Juan Antonio Flecha

  • DOB17 Sep 1977
  • Age37
  • Height 1.81m
  • Weight74kg
  • NationalitySpanish
  • Birth PlaceBuenos Aires, Argentina

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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Flecha powers to famous win

Spaniard excels for Team Sky in Belgian opener

By Jonathan Turner   Last updated: 4th March 2010

Juan Antonio Flecha powered to a stunning victory in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday at the start of the classics season in Belgium.

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"I want to dedicate this victory to the whole team."

Juan Antonio Flecha

The Spaniard joined a breakaway group with 25km to go in the 204km race and made what proved to be the decisive move with 19km remaining as he went clear by himself.

Showing just how much he relishes racing on the cobbles he produced a devastating burst of acceleration and soon opened up a significant advantage over two-time Omloop hero Philippe Gilbert.

Indeed he went further and further clear, eventually crossing the line in Gent 18 seconds ahead for a famous win, celebrating in his trademark style by firing an imaginary arrow as well as pointing to the 'Sky' logo on his jersey and upwards to the heavens.

The peloton caught Gilbert meaning that there was a bunch finish for second, with Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo) pipping Tyler Farrar (Garmin).

To round off a memorable day for Team Sky, Edvald Boasson Hagen was right in the mix too as he finished in sixth.

Emotional win

Afterwards Flecha said: "They told me from the car it was a good moment to go and I never looked back again until 100 metres before the line.

"It's really emotional for me. I've been knocking on the door many times in these races and if you keep trying then sometimes, like today, the victory comes. It's a really beautiful feeling."

Flecha's win was the first in the event by a Spaniard and a significant one for Team Sky too.

"I want to dedicate this victory to the whole team," added Flecha. "Especially Mathew Hayman who gave his back wheel to me when I had a flat tyre just before the Eikenberg. Scott [Sunderland] and Steven de Jongh in the car were incredible too.

"A small part of this win must also go to Frank Vandenbroucke. It's my first victory in Belgium and that's why I pointed up to the sky."

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