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"I chose to attack on the last climb, which was more or less 2km on the cobblestones. I was solo, but in the final kilometre Dehaes was starting to come back to me. So, I waited for him and we went for the sprint."

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02.06.2013 @ 09:29 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

A nine month winning drought was brought to an end by Tom Boonen yesterday as the Belgian road champion won the Heistse Pijl kermesse in his native Belgium.

Boonen was the first to cross the line at the end of the 170 kilometre race and, in doing so, will hope to have at long last turned his back to perhaps the most frustrating and accident plagued periods of his entire career.

Boonen, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, and Kevin De Weert were in an 18 rider breakaway that escaped in the middle of the 10 lap (17km each) race.

Boonen attacked Kenny Dehaes (Lotto-Belisol) after the break was reduced to a smaller group on the last lap.

"In the final there was a small group of six in the last lap," Sport Director Wilfried Peeters said. "Tom attacked on the last climb, but Dehaes came back to him on the descent. Tom went for the sprint and won."

Dehaes was 2nd, and Sean De Bie (LEOPARD TREK) was 3rd, 4" back from Boonen and Dehaes. Only 20 riders finished the race.

"I’m very happy about the race," Boonen said. "It was a tough race because we made it tough as a team, being all day in front. We made a great effort and really pushed it, and in the end I also won.  I attacked in the final on the last lap. I chose to attack on the last climb, which was more or less 2km on the cobblestones. I was solo, but in the final kilometre Dehaes was starting to come back to me. So, I waited for him and we went for the sprint. I am happy I was able to get the victory. It's always good when you raise your arms in a race. It's my second Kermesse victory of my life along with GP Zele in 2006.  So, it's something special to win another one."

 

Heistse Pijl kermesse, Belgium:

1. Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma Quick Step) 4 hours 2 mins 15 secs
2. Kenny Dehaes (Lotto Belisol)
3. Sean De Bie (Leopard Trek) 4”
4. Frédéric Amorison (Crelan-Euphony)
5. Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil DCM) 10”

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