26-year-old Team Sky rider Ian Stannard became the first British winner of the Belgian one-day Classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Stannard narrowly beat Greg Van Avermart (BMC) in a thrilling two-man sprint in Ghent on Saturday at the end of the 194.5km race in wet and cold conditions.
The Belgian early season Classic is Stannards most impressive and biggest win of his career, the Chelmsford born rider told Sporza afterwards: "I knew the guys behind us had dropped off a bit so it was just about playing it right… I felt strong on the lead-in and I was confident for the sprint. I knew 300m [was a good distance]. I needed to wind it up a little bit and not have it be super-fast... It worked out well. I knew I had to try and hit him as hard as I could and I was able to get a gap."
It was an all-round good day for British cycling as Lizzie Armitstead had claimed third in the women’s race a few hours before the men’s race as well as another British rider Luke Rowe, Sky team-mate
of Stannard, finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th place.
1 Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky, 4:49:55
2 Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC, same time
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky, +24sec
4 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin, st
5 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
6 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, +1:34
7 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC, st
8 Dries devenyns (Bel) Giant-Shimano, st
9 Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, st
10 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ, st