Ronde van Vlaanderen
Dowsett, part of an early break; Rojas, on the attack through the ‘hellingen’; and Ventoso and Amador, up-front before the final selection, give Movistar Team protagonism in the Tour of Flanders
Fabian Cancellara (RLT) claimed an impressive victory in the 97th Ronde van Vlaanderen, held this Sunday over the 256km and 17 ‘hellingen’ of the second monument in the classics season. Cancellara governed the race in the final two climbs after the group stayed mainly together before the last passages through the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg. Movistar Team offer a good overall impression until that point: Alex Dowsett was first to move the race from the Blues, with a 40-kilometer attempt together with Klier (GRS) and Dempster (TNE) that was later brought back while the peloton suffered a significant down, with 2012 winner Tom Boonen (OPQ) withdrawing after a crash.
With the 11-man move of the day consolidated into the first real climbs, José Joaquín Rojas found his moment to shine with an attack in the Valkenberg, just over 90k from the finish; however, his great positioning, tackling the first Kwaremont-Paterberg at the front after being brought down, was ruined by a mechanical that forced him to abandon. It was then time for Fran Ventoso and Andrey Amador, always into the favourites’ group until the attack by Cancellara broke the race and took Sagan (CAN, 2nd) and Roelandts (LTB, 3rd) with him at the Kwaremont, leaving them behind in the final climb. Ventoso, more than five minutes behind, was the best Movistar Team rider at the finish.