Strength in Numbers
Etixx-Quickstep managed to get the perfect numbers in the final break away of the day. Somehow they got three of their men, Niki Terpstra, Stijn Vandenbergh and Tom Boonen and had only one other rider with them, Ian Stannard (Team Sky). Both Boonen and Terpstra are very experienced racers of the Classics, however, Stannard is the defending champion of this race. Etixx-Quickstep had the added luxury of having yet another rider in the three man chasing group. Stannard did have a slight advantage, with etiquette and expectation allowing him to sit in on the back of the group foregoing any pulls with his nose in the wind.