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Cycling: Kittel wins third straight GP de l'Escaut

German rider Marcel Kittel claimed a record equalling third consecutive Grand Prix de l'Escaut title on Wednesday. Kittel was favourite in the absence of Britain's Mark Cavendish (flu) and Germany's Andre Greipel (broken collarbone) in a race held on a flat course in the Flanders countryside and ideal for sprinters. The Giant rider finished ahead of American Tyler Farrar and Dutchman Danny van Poppel at Schoten, to equal previous treble winners Cavendish and Belgian Petrus Oellibrandt.

Cycling: Contador takes Tour of Basque country first stage

Former two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) won the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Monday following a 153.4km ride around Ordizia in northern Spain. The 31-year-old Spaniard came home 14 seconds clear of Movistar rider and compatriot Alejandro Valverde after the two men broke clear of the pack 8km from home. Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski, 23, riding for Omega-Pharma claimed third spot, 34 secs behind Contador.

Cycling: Sick Cavendish out of GP de l'Escaut

Britain's Mark Cavendish has pulled out of Wednesday's Grand Prix de l'Escaut because of flu, his Omega Pharma team confirmed. "This flu has really weakened him and for a rider like him it makes no sense to start at only 50percent of his form. So we decided to let him rest," said team manager Patrick Lefevere. "We're also going to rethink our programme. He'll probably be at the Tour of Turkey (April 27-May 4), at the Giro (May 9-June 1) and the Tour of California (May 11-18)," said Lefevere.

Cycling: Sick Cavendish out of GP de l'Escaut

Britain's Mark Cavendish has pulled out of Wednesday's Grand Prix de l'Escaut because of flu, his Omega Pharma team confirmed. "This flu has really weakened him and for a rider like him it makes no sense to start at only 50percent of his form. So we decided to let him rest," said team manager Patrick Lefevere. "We're also going to rethink our programme. He'll probably be at the Tour of Turkey (April 27-May 4), at the Giro (May 9-June 1) and the Tour of California (May 11-18)," said Lefevere.

Cycling: Thomas happy to play team role at Paris-Roubaix

Welsh rider Geraint Thomas said he is happy to help Sky team-mates Bradley Wiggins and Edvald Boasson Hagen at next week's Paris-Roubaix, despite finishing an impressive eighth at the Tour of Flanders. Having finished third at E3 Harelbeke 10 days ago and come 10th in Flanders three years ago, double Olympic track cycling champion Thomas showed he is in good form on the cobbles. Despite hurting his back in a crash Sunday, he climbed back onto the bike and kept up with the favourites until the last 15km, when he found himself in a fight for the minor placings.

Cycling: Thomas happy to play team role at Paris-Roubaix

Welsh rider Geraint Thomas said he is happy to help Sky team-mates Bradley Wiggins and Edvald Boasson Hagen at next week's Paris-Roubaix, despite finishing an impressive eighth at the Tour of Flanders. Having finished third at E3 Harelbeke 10 days ago and come 10th in Flanders three years ago, double Olympic track cycling champion Thomas showed he is in good form on the cobbles. Despite hurting his back in a crash Sunday, he climbed back onto the bike and kept up with the favourites until the last 15km, when he found himself in a fight for the minor placings.

Cycling: Sagan vows to learn from Flanders disappointment

Peter Sagan said he would overcome the disappointment of a 16th place finish at the Tour of Flanders and come back better ahead of Paris-Roubaix. The Slovak twice winner of the Tour de France green jersey was one of the top three favourites coming into the De Ronde Sunday. But after he failed to match eventual winner Fabian Cancellara's attack on the tough Oude Kwaremont climb 17km from the end, Sagan ended up battling in one of the chase groups and being outsprinted to the line by Gent-Wevelgem winner John Degenkolb for 15th place.

Cycling: Cancellara matches record with Tour of Flanders win

Fabian Cancellara won his third Tour of Flanders, and second in a row, in a four-up sprint to the line following 259km of racing from Bruges to Oudenaarde on Sunday. The Swiss powerhouse from the Trek team beat Belgians Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Stijn Vandenburgh (Omega Pharma) in a tense sprint following some nervous jockeying in the final kilometre. Cancellara, known as Spartacus in cycling circles, joined five other riders in winning a record three Tours of Flanders.

Cycling: Cancellara matches record with Tour of Flanders win

Fabian Cancellara won his third Tour of Flanders, and second in a row, in a four-up sprint to the line following 259km of racing from Bruges to Oudenaarde on Sunday. The Swiss powerhouse from the Trek team beat Belgians Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Stijn Vandenburgh (Omega Pharma) in a tense sprint following some nervous jockeying in the final kilometre. Cancellara, known as Spartacus in cycling circles, joined five other riders in winning a record three Tours of Flanders.

Cycling: Cancellara matches record with Tour of Flanders win

Fabian Cancellara won his third Tour of Flanders in a four-up sprint to the line following 259km of racing from Bruges to Oudenaarde on Sunday. The Swiss powerhouse from the Trek team beat Belgians Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Stijn Vandenburgh (Omega Pharma) in a tense sprint following some nervous jockeying in the final kilometre. Cancellara, known as Spartacus in cycling circles, joined five other riders in winning a record three Tours of Flanders.
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