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Chicchi takes Omega Pharma’s 18th win of season in Handzame Classic

by Shane Stokes at 2:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Italian beats Kittel and Blythe in big bunch sprint

Francesco ChicchiOne day before a Milan-Sanremo that Tom Boonen is trying to win, the Omega Pharma Quick Step team added yet another victory to its 2012 haul when Francesco Chicchi sprinted home first in the Handzame Classic.

The Italian got the better of Marcel Kittel (1t4i), Adam Blythe (BMC Racing Team), Guillaume Boivin (Spidertech C10), Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil) and the rest of the main bunch, clocking up his fifth win of the year.

He previously opened his account with two stage wins in the Tour de San Luis, then took a win during the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen. More recently, he was best in Nokere Koerse on Wednesday.

“The magic state I'm in continues…I'm very happy with this victory,” he stated. “We rode strongly all day long. Fortunately, Keisse was in the 15-man break that marked the race, and he allowed us to sit on tires and save energy. In the final we all had perfect legs. The team did a fantastic job and I managed to clinch the double just a few days off my victory in Nokere.”

Kittel has also had several wins this year, and said that he was outwitted by Chicchi’s team. “Damn. Second place. Disappointed,” he said on Twitter. “Had to start sprint early @350m to close a gap to an attacking Quickstep rider. Couldn't hold it till the line...”

Neither rider will be competing in Milan-Sanremo tomorrow.

Chicchi’s directeur sportif Tom Steels said that things went perfectly to plan. “It was good team work today,” he said. “Iljo spent 180km in the breakaway, and then the sprint train was Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Andy Fenn and Chicchi. That is a nice team of riders.”

The 195 kilometre race was marked by a break of fifteen riders. This group fragmented inside the final hour of racing and Omega Pharma Quick Step’s Iljo Keisse, Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Belisol), Niko Eechout (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly) and Pieter Serry (Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator) pushed onwards.

However they were not strong enough to hold off those behind and were reeled in with just over ten kilometres to go.

The sprinters’ teams controlled things from that point and in the subsequent gallop, Chicchi showed his power once again.

Although he is Italian, riding for a Belgian team has meant that he has been affected by the tragic bus crash in Switzerland this week.

He used the occasion to pay tribute to the 28 people killed, of which 22 were children. “I want to dedicate this success to all the families of the victims of the disaster at Sierre, a terrible tragedy which we will never forget,” he said. “All my teammates join me in this dedication.”

A minute’s silence will be held at races in Belgium this weekend, and some riders will wear black armbands in tomorrow’s Milan Sanremo.

Handzame Classic (1.1), Belgium:

1, Francesco Chicchi (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) 4 hours 10 mins
2, Marcel Kittel (1t4i)
3, Adam Blythe (BMC Racing Team)
4, Guillaume Boivin (Spidertech Powered By C10)
5, Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team)
6, Graeme Brown (Rabobank Cycling Team)
7, Gediminas Bagdonas (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...)
8, Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis)
9, Kenny Dehaes (Lotto - Belisol Team)
10, Nikolay Trusov (Team Rusvelo)
11, Andre Schulze (Team NetApp)
12, Jonas Ahlstrand (Team CykelCity.se)
13, Yoeri Havik (Cycling Team De Rijke)
14, Hugo Houle (Spidertech Powered By C10)
15, Roy Jans (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...)
16, Steve Schets (Jong Vlaanderen - Bauknecht)
17, Sven Jodts (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
18, Remco Te Brake (Cycling Team De Rijke)
19, Egidijus Juodvalkis (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony)
20, Frederique Robert (Lotto - Belisol Team)
21, Eugenio Alafaci (Leopard TREK)
22, Matthias Friedemann (Champion System)
23, Jean-lou Paiani (Saur - Sojasun)
24, Christophe Laborie (Saur - Sojasun)
25, Jarl Salomein (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
26, Jacob Keough (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis)
27, Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis)
28, Michael Schwarzmann (Team NetApp)
29, James Vanlandschoot (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s)
30, Aaron Kemps (Champion System)
31, Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma - Quickstep)
32, Henrik Abom (Team CykelCity.se)
33, Kevin Verwaest (Jong Vlaanderen - Bauknecht)
34, Philippe Legrand (Wallonie Bruxelles - Crédit Agricole)
35, Benjamin Verraes (Jong Vlaanderen - Bauknecht)
36, Baptiste Planckaert (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony)
37, Coen Vermeltfoort (Rabobank Cycling Team)
38, Kurt Hovelijnck (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony)
39, Alexander Mironov (Team Rusvelo)
40, Fabio Polazzi (Wallonie Bruxelles - Crédit Agricole)
41, Kevyn Ista (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s)
42, Stefan Van Dijk (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s)
43, Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis)
44, Sean Patrick Downey (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...)
45, Jonas Van Genechten (Lotto - Belisol Team)
46, Rob Goris (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s)
47, Nikita Eskov (Team Rusvelo)
48, Quentin Bertholet (Wallonie Bruxelles - Crédit Agricole)
49, Caleb Fairly (Spidertech Powered By C10)
50, Jens Vandenbogaerde (Jong Vlaanderen - Bauknecht)
51, Bert De Backer (1t4i)
52, Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Geofco Ville D'Alger)
53, Olivier Chevalier (Wallonie Bruxelles - Crédit Agricole)
54, Sjef De Wilde (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s)
55, Dmitry Kozontchuk (Team Rusvelo)
56, Philip Vandaele (Colba - Superano Ham)
57, Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team)
58, Martin Gilbert (Spidertech Powered By C10)
59, Jos Van Emden (Rabobank Cycling Team)
60, Mark Christian (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...)
61, Benjamin Day (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis)
62, Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (Cycling Team De Rijke)
63, Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team)
64, Stef Clement (Rabobank Cycling Team)
65, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma - Quickstep)
66, Kenneth Vanbilsen (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...)
67, Markus Eichler (Team NetApp)
68, Jeroen Lepla (Jong Vlaanderen - Bauknecht)
69, Dominik Klemme (1t4i)
70, Arthur Vanoverberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
71, Jens Debusschere (Lotto - Belisol Team)
72, Tim Declercq (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
73, Kristof Vandewalle (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) 00:10
74, Pieter Ghyllebert (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...)
75, Andy Cappelle (Accent.jobs – Willems Veranda’s)
76, Sander Cordeel (Lotto - Belisol Team)
77, Pit Schlechter (Leopard TREK)
78, Tom Stamsnijder (1t4i)
79, Ryan Anderson (Spidertech Powered By C10)
80, Johan Landstrom (Team CykelCity.se) 00:14
81, Michael Olsson (Team CykelCity.se) 00:16
82, Rob Ruijgh (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team) 00:22
83, Timo Seubert (Team NetApp)
84, Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) 00:24
85, Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team)
86, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) 00:38
87, Andreas Schillinger (Team NetApp) 00:49
88, Simon Lambert-lemay (Spidertech Powered By C10) 00:50
89, Sven Vandousselaere (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) 01:09
90, Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
91, Mats Boeve (Cycling Team De Rijke) 01:25
92, Christian Bertilsson (Team CykelCity.se)
93, Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) 01:45
94, Henryk Cardoen (Geofco Ville D'Alger) 03:28
95, Matvey Zubov (Team Rusvelo)
96, Jonathan Breyne (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony)
97, Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team)
98, Jacek Morajko (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team)
99, Will Routley (Spidertech Powered By C10)
100, Kun Jiang (Champion System)
101, Etienne Tortelier (Saur - Sojasun)
102, Rony Martias (Saur - Sojasun)
103, Sven Van Den Houte (Colba - Superano Ham)
104, Jurgen Francois (Colba - Superano Ham)
105, Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing Team)
106, Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team)
107, Alexandr Pliuschin (Leopard TREK)
108, Joel Zangerle (Leopard TREK)
109, Bob Jungels (Leopard TREK)
110, Marco Bandiera (Omega Pharma - Quickstep)
111, Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma - Quickstep)
112, Koen Barbe (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony)
113, Blaz Jarc (Team NetApp)
114, Laurent Evrard (Wallonie Bruxelles - Crédit Agricole)
115, Thomas Damuseau (1t4i)
116, Jerome Baugnies (Team NetApp)
117, Pengda Jiao (Champion System)
118, Tom Dumoulin (1t4i)
119, Ronan Van Zandbeek (1t4i)
120, Huub Duyn (Cycling Team De Rijke)
121, Philip Lindau (Team CykelCity.se)
122, Niko Eeckhout (An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton - S...)
123, Dion Beukeboom (Cycling Team De Rijke)
124, Yannick Eijssen (BMC Racing Team)
125, Pieter Serry (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator)
126, Christoph Pfingsten (Cycling Team De Rijke)
127, Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto - Belisol Team)
128, Maarten Neyens (Lotto - Belisol Team)
129, William Clarke (Champion System)
130, Bas Stamsnijder (Cycling Team De Rijke)
131, Jetse Bol (Rabobank Cycling Team)
132, Barry Markus (Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team)
133, Kin San Wu (Champion System) 05:11
134, Robert Pölder (Team CykelCity.se) 05:52
135, Giorgio Brambilla (Leopard TREK) 06:34

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