Waregem, Belgium (AFP) — Dutchman Niki Terpstra led an Omega Pharma-Quick Step one-two after soloing to victory in the Dwars door Vlaanderen semi-classic Wednesday.
Former winner Sylvain Chavanel, also of Omega Pharma, finished second, out-kicking Koen de Kort (Project 1T4I) in the two-man chase.
Terpstra attacked solo 32km from the finish after leaving breakaway companion Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) behind on the Paterberg climb.
The former Dutch national champion powered away on his own and managed to hold off the threat of a chase group being led for the most part by former Milan-San Remo champion Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) of Italy.
It was only the second win of 27-year-old Terpstra’s career, and his first since his national title in 2010.
Britain’s world road champion Mark Cavendish suffered a crash when “a rogue water bottle thrown by another rider brought him down 15km from home,” according to Team Sky’s website.
Sport Director Steven de Jongh said: “Unfortunately Cav had a crash but that can happen in any race. His shoulder is hurting but that’s from the
impact itself and he looks to be ok.
“We’ll make absolutely sure that’s still the case tomorrow morning.”
The race, missing former winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma) and Swiss classics specialist Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan), is the first installment in a fortnight of racing in Flanders, which culminates with the Tour of Flanders one-day classic on April 1.
Last year’s winner, Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank), went on to win the Tour of Flanders barely two weeks later ahead of 2008 Dwars door Vlaanderen champion Chavanel.
On Friday the peloton will line up in Harelbeke, Belgium, for the E3 Harelbeke before tackling the Gent-Wevelgem semi-classic on Sunday.