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Chainel takes De Panne opener

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Mar. 30, 2010
  • Updated Aug. 15, 2010 at 7:47 PM EDT
Steve Chainel (BBox Bouygues) celebrates the win at the Three Days Of De Panne | AFP PHOTO / BELGA - ERIC LALMAND

Steve Chainel (Bbox Bouygues) won out of a breakaway to claim victory Tuesday in the opening stage of the Three Days of De Panne in Belgium.

Steve Chainel (BBox Bouygues) celebrates the win at the Three Days Of De Panne | AFP Photo / Belga - Eric Lalmand

The Frenchman out-kicked two Italians to win the sprint and snag the overall leader’s jersey in the 198km stage. Luca Paolini (Acqua e Sapone) came through second with Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) crossing the line third.

“I didn’t think the breakaway would make it. It’s a surprise to win, even though I’ve had good legs for the past 15 days. In the final, I had super sensations,” said Chainel, 27. “This is my first win in two seasons at BBox. It’s doubly nice to win in Belgium, where I spend my winters racing cyclocross.”

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions), winner of Sunday’s time trial at the Critérium International, finished seventh at just three seconds off the pace and placed himself in ideal position to make a run for overall victory.

“It was a really hard day, with echelons the first 80km and then the bergs and typical Belgian roads the rest of the time,” Millar said. “I was feeling a little tired still from Crit(erium International), which was probably a good thing as it forced me to ride intelligently and conservatively meaning I was still able to race hard in the final when everybody else was on the hands and knees.”

Millar is 13 seconds behind Chainel, but 42 seconds ahead of his most dangerous rivals in the main bunch going into Thursday’s decisive, final-day time trial.

“Johan and Ty did a great job, Johan single-handedly chasing for 40km in the middle of the race and Ty blocking behind me once I was off the front,” Millar said. “Now we have a lot of defending to do till Thursday afternoon.”

De Panne continues Wednesday with the 214km second stage from Zottegem to Koksijde.

Three Days of De Panne:
1. Steve Chainel (F), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, 198km in 4:34:28
2. Luca Paolini (I), Acqua e Sapone, same time
3. Enrico Gasparotto (I), Astana, s.t.
4. Daniel Oss (I), Liquigas-Doimo, s.t.
5. Frédéric Amorison (B), Landbouwkrediet, s.t.
6. Lieuwe Westra (Nl), Vacansoleil, s.t.
7. David Millar (GB), Garmin-Transitions, at 0:03
8. Niko Eeckhhout (B), An Post Sean Kelly, at 0:45
9. Johan Coenen (B), Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 0:45
10. Marco Bandiera (I), Katusha, at 0:45
Full Results

Overall standings:
1. Steve Chainel (F), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, 4:34:18
2. Luca Paolini (I), Acqua e Sapone, at 0:04
3. Enrico Gasparotto (I), Astana, at 0:06
4. Daniel Oss (I), Liquigas-Doimo, at 0:07
5. Frédéric Amorison (B), Landbouwkrediet, at 0:10
6. Lieuwe Westra (Nl), Vacansoleil, at 0:10
7. David Millar (GB), Garmin-Transitions, at 0:13
8. Niko Eeckhhout (B), An Post Sean Kelly, at 0:55
9. Johan Coenen (B), Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, at 0:55
10. Marco Bandiera (I), Katusha, at 0:55
Full Results

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