Yesterday saw a dramatic final day of racing at the Three Days De Panne in Belgium with poor weather spoiling many a rider’s chances. With the event considered a prelude to the Tour of Flanders, which takes places this Sunday, wind and rain at Thursday morning’s 3a stage forced the withdrawal of many competitors including Filippo Pozzato, Peter Sagan, Stijn Devolder and Alessandro Ballan (the latter two both previous Flanders winners.) In all 21 riders abandoned the penultimate stage.
The afternoon’s 3b stage – the 14.7k Time Trial – proved even more disastrous for Quick Step’s Niki Terpstra who wiped out and sustained a fractured collar bone, ending his hopes of success (indeed participation) at Flanders. The accident marks a continuation of the run of bad luck this season for Quick Step who have already lost 4 riders to injury.
But it was RadioShack’s Sébastien Rosseler who fought through the blustery TT conditions to convincingly win the final stage and bag an overall win in to the bargain. RadioShack also celebrated a third overall place with Michal Kwiatkowski taking just a +14 behind Rosseler’s winning time of 12:21:33, and the Netherland’s Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) squeezed in between the two for second place on +6.