Tour of Belgium: Casper wins stage 3 sprint
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Tour of Belgium: Casper wins stage 3 sprint

by Ben Atkins at 10:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Belgium
French fast man takes Mechelen stage

Jimmy CasperJimmy Casper (Saur-Sojasun) won the third stage of the Tour of Belgium between Knokke-Heist and Mechelen in a sprint finish.  Celebrating his 32nd birthday, the Frenchman beat Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) and Gert Steegmans (RadioShack) into second and third at the end of the 192.2km stage.

Once again, the entirely flat course saw a breakaway get away. This time Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen), Stijn Vandenbergh (Katusha), Jan Kuyckx (Qin) and Sven Renders (Verandas Willems) escaped after just a few kilometres; they were allowed to build a lead of almost 5 minutes before the OmegaPharma-Lotto team of race leader Philippe Gilbert reacted.

OmegaPharma-Lotto, with help from the An Post-Sean Kelly team reeled the four riders in, and they were recaptured with 65km remaining. This was too soon for the sprinters to be sure of getting their way and a number of counterattacks ensued, including one from Belgian cyclocross champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet).

After the second sprint with 33km to go Matt Brammeier (An Post-Sean Kelly), Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun), Frédéric Amorison (Landbouwkrediet) and Christophe Prémont (Lotto-Bodysol) got away. They managed to get 17 seconds but were soon pulled back by the OmegaPharma-Lotto led peloton.

There were a number of solo attacks in the closing kilometres, including one from Gilbert himself with just 3km to go, but the sprinters’ teams had everything under control. Saur-Sojasun took the front of the peloton with 2km remaining and Casper rewarded them with the victory ahead of Napolitano and Steegmans, who is recovering well from the injuries he sustained in the spring.

Finishing safely in the peloton, Gilbert keeps his lead in the overall classification.

Result stage 3
1. Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
2. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha
3. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team RadioShack
4. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Verandas Willems
5. Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Team Katusha
6. Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano
7. Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon-Servetto
8. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Jong Vlaanderen-Bauknecht
9. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
10. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet

Standings after stage 3
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) OmegaPharma-Lotto


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