VDB fans protest at Nokere Koerse - Weylandt wins the race

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20.03.2008/ Fans of Belgian rider Frank Vandenbroucke protested during yesterdays Belgian semi - classic Noke Koerse. Quicktep's Wouter Weylandt won the race.

© Stijn Vercaemer,
VDB fans protested before the start. (© Stijn Vercaemer,

Two weeks ago fans of Frank Vandenbroucke started a petition in which they demand that VDB will be allowed to start at Pro - Tour races. The UCI granted Mitsubishi a wild card for Pro - Tour races under the condition that the team would not let VDB start at these races. Its totally unclear on what legal basis the UCI took the decision to ban VDB fromPro - Tour races. Yesterday VDB fans protested against the UCI decision at the start of Belgian semi - classic Nokere Koerse. It was expected that Vandenbroucke would start at Nokere Koerse but on Monday his Mitsubishi - Jartazi team announced that VDB would stay in Italy.

The race

Nokere Koerse was won by Quictseps Wouter Weylandt. The Belgian rider won after a mass sprint. Three riders coloured the race with a long escape. David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet), Sep Vanmarcke (Davitamon) and Bjorn Papstein (3C-Gruppe Lamonta) got a maximum lead of 10 minutes. The Quickstep team controlled the race and with 25 kilometres to go the escapees were caught by the chasing peloton. Before Vanmarke had tried it alone after he attacked out of the breakaway group at the Nokereberg.

Jurgen Roelandt (Silence - Lotto) opened the mass sprint but 23 year old Wouter Weylandt (Quickstep) had no trouble to outspint the Silence - lotto rider who came in second. High Roads André Greipel completed the podium.

Weylandt told "I am very satisfied with this win." The Quickstep rider added: "It actually was a tough race. There was a lot of wind and it was very cold. The team was strong, they brought me in the best position to the Nokerenberg. It was a difficult sprint. i think I rode 150 metres alongside with Jürgen Roelandts."

Results Nokere Koerse 2008

1 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step                                                4.48.31 (40.759 km/h)
2 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                                
3 André Greipel (Ger) Team High Road                                                    
4 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) P3Transfer - Batavus                                             
5 Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Willems Veranda's Continental Team                                
6 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française des Jeux                                           
7 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                               
8 Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Skil-Shimano                                                     
9 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner                                
10 Dennis Pohl (Ger) Team 3C - Gruppe Lamonta                                           
11 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner                                   
12 Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Team 3C - Gruppe Lamonta                                   
13 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                               
14 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Crédit Agricole                                                   
15 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                                                       
16 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française des Jeux                                               
17 Daniel Lloyd (GBr) An Post - M. Donnelly - Grant Thornton - Sean Kelly Team          
18 René Joergensen (Den) Team Designa Křkken                                            
19 Mathieu Criquielion (Bel) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                                         
20 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Elshof                                       
21 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                                             
22 Paidi O'Brien (Irl) An Post - M. Donnelly - Grant Thornton - Sean Kelly Team         
23 Geert Steurs (Bel) Silence - Lotto                                                   
24 Tobias Erler (Ger) Team 3C - Gruppe Lamonta                                          
25 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank

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