Brits dominate stages, while Willems wins overall in Driedaagse De Panne
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brits dominate stages, while Willems wins overall in Driedaagse De Panne

by VeloNation Press at 11:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics

Columbia - High Road's Mark Cavendish today took his second consecutive sprint victory in Driedaagse De Panne, again beating team Katusha's Robbie McEwen with Germany's Andre Schulze finishing third.

It seems that a mistake is the only thing that can stop Cavendish from racking up sprint win after sprint win, and even then, he proved his determination can overcome what would have been a mistake for most in Milan-Sanremo.

Not since Italian Mario Cipollini was in his prime has there been a sprinter with such an explosion towards the line. Next week the peloton will see the traditional semi-classic race Ghent-Wevelgem fall between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. One has to wonder if you will see Cavendish go head-to-head with McEwen once more, and whether the Austrailian can use his experience to come out on top.

As the sprint was happening ahead, race leader Filippo Pozzato was loosing valuable seconds as he was caught up behind a crash that happened at 4km to go. The Katusha rider, already a favorite for Sunday's Tour of Flanders, was here tuning his form for his big objective of the season.

In the end, Pozzato found himself with a 48 second deficit to his stage one breakaway companion Liquigas rider Frederick Willems. With that Pozzato decided to exit the race skipping the afternoon's 14.2km time trial. And while there is no doubt Willems would have rather taken the jersey with his legs, he is absolutely a deserving winner when taking into account his recent performances.

In the afternoon time trial Garmin - Slipstream rider Bradley Wiggins made it two stage wins for the Brits as he beat Dutchman Liewe Westra by 20 seconds and Belgian Stijn Devolder by 32 seconds.

Willems from Liquigas did enough to take his third career victory home as he finished on top of Dutch racers Joost Posthuma and Tom Leezer.

3rd stage (112km)

1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Columbia) 2hr 31min 00sec
2. Robbie McEwen (AUS)
3. André Schulze (GER)
4. Angelo Furlan (ITA)
5. Robert Förster (GER)
6. Wouter Weylandt (BEL)
7. Borut Bozic (SLO)
8. Kenny van Hummel (NED)
9. Mark Renshaw (AUS)
10. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL) all riders finished with the same time

3rd stage time trial (14.2km)

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/Garmin) 18:01
2. Liewe Westra (NED) at 20
3. Stijn Devolder (BEL) 32
4. Joost Posthuma (NED) 34
5. Bert Grabsch (GER) 36
6. Rick Flens (NED) 38
7. Svein Tuft (CAN) 41
8. Jens Mouris (NED) 48
9. Mikhail Ignatjev (RUS) 50
10. Sebastian Lang (GER) 50

Overall final stamdings:

1. Frederiek Willems (BEL/Liquigas) 12hr 34min 57sec
2. Joost Posthuma (NED) at 19
3. Tom Leezer (NED) 54
4. Manuel Quinziato (ITA) 1:00
5. Greg Henderson (NZL) 1:02
6. Borut Bozic (SLO) 1:03
7. Martijn Maaskant (NED) 1:12
8. Leif Hoste (BEL) 1:19
9. Steve Chainel (FRA) 1:22
10. Mauro Finetto (ITA) 1:22


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