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Ronde Van Belgie: A Patrick Verhoest Gallery!

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Patrick Verhoest

Our man Patrick was in Diksmuide last week for the time trial which would decide the Baloise Tour of Belgium, a/k/a Ronde Van Belgie. Yes, we were all distracted by the goings-on in Italy, and for good reason, but the Belgians were putting on a rather lovely race, now that the weather is nice. Here's a little sampling of the stars on the road.

Back in the pits...it's the OPQS guys, the main attraction. And by main attraction, I mean Tommeke:

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OK, out on the road now. The crowds weren't overwhelming, but Belgium is generally a quiet, lovely place.

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And heeeeere come the riders!

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Did  I mention spring has sprung? Not that this Veranclassic Doltenicini rider has time to notice.

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Hey, it's Texan Chad Haga! Chad finished middle of the pack on GC.

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And more Quick Steppers. Bakelands:

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Terpstra:

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Hey, it's German cyclocross star Philip Walsleben!

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Oh, and Sep Vanmarcke is back in the saddle from his post-Classics break.

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Greg Van Avermaet, not looking too bothered:

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Overall leader Tom Boonen, getting ready to pass along the jersey:

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Philippe Gilbert, not a stranger to his time trial rig:

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Mathias Brandle, on a top-5 ride:

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Sylvain Chavanel, headed for a podium finish:

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Speaking of the podium, here's Giant-Shimano's star Tom Dumoulin, moving into second overall:

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And your winner? Die Der Panzerwagen, not really leaving any doubt.

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Dumoulin and Chavanel were both within 26" on the day, but everyone else said adieu to their chances when Tony Martin rolled up another win. Chapeau!