Audenarde, Belgium - Swiss cycling ace Fabian Cancellara won the one day classic Tour of Flanders
for the second time here on Sunday.
The 32-year-old 2008 Olympic time-trial champion - nicknamed 'Spartacus' -
came home clear at the end of the 256km ride from Bruges ahead of Slovakian
Peter Sagan while Jurgen Roelandts of Belgium was third.
Cancellara, also a four-time world time-trial champion, won his previous
Tour of Flanders in 2010 but returned for this edition with sour memories of
last year's race where he crashed and fractured his collarbone in four places.
Cancellara and Sagan, the other favourite for the race, had fought out a
thrilling duel once they joined Roelandts at the front with 16km to go.
Both of them fought for supremacy over the last two climbs of the race,
Vieux Quaremont and then the Paterberg.
Whilst Sagan was able to stay on Cancellara's wheel on the Quaremont he was
unable to stay with the merciless pace of the Swiss rider on the Paterberg,
13km from the finish.
Cancellara left alone like in a time-trial never faltered as he rode to the
line to win his fifth major classic of his career.
The early part of the race had seen defending champion and home favourite
Tom Boonen crash out after 19km.
The three-time winner of the race was treated in hospital for bruising to
the elbow, left hip and right knee but x-rays revealed no broken bones.
Results from Sunday's cycling classic the Tour of Flanders, a 256km ride from Bruges to Audenarde:
Fabian Cancellara (SUI/RadioShack) 6hr 05:58, 2. Peter Sagan (SVK) at
1min 26sec, 3. Jurgen Roelandts (BEL) 1:28, 4. Alexander Kristoff (NOR)
1:38, 5. Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA) same time, 6. Heinrich Haussler (AUS)
s.t., 7. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) s.t., 8. Sebastien Turgot (FRA) s.t.,
9. John Degenkolb (GER) s.t., 10. Sebastian Langeveld (GER) s.t.