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1. Nick Nuyens (BEL) - Saxo Bank - 6h01m20s
2. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) - Quick-Step - (+0)
3. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) - Leopard Trek - (+0)
DNF. Jeremy Hunt (Eng) - Team Sky
At 37 years old, Jeremy Hunt is one of the most experienced riders in the peloton and has settled into life at Team Sky effortlessly since signing from the Cervélo TestTeam at the end of last season.
As for the race itself, the Tour of Flanders is the largest in Belgium and covers 256km around the heart of the region. The course is highlighted by 18 short, sharp cobbled climbs known locally as 'hellingen', which demand huge amounts of strength and grit to overcome. There is no hiding in a race like this and Hunt is one of the true classics specialists in the sport.
This is his description of how his race played out:
"I sat at the back early on, looking after my team-mates and keeping them out of trouble. I went to the front after about one hour of racing to help the guys who were following the initial breaks and I ended up getting in a break myself.
This enabled the team to relax behind. We pushed it hard at the beginning and then when we were away, everything settled down.
I was feeling good until we hit the climbs and my right leg starting locking up from the crash I had in Wevelgem. I stopped working when this happened and I also realised our time was up as the peloton was only one minute behind coming into the first important selection of the day - the Kwaremont, Patersberg and Koppenberg.
I stopped soon after when I was caught by the peloton."
As we take a look at Jeremy's numbers we can see almost exactly where he attacked and broke away with four other riders. Right around an hour into the race we can see a spike in the power and heart rate data. The first 55 minutes saw Jeremy only average 238w and a heart rate of 131. Then over the next 90 minutes Jeremy averaged 319w and 159 heart rate. He was pushing hard and also set his maximum five-minute value of 415w at 75 minutes into the race.
Once the race hit the heart of the cobbled climbs the main peloton picked up speed and eventually caught Jeremy's group. Jeremy pulled up after four hours of racing as his work was complete.
Team Sky's Geraint Thomas went on to finish strong in 10th place, only five seconds behind the winner Nick Nuyens of Saxo Bank Sungard.
This is a great example of how cycling at the highest level is a true team sport. Jeremy unselfishly sacrificed his chances for the good of the team. It is always worth remembering that the winner also had a strong team behind him, and often his support riders never make it to the finish line.