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Dwars: Terpstra Flies Away; Farrar Powers to Podium

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Patrick Verhoest

Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Niki Terpstra took advantage of a slight lull after the climb of the Paterberg to steal away alone and win Dwars door Vlaanderen for a second time in his career. Terpstra's move was briefly foreshadowed as he surged to the front of the peloton at the bottom of the famous helling, immediately reeling in the remains of the day's breakaway and coming around them as people recovered atop the hill. Once Terpstra was alone, he benefited from his teammates' work behind him and his own tremendous show of power to finish the deal. His second victory here ties the unusually modest lifetime record, now held by twelve riders.

Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Sharp showed a renewal of form with a victory in the sprint for second place, just ahead of Borut Bozic of Astana. But the American pounded his bars in frustration, knowing he had the legs to win, and knowing he had teammates doing their best to close the gap for him. The problem was Quick Step's overall excellence. After Terpstra's attack, a four-rider chase group developed including Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, Tinkoff-Saxo's Nicki Sorensen, and Trek's Stijn Devolder -- shadowed and disrupted by OPQS's Gert Steegmans. Behind them, Garmin took more responsibility for the chase than anyone else, but when Nick Nuyens briefly popped off the front on the Nokereberg, he drew one Tommeke Boonen for company, a depressing sight.

In the end, however, Terpstra was the story. The solo win resembled his victory from 2012, when the Dutchman also stole away and won convincingly, by 47" over his closest pursuer. The win is his third of the year, after a stage and the overall win in Qatar. For Farrar, he spoke afterwards of the gamble in not riding Milano-Sanremo, which has worked insofar as he's entering his beloved classics in top condition for the first time since 2010. Frustration may have been on his face, but with so many weapons the result is surely a big boost for Garmin-Sharp in its endless tilting against the OPQS Windmill.

Results:

1 NED Niki Terpstra OPQ 4u31'02 "
2 USA Tyler Farrar GRS +16 "
3 SLO Borut Božic AST +16 "
4 LUX Jempy Drücker WGG +16 "
5 FRA Sylvain Chavanel IAM +16 "
6 BEL Jens Debusschere LTB +16 "
7 BEL Tom Van Asbroeck TSV +16 "
8 ITA Oscar Gatto CAN +16 "
9 BEL Jens Keukeleire OGE +16 "
10 WRU Yevgeny Goetarovitsj ALM +16 "