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.
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 wvcycling.com: "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