Arvesen wins GP E3 Harelbeke after show of strenght of Team CSC

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29.03.2008/ Norwegian CSC rider Kurt-Asle Arvesen won the GP E3 Harelbeke today. Arvesen was part of a 14 man break away group which took off early in the race. German rider David Kopp (Cycle Collstrop) came in second and Belgian young gun Greg Avermaet (Silence – Lotto) completed the podium.

© Cyclingheroes
Kurt-Asle Arvesen took the GP E3 Harelbeke (© Cyclingheroes)

In an exiting race CSC was superior in the tactical games between the Danish team, Rabobank, Quickstep and Silence – Lotto. Rabobank had bad luck after they lost two riders in the early part of the race. Marc de Maar broke his ellbow after a crash and Gerben Löwik crashed as well. Löwik broke his pulse. Shortly after Löwik crashed nine riders broke off at kilomtre 35, among them: Quicksteps Gert Steegmans and CSC riders Lars Bak and Kurt-Asle Arvesen. Shortly after that Silence – Lotto's 22 year old Greg Avermaet attacked, four riders jumped with Avermaet and the group bridged-up the gap with the race leaders.

Steegmans was hammering his pedals at the Taaienberg, giving his fellow escapees a hard time but the two times stage winner at this years Paris – Nice was over estimating his own power as well. The advantage of the group was pending around five minutes in that phase of the race.

It was a very fast race. In the first three hours of the race, the average speed was 45 kilometres per hour. Tom Boonen (Quickstep) won the four last editions of the race. Boonen attacked in the last four editions at the Taaienberg and this time the former World Champion broke off again at the famous Flemish hill. Using a big gear, 'Tornado Tom' dropped all riders of the chasing group at Taaienberg. Only Swiss CSC rider Fabian Cancellara managed to jump to Boonen. The duo started the chase after they had dropped Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Leif Hoste (Silence – Lotto) and other favourites.

In the front group Greg Avermaet accelerated at the Oude Kwaremont, several riders were dropped after the effort of the 22 year old Silence – Lotto rider. Gert Steegmans was dropped as well but managed to come back to the front group at the start of the Knokteberg climb. But not for long, after Avermaet accelerated again, Steegmans was dropped again. It was at a bad momant for Quickstep. Just as Boonen came closer, the Belgian Pro – Tour team had nobody at the front of the race anymore. Boonen was only thirty seconds behind the race leaders at that moment. With 10 kilomtres to go Boonen knew he was caught in a CSC trap.

With 15 kilomtres to go another round of fireworks in the leading group. At the Tiegemberg Arvesen and Avermaet attacked, behind them Fabian Cancellara tried to surprise Boonen with a strong jump but Boonen managed to stay in his wheel. It was the battle of the giants, testing each other for next weeks Tour of Flanders.

In the final kilometres a game of poker started. Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) was the first rider to attack but he didn't get away. David Kopp was the next one to break off, the German Cycle Collstrop rider created a little gap and Avermaet tried to bridge-up to Kopp alone but didn't succeed. Kurt-Asle Arvesen was the next one to get to Kopp. The 33 year old CSC rider caught Kopp in the final kilometre and won the race.

This was a great victory. It turned out to be a really tough race and although we attacked early on I managed to win it thanks to great tactics. I think we've built up a fantastic team for the classics and we've really got the hang of working together as a team. Now we can definitely look forward to next Sunday with our confidence boosted,” said Kurt Asle-Arvesen after his 15th triumph as a pro.

I'm very pleased with our efforts out there today. Not just because Kurt won a brilliant and well deserved victory but also because we managed to demonstrate the strength and diversity of our team ahead of Ronde van Vlaanderen. We were right up there from the word go and Kurt ended up sitting in a break for about 175 kilometers. Everyone in that break was worn out at the end but Kurt had the legs and the tactical overview to win. Fabian and the rest of the team were really strong as well and we took advantage of the fact that we had several good cards on our hands today. It all looks pretty great ahead of the oncoming races but of course the other big teams are also hungry and rearing to go – no doubt about that!” said CSC sports director Scott Sunderland after the victory.

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Race reports

Results GP 3 Harelbeke 2008
1 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC                        4.57.03 (41,003 km/h)
2 David Kopp (Ger) Cycle Collstrop                           0.05
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence - Lotto                       
4 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        
5 Janek Tombak (Est) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                         
6 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road                        0.26
7 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC                              1.20
8 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                                   
9 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step                               
10 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone    
11 Michael Schär (Swi) Astana                                   
12 Lars Bak (Den) Team CSC                                      
13 Leif Hoste (Bel) Silence - Lotto                             
14 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Silence - Lotto                     
15 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                 
16 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC                          3.38
17 Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre                                    
18 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Astana                               4.15
19 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Team High Road                          
20 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                               
21 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                     
22 Mickael Delage (Fra) Française des Jeux                      
23 Arnaud Gérard (Fra) Française des Jeux                       
24 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Française des Jeux                     
25 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner                         
26 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom                        
27 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Silence - Lotto                           
28 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval - Scott              
29 Koen Barbé (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen                         
30 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Team Milram                               
31 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step                          
32 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Crédit Agricole                          
33 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                              
34 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld                        
35 Grégory Rast (Swi) Astana                                    
36 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas                               
37 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française des Jeux                    
38 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre                               
39 Anders Lund (Nor) Team Sparebanken Vest                      
40 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram                                 
41 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Team Milram                             
42 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas                                
43 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Française des Jeux                   
44 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone     
45 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner       
46 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quick Step                             
47 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team CSC                             
48 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) Cycle Collstrop                       
49 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone       
50 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team High Road                           
51 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                              
52 Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner                               
53 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner           
54 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner           
55 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank                  
56 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                            
57 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                                
58 Dmitriy Myravyev (Kaz) Astana                                
59 Markus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram                             
60 Angel Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott                      
61 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana                                   
62 Allan Johansen (Den) Team CSC                                
63 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team CSC                                
64 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank                                  
65 Sebastiaan Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank                          
66 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram                            
67 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step                              
68 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole                   9.29
69 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano                            9.50
70 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Skil-Shimano                        
71 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Mitsubishi-Jartazi                 
72 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano                          
73 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2r - La Mondiale                   
74 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Silence - Lotto                           
75 Bastian Giling (Ned) Cycle Collstrop                         
76 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Cycle Collstrop                           
77 Kristof De Zutter (Bel) Willems Veranda's Continental Team   
78 Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence - Lotto                       
79 Stephan Schreck (Ger) Gerolsteiner                           
80 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Lampre                                   
81 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas                              
82 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas                                
83 Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Rabobank                          
84 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2r - La Mondiale                         
85 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                          
86 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Crédit Agricole                          
87 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Cycle Collstrop                         
88 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) Willems Veranda's Continental Team    
89 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step

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