Breschel glides to win in Dwars door Vlaanderen
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breschel glides to win in Dwars door Vlaanderen

by VeloNation Press at 11:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Matti BreschelSaxo Bank's Danish national champion Matti Breschel won the opener to the Flemish week of cycling, Dwars door Vlaanderen, by nonchalantly riding away from the group of favorites with just over 20 kilometers left and sticking it until the end. Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) beat Niki Terpstra out of the chasing group for second place on the day.

Breschel was thrilled with his win saying afterward, "For me it's very important, but for the team also. We have only really one victory so far this year, that was Fabian in Oman. Now, the Classics have started. For me and the team, we needed this morale."  The Danish team is currently searching for a replacement sponsor so they can continue for 2011.

When asked about whether the move that got him the win was planned, he said, "Yeah, well, we had to stay at the front there. We knew that it was me and Fabian that were the strongest for the whole team, and then Fabian came to me after our group went away; he said to sit on his wheel. Then whew! After that, I didn't really attack. I kinda went easy away, and I got the gap.

"I was dying a little bit in the end," he admitted. "I had some serious cramping. I tried to believe in it. I had Torsten Schmidt in my ear on the radio, and he was a really big help. He gave me confidence. Luckily, I won."

It took nearly 80 kilometers before the first real break formed containing Jean Zen (Palmans-Cras), Steven van Vooren (Topsport Vlaanderen), Gregory Habeaux (Willems Verandas) and Lloyd Mondory (AG2R).  They managed to get a healthy gap of more than five minutes over the peloton, but aggressive riding on the bergs in Flanders would slowly begin to erode away at their lead.

Boonen on form

Belgian Champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was the first of the favorites to stretch his legs, taking control on the Eikenberg with 60 kilometers remaining.  By the time he reached the top, the gap to the break was down to 4:30.  A strong Breschel took over and continued to pour on the pressure, creating a small gap for himself, Boonen, Leukemans and Lars Boom (Rabobank).  The bunch behind was lined out and motivated to keep the quartet in check, managing to bring them back into the fold shortly thereafter.

As the peloton approached the succession of climbs beginning with the Oude Kwaremont, a larger group separated from the favorites.  By the time the front of the race reached 39 kilometers to go, the leaders were whittled down to just VanVooren and Moderoy, ho were holding a declining 1:19 to the main group.  The chase group was also losing ground.

Over the Oude Kwaremont the group of favorites were still intact, with Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara and Breschel being attentive behind Boonen, who again lifted the pace.  Het Nieuwsblad winner Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) was also riding close to the front along with Belgian Nick Nuyens (Rabobank).  Boonen again lifted the pace on the Patersburg and forced a gap, creating a small group that included the Belgian [Boonen], Swiss [Cancellara] and Danish [Breschel] national champions.  They were quickly reabsorbed along with the two remaining leaders.

It was with just over 20 kilometers to go where Cancellara put in a huge effort to soften up the group, which allowed Breschel to simply ride away.  He was not to be seen again until they reached the finish in Waregem.  Several riders tried to make the junction, with Leukemans, Terpstra and Steve Chainel (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) breaking free, but nobody could reach the flying Dane.

With the Tour of Flanders coming up, Breschel said that it's a good thing for Saxo Bank to have both he and Cancellara on form: "It's no problem at all! We're good friends, we communicate well. It's always good to have more than one card. I believe that's the way you win races nowadays, especially when you're loyal to your teammates."

2010 Dwars door Vlaanderen results (204 kilometers):
1. Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) 4h 49m 37s
2. Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) @ 7s
3. Niki Terpstra (Milram) same time
4. Steve Chainel (BBox Bouygues Telecom)
5. Luca Paolini (Acqua e Sapone)
6. Matthew Hayman (Team Sky)
7. Wouter Mol (Vacansoleil)
8. Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano)
9. Stijn Vandenbergh (Katusha)
10. William Bonnet (BBox Bouygues Telecom)



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