Kenny Dehaes wins snow-affected Handzame Classic in bunch sprint
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Kenny Dehaes wins snow-affected Handzame Classic in bunch sprint

by Ben Atkins at 1:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results
Lotto-Belisol rider prevails in expected fast finish on much-altered course

kenny dehaesKenny Dehaes (Lotto-Belisol) recorded his second win of the 2013 season as he sprinted to victory in the snow-affected Handzame Classic in Handzame, West Flanders. The 28-year-old Belgian beat Dutchman Kenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) to the line at the end of the 196km race, which had been changed due to much of the original course having been declared unsafe, with van Hummel’s teammate Danny van Poppel third.

Reduced to a 35km loop from the start town of Bredene, followed by ten laps of a 16km circuit, the race was subject to several attacks, with the final move caught just before the finish.

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After a split in the peloton in the early kilometres, William Clarke (Argos-Shimano), Jonas Vangenechten (Lotto-Belisol), Youcef Reguigui (MTN-Qhubeka), Sean De Bie (Leopard-Trek) and Kess Heytens (Team 3M) escaped after two laps. With just under five laps to go, the five riders had managed to build a lead of 4’10” before the NetApp-Endura and Blanco teams began to close them down.

With four laps to go, and with the quintet’s lead down to just two and a half minutes, Vangenechten attacked; he was chased down by the others, but the increase in pace saw Heytens dropped and he was soon picked up by the peloton. Gradually the remaining four riders were reeled in, and the race was almost together again as it approached the bell.

Having almost been caught by the peloton Vangenechten attacked again, and was joined by Reguigui as Clarke and De Bie were swallowed up. The two remaining riders were not able to stay ahead of the peloton for long, however, and were picked up with 12km to go.

Almost as soon as the peloton was back together there was another attack from Bert Grabsch (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Wesley Kreder (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Alphonse Vermote (An Post-Chainreaction). The new breakaway trio managed to open a lead of 22 seconds with six kilometres to go, before the peloton recovered and began to chase them down.

Into the final kilometre the trio still held a ten-second lead, but it was caught before it could reach the finishing straight, where Dehaes sprinted to victory.

1. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
2. Kenny van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
3. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano


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