Keukeleire adds to unbeatable March with Nokere Koerse
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Keukeleire adds to unbeatable March with Nokere Koerse

by Ben Atkins at 12:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results

Jens Keukeleire (Cofidis) won the 65th Nokere Koerse in a sprint finish at the top of the cobbled Nokereberg. He beat Kris Boeckmans (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil) into second and third, respectively. The 21-year-old Belgian adds this victory to Le Samyn and the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen (including stage 1) that he has already won this season.

A break of four riders was allowed to get away, but the quartet of Benjamin Verraes (Jong Vlaanderen-Bauknecht), Kevin Neirynck (Landbouwkrediet), Arnoud van Groen (Vacansoleil) and Remi Cusin (Cofidis) was never allowed to build a race-winning lead.

The race began with a 74.5km loop between the start in Oudenaarde and the finish in Nokere, taking in the climb of the Nokereberg twice. There then followed eight 14.8km finishing circuits, crossing the top of the climb each time.

The peloton controlled things quite easily until the final circuit when Nico Eeckhout (An Post-Sean Kelly) made a solo bid for glory. His break was quickly reeled in though and the sprinters’ teams set up their men for the uphill cobbled sprint. Keukeleire proved to be the strongest on the average 5% gradient.

Keukeleire’s victory, as well as his earlier wins in Flanders this month will make Cofidis’ exclusion from April’s Ronde van Vlaanderen all the more galling for the French team

1. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis
2. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
3. Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Vacansoleil
4. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) OmegaPharma-Lotto
5. Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
6. John Murphy (USA) BMC Racing
7. James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Verandas Willems
8. Aleksandr Porsev (Rus) Itera - Katusha
9. Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) Team Milram


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