Cycling Live

E3 Harelbeke - Road race - Men

Live Comments

  1. 16:05 - Thanks for joining me and remember we have live comments on Gent-Wevelgem from 10:30 BST on Sunday.

  2. 0km - Duque, Vanmarcke, Degenkolb, Pichot and Ballan were next home.

  3. 0km - A record fifth triumph for the Belgian who pips Oscar Freire to the line with Bernhard Eisel in third.

  4. 0km - TOM BOONEN WINS!

  5. 1km - Under the Flamme Rouge and we will have a bunch sprint.

  6. 2km - Omega Pharma-Quick Step now hit the front for Boonen.

  7. 3km - Leif Hofte goes for a long one.

  8. 4km - 40-50 riders in with a chance. Lars Boom and Baden Cooke could be in with a chance in a bunch gallop.

  9. 5km - Shortlived attack with Sky keeping the pace high for Boasson Hagen.

  10. 6km - A bunch sprint looks likely now but here's an attack from Pichot with Terpstra in his wheel.

  11. 7km - All over for Chavanel and Muravyev.

  12. 8km - Stijn Devolder attacks out of the main group.

  13. 9km - Sky perhaps fancy Boasson Hagen in a sprint. Oscar Freire will also fancy his chances and of course Boonen.

  14. 10km - Chavanel and Muravyev hanging on, they lead by 16 seconds from the main bunch led by Sky's Ian Stannard.

  15. 11km - Sylvain Chavanel and Dmitriy Muravyev are being chased down by Sagan, Terpstra, Jerome, Vanmarcke and Leukemans.

  16. 13km - That injection of pace in the main group has cut the lead of the escape duo to 12 seconds.

  17. 14km - Devolder and Terpstra up the tempo and now an attack from Pozzato.

  18. 15km - The main group is around 50-strong and will look to reel in the pair of escapees on the flat run-in to the finish. 32 seconds is the advantage for Chavanel and Muravyev. Few would have expected a bunch sprint finish to this race if that is how it pans out.

  19. 17km - All that remains on the run back to Harelbeke is the 13th hellingen – the Tiegemberg (1km at 6.5% avg).

  20. 19km - Sylvain Chavanel and Dmitriy Muravyev lead by 27 seconds from a suprisingly large peloton.

  21. 21km - The peloton including Cancellera has caught the Boonen group that has not managed to co-ordinate his efforts. How much has Spartacus got left in the tank?

  22. 23km - Gatto has punctured and his race is done. Two leaders looking to hold off the Boonen chase group.

  23. 25km - Gatto is caught just after the penultimate climb of the Knokteberg by Chavanel and Dmitriy Muravyev.

  24. 27km - Gatto with 19 seconds now on the chase trio. There are nine riders in the Boonen group which is another 42 seconds back.

  25. 29km - Chavanel, Spilak and Dmitriy Muravyev are just ahead of the elite group chasing Gatto who remains 37 seconds ahead.

  26. 31km - Surely it is all over for Cancellara who finally gets a new wheel after a front puncture but then hits the deck after being hit by a Rabobank rider. He needs the time trial of his life to regain contact with the lead group.

  27. 33km - Cancellara powers up the Oude Kwaremont and has Sep Vanmarcke, Tom Boonen in his wheel but then he slips off the pace with what can only be a bike problem. That could not have happened at a worst time for the defending champion.

  28. 35km - Oscar Gatto is the lone survivor of the original escape and leads by 45 seconds as the peloton slow the tempo before the Oude Kwaremont.

  29. 35km - And now the two key tests of the Oude Kwaremont, which is cobbled for 1500m of its 2200m although its gradient averages at only 4.2%, and the Knokteberg.

  30. 37km - Maarten Wijnants (Rabobank) needs a new wheel after a crash as Boonen puts the hammer down on the Paterberg.

  31. 39km - Dockx, Morkov and Gaudin are the other three up front as Gilbert abandons.

  32. 41km - Sebsatian Langeveld is the latest man to try and get across to the remnants of the original escape group whose lead is a mere 18 seconds. Six of the nine are still holding on including the Farnese Vini trio of Luca Ascani, Oscar Gatto and Kevin Hulsmans.

  33. 43km - Now Sylvain Chavenel and Daniele Bennati make a move.

  34. 45km - Cancellara's henchman Tony Gallopin and Leif Hoste are trying to bridge the gap to the leaders while Oscar Freire has just launched a solo bid to leave the peloton.

  35. 47km - The Boonen group has been caught on the peloton but it could all explode once more on the 1270m long Kruisberg.

  36. 50km - There is little chance to regroup as the race heads through Ronse ahead of three explosive efforts on the Oude Kruisberg, Kapelberg and Paterberg which is a cobbled 500m climb that averages 12.5%.

  37. 52km - The seventh climb has seen the race explode. Tom Boonen initiated a move and Vanmarcke, Cancellara, Hoste, Leukemans and Paolini have joined the four-time champion. Degenkolb, Boasson Hagen, Oss, Tossato, Pozzato, Sagan, Stannard and Ballan have also made it. This elite group is 32 seconds behind the leaders.

  38. 55km - Now the Taaienberg, one of the pivotal climbs. It is 1250m long with an average gradient of 9.5%. Garmin-Barracuda have hit the front of the peloton to support their main hope, Heinrich Haussler. The main group is in a long line and Philippe Gilbert is right at tthe back.

  39. 60km - Mouris, Hinault, Ghyselinck, De Kort and Millar have abandoned after that crash, the Scot may have fractured his collarbone. 1:30 is the gap as they hit the Stationsberg climb.

  40. 65km - The gap has dropped to under two minutes as the nine leaders tackle the Eikenberg, hellingen number 5, which is 1.2km long at 5.5%

  41. 70km - Some riders are on the side of the road after a crash in the pack they include David Millar.

  42. 75km - Climb number three is the Berg Stene, 1560m at 7.3% with the lead down to 2:30 for the nine leaders.

  43. 80km - The gap is now reduced to three minutes.

  44. 85km - La Houppe is a 3.4km climb with an average gradient of 3.3%.

  45. 90km - And the lead has shrunk to under four minutes.

  46. 95km - The climbs now come thick and fast with La Houppe, Berg Stene, Boigneberg, Eikenberg, Stationsberg and the Taaienberg coming up, the latter has an 18% maximum gradient.

  47. 100km - Team Sky are helping OPQS on the front and the advantage of the escape group has dropped to 4:45. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman, Jeremy Hunt, Christian Knees, Ian Stannard and Chris Sutton are in Sky colours today.

  48. 105km - The first of the hellingen is the mythical Muur, controversially omitted from Flanders this year. A mere 900m but with an average gradient of 9.3% and with ramps of 19.8%.

  49. 110km - The gap is 6:45 with Iljo Keisse of Omega Pharma - QuickStep doing much of the hard work on the front of the chasing peloton.

  50. 115km - The riders have reached the most easterly point of the route at Ninove and are now swinging west towards Geraardsbergen and Brakel before the first of the 13 climbs.

  51. 120km - And the Belgian rail timetable has seen the nine escapees stretch their lead to 5:20.

  52. 125km - And good news for the break as the peloton have been held by a closed level crossing.

  53. 130km - A stretch of cobblestones has seen the lead extend to two minutes.

  54. 135km - Farnese Vini - Selle Italia are triple handed in the break with Luca Ascani, Oscar Gatto and Kevin Hulsmans.

  55. 140km - Omega Pharma - QuickStep are chasing but the lead has opened up to a minute for the nine leaders.

  56. 150km - A nine-man escape group has opened up a 30 second lead on the peloton. Dockx, Gazvoda, Morkov, Sijmens, Ascani, Gatto, Hulsmans, Delfosse and Gaudin are the riders.

  57. 160km - Steven Van Vooren (Topsport Vlaanderen) has just abandoned after an earlier crash.

  58. 165km - The bunched peloton are about to tackle the first section of cobbles around Oudenaarde.

  59. 170km - The E3 is ideal preparation for next Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen with many of the short, sharp climbs also on the Flanders route. Since leaving Harelbeke's Grote Markt, the peloton have been travelling south east with the first 99km flat before 13 ascents known as hellingen.

  60. 175km - And on the subject of Cancellara, he has just been involved in a crash but the Swiss is not hurt and Tony Gallopin has paced him back into the peloton.

  61. 180km - The first E3 Prijs Vlaanderen took place in 1958 and the race took its name from the E3 motorway (now A14). The record for the most wins stands at four by Rik Van Looy in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1969, and Tom Boonen who won in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Dutchman Jan Raas triumphed in 1979, 1980 and 1981 after finishing second in 1978. Andrei Tchmil, Johan Museeuw and Fabian Cancellara have all won twice.

  62. 185km - A rapid early pace with attacks by Andy Cappelle and Steve Houanard foiled. Remember you can leave your feedback in the box below or you can chat with me Twitter via @Lee_Eurosport

  63. 190km - Cancellara will face a strong challenge from home favourite and four-time former winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC). Greg Van Avermaet and Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing), Heinich Haussler and Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Barracuda), 2009 Harelbeke winner Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) plus Bjorn Leukemans and Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) will also fancy their chances.

  64. 195km - Fabian Cancellara is gunning for a hat-trick of victories. Spartacus took his second consecutive victory at Harelbeke last year after a long solo break and the Swiss has shown his form this season with wins at Strade Bianche and in the time trial at the Tirreno–Adriatico. "This is the first time the (RadioShack) guys will have a real leader for the classics," Cancellara, who was pipped to victory by Simon Gerrans in last week's Milan-San Remo, said. "Everyone is super-motivated. I am excited."

  65. 200km - 193 riders have just rolled out of the start in a sunny Harelbeke to take on the 203km route. All 18 ProTour teams are in attendance plus wildcards Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's, Cofidis, Farnese Vini - Selle Italia, Landbouwkrediet, Project 1t4i, Team Europcar, Topsport Vlaanderen. Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol) and Dominic Klemme (1t4i) were the men on the provisional start list who did not make it.

  66. 11:00 - Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the Belgian classic E3 Harelbeke which has been upgraded to World Tour status this year. We are covering all eight one-day World Tour races this spring which began last Saturday with Milan-San Remo, continues with Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday and runs all the way through to Liege-Bastogne-Liege on April 22.