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E3 Harelbeke Thru Patrick Verhoest's Lens!

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It was this kind of day in East Flanders...

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Painfaces! Join us on the flip for a full roll of pics from today's action!

This Patrick Verhoest photo roll is...

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... Germaine approved! And, as always, click to embiggen (except for the four small ones grouped below)...

There were lots of smiling, friendly faces milling about in Harelbeke today:

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Hi Benna. Nice win Niki. Heya George! Have mercy, Fabian. Some new fresh faces...

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The look that kills. This one seems as young, even if we're used to seeing him now:

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Lars, always looking chilled:

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And of course, the master...

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Time to roll on out!

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Patrick caught up with the pack on the Oude Kwaremont. Never met de Oude Kwaremont?

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These pictures do a good job of explaining why the race is featuring the Oude Kwaremont so heavily in the Tour of Flanders. These aren't your recreational-strength cobbles. These are Professional Grade. And so was the action on these stones today:

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Boonen, Sep and Sagan, plus a glowing Farnese of unidentified origin. All day long, when Boonen went, Sep countered. Except the last 200 meters. Nobody's perfect.

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Coupla Dutchmen follow, with the remnants of the neon breakaway along.

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Cancellara and Hoste are next. What these guys are pointing at is anyone's guess (Germaine?). Anyway, the flat tire isn't too evident, must have caught the wheel in mid-bounce. Next, to the Knokteberg, a/k/a Cote de Trieu...

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Ballan and Leukemans were on attempting to bridge up to Chavanel and Muravyev.

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The universe nearly imploded during this Pippo Pozzato attack, which caught Tom Boonen awake, and others including Sagan napping a bit.

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Sep Vanmarcke was trailing a bit, and fell back to the bigger chasing peloton before order was restored.

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Speaking of the peloton, Cancellara led them back to the leaders, and the sprint game was on. That's all for today, stay tuned for Sunday!

All photos by Patrick Verhoest for the Podium Cafe