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Team Sky rider wins Belgian race for second year running

Team Sky's Ian Stannard has won Belgian race Omloop Het Niewsblad for the second year running, despite being outnumbered three to one by a trio of Etixx-Quick Step riders in the closing kilometres.

The Team Sky rider's power saw first Stijn Vandenbergh then former world champion Tom Boonen fall by the wayside.

That left him fighting with last year's Paris-Roubaix winner, Niki Terpstra, for the sprint. which Stannard took right on the line.

Stannard told the Team Sky website: “I couldn’t be happier. It’s nice to do the double sweep at the race, but after the difficulties I had last year breaking my back it’s nice to have got myself back to where I was. 

“Being with those three guys I knew they were all committed to trying to win. As a team they haven’t won it for 10 years and it’s a big one missing off Boonen’s palmares. I knew they were going to race hard. With Sep Vanmarcke and Greg van Avermaet chasing behind it put the pressure on them. I could just sit back, play a bit of poker and enjoy the ride.

“I just wanted to get a free ride for as long as I could. That was my idea. When they all started attacking me it wasn’t a great feeling.

"When Boonen went I was thinking ‘right, what do I do here?’ I knew if I rode him back I’d get attacked. I paced myself back a little bit. I could feel the wheel behind was trying hard to stay with me. So I felt like it was going pretty good and then I just took my chance.”

Among the riders supporting Stannard today was Sir Bradley Wiggins, ridding his first race of the season on the cobbles ahead of what will be his final race for Team Sky, Paris-Roubaix in April.

“All the guys got me into the climbs perfectly," said Stannard. "I felt a bit of pressure when you’ve got a Tour de France winner putting it all on the line for you. You can only really finish it off can’t you!

"The whole team has really lifted a level since last year. We were always at the front and always perfectly positioned. Quick-Step took me to the end and I only had to race the last 4km (laughs)!”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

24 comments

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Him Up North [235 posts] 2 years ago
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The man is a f*cking beast. What a win!  41

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ChairRDRF [363 posts] 2 years ago
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I couldn't see it live, but it looks like a fantastic result for Stannard - one against three in the final 30 odd kilometres, and those three were Boonen, Terpstra and Stybar. This must be his best result ever.

Chapeau!

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Him Up North [235 posts] 2 years ago
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ChairRDRF wrote:

I couldn't see it live, but it looks like a fantastic result for Stannard - one against three in the final 30 odd kilometres, and those three were Boonen, Terpstra and Stybar. This must be his best result ever.

Chapeau!

Third Etixx rider in the break was Stijn Vandenbergh but nonethless, Stannard had the odds stacked against him.

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alotronic [530 posts] 2 years ago
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You can see the last 10k already here - it is an awesome ride from Stannard. He gets worked oover, then attacks with 3km to go. A classic hardman performance.

http://www.steephill.tv/classics/omloop-het-nieuwsblad/

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Rant [24 posts] 2 years ago
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Awesome from Stannard, but let's face it, Etixx laughably stuffed it up. Attack from Boonen, the best sprinter, who should have been sat on Stannard's wheel, then attack with Terpstra but chase it down with the last bit of energy from Vandenbergh. Finally, with only Terpstra left, lead out the sprint!

The big surprise was that Stannard didn't fall off his bike laughing!

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andyb56 [11 posts] 2 years ago
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Your not joking, everything was in there favour! Hope they don't stuff it up that badly tomorrow for Cavendish!

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racyrich [304 posts] 2 years ago
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Him Up North wrote:

The man is a f*cking beast. What a win!  41

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what the Flemish commentator called him too  41

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Alan Tullett [1570 posts] 2 years ago
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Why did Boonen attack? Crazy!! Seen the highlights before reading this and boy did they **** it up! Great win for Stannard though. Surely it should be him and not Wiggins who goes for PR.

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ttekkv [36 posts] 2 years ago
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It did seem a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by Etixx. Was the plan to tempt Stannard into going with Boonen's attack, tire him out and then attack with Terpstra for the win? If so, Sky read it perfectly.

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Must be Mad [625 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

Awesome from Stannard, but let's face it, Etixx laughably stuffed it up. Attack from Boonen, the best sprinter, who should have been sat on Stannard's wheel, then attack with Terpstra but chase it down with the last bit of energy from Vandenbergh. Finally, with only Terpstra left, lead out the sprint!

It was not quite that simple - before the attacks, Stun-hard was getting a free ride in the Etixx train.

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andyspaceman [253 posts] 2 years ago
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Agree that the Etixx Quickstep trio ought to be lynched for their mistakes, but to be honest Stannard just looked stronger than any of them in the final few kilometres. He was fortunate to have been able to sit on the back of the EQS trio for 30km, but it was his own strength and the earlier work by Wiggins, Eisel, Rowe and the rest of the team that put him in that position, so fair's fair.

And credit to him, it was a ballsy attack, and it paid off.

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Rant [24 posts] 2 years ago
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Must be Mad wrote:
Quote:

Awesome from Stannard, but let's face it, Etixx laughably stuffed it up. Attack from Boonen, the best sprinter, who should have been sat on Stannard's wheel, then attack with Terpstra but chase it down with the last bit of energy from Vandenbergh. Finally, with only Terpstra left, lead out the sprint!

It was not quite that simple - before the attacks, Stun-hard was getting a free ride in the Etixx train.

Yes he got a free ride, agreed. And Etixx train was working hard because of that beast Vanmarcke, who with GVA never let up.

But still think 3 vs 1 should have won it.

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arfa [855 posts] 2 years ago
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Epic is an overused word but not in this case. Seeing off a team of three riders is just magnificent, he was like the Terminator coming back at the attempts to drop him !

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 2 years ago
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Must be Mad wrote:
Quote:

Awesome from Stannard, but let's face it, Etixx laughably stuffed it up. Attack from Boonen, the best sprinter, who should have been sat on Stannard's wheel, then attack with Terpstra but chase it down with the last bit of energy from Vandenbergh. Finally, with only Terpstra left, lead out the sprint!

It was not quite that simple - before the attacks, Stun-hard was getting a free ride in the Etixx train.

And why not? In a train of 3 against 1, why would the lone rider take a pull?

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Flying Heron [54 posts] 2 years ago
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Great win, roll on roubaix, all faring well for wiggins.

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ridein [175 posts] 2 years ago
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Awesome repeat win, turning a 25% chance at best into a 100% certainty.  41

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Must be Mad [625 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

And why not? In a train of 3 against 1, why would the lone rider take a pull?

Wrong end of the stick  3
I was saying that the Etixx guys had to do something to put Stannard under pressure. They had been pulling him along because they were more worried about the guys 20sec or so behind.... but in the end they had to attack.
Fantastic win by Yogi - but etixx were kind of caught between a rock and a hard place

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Flying Heron [54 posts] 2 years ago
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Great win, roll on roubaix, all faring well for wiggins.

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mylesrants [387 posts] 2 years ago
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"Why are you shouting at the computer Daddy?"

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smcc1879 [40 posts] 2 years ago
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In the post race interview, Stannard seems to imitate Jim (I think) from The Vicar of Dibley. Every answer started with "Yeah, no...".
http://www.rtbf.be/video/embed?id=1996669&autoplay=1

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 2 years ago
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Must be Mad wrote:
Quote:

And why not? In a train of 3 against 1, why would the lone rider take a pull?

Wrong end of the stick  3
I was saying that the Etixx guys had to do something to put Stannard under pressure. They had been pulling him along because they were more worried about the guys 20sec or so behind.... but in the end they had to attack.
Fantastic win by Yogi - but etixx were kind of caught between a rock and a hard place

Ah ok, sorry! Still, with three riders of that calibre in a 4-man break, they'll be kicking themselves tonight.

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ct [198 posts] 2 years ago
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Fantastic. With Rowe in the top ten too...lovely.

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Simon E [3123 posts] 2 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde [1820 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm not taking away anything from Stannard's fine win. It was magnificent that he was able to turn over a 3 on 1. But on replaying that run in you realise just how stuffed the Etixx were. It wasn't like Stannard turned on the after burners and hunted them down. More like they played themselves out of contention till Stannard realised they had burnt all their matches and went himself, which just go to show how hard they had worked to keep that gap from the chasers.
Stannard played it perfectly by sheltering himself in that group and biding his time - or at least having a big enough engine to fry his opposition.