Posted by Editor on 02/26/00
Museeuw Takes Omloop Het Volk
Johan Museeuw (Mapei Quick Step) has won the 204 kilometre Omloop Het Volk, the first major test of the Spring Classics one day season. Despite a number of early breakaway attempts, it took the Leberg climb to really thin things out and split up the field. For the last 70 kilometres, Museeuw was in every front group. With 40 kilometres to go the first selection was made, with 16 riders off the front, including Museeuw and team mate Tom Steels, Andrei Tchmil (Lotto), Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2R) and Franco Ballerini (Lampre). Pre-race favourite Franck Vandenbroucke (Cofidis) missed the break, and was part of a group chasing hard, but to no avail.
Museeuw and Servais Knaven (Farm Frites) broke away from the lead group with 25 kilometres to go, and were quickly joined by Ballerini and Steffen Wesemann (Deutsche Telekom). The four quickly built up a 30 second plus lead on the chasers, and then Museeuw attacked his breakaway companions with 14 kilometres to go, at a cobblestone section. Within 4 kilometres his lead on the trio was over 20 seconds, and up to 40 seconds with 5 kilometres left. The three chasers had obviously given up the chase at this point, allowing Museeuw to take his first ever Het Volk win.
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