Gerald Ciolek wins sprint as Kristof Vandewalle takes West Flanders title
Gerald Ciolek sprints to victory at Three Days of West Flanders, while Kristof Vandewalle takes overall win.
Last Updated: 03/03/13 4:45pm
Ciolek was thrust right into the mix as the 181.8km trek from Nieuwpoort to Ichtegem reached its conclusion and the German produced a decisive late burst to outpace Adrien Petit (Cofidis) and Bobbie Traksel (Champion System) after receiving a textbook lead out by Ignatas Konovalovas and Andreas Stauff.
It was Ciolek's first victory for MTN Qhubeka, and capped a memorable day for the Pro Continental outfit who had seen Jay Thomson claim the South African road race title earlier on Sunday afternoon.
Vandewalle meanwhile, had been well marshalled by his Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team-mates ever since he won the prologue on Friday, and ended a technical concluding stage in the safety of the lead group to wrap up his first professional stage race victory with an eight-second cushion over RadioShack's Tiago Machado.
Vandewalle's team-mate Mark Cavendish endured a difficult day in the saddle however, and his sprint ambitions were thwarted by a late puncture which ensured he ended the stage outside the top 10.
Ciolek's success though, proved a welcome fillip for the 26 year old, who had crashed out the day previously, taking out two of his team-mates in the process.