2 Apr 2012

Boonen equals record with third Tour of Flanders victory

10:13 am on 2 April 2012

Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen has won the one day classic Tour of Flanders for a record-equalling third time.

The 31-year-old previously won in 2005 and 2006 and beat home Italian duo Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan in a sprint finish to the 255-kilometre race.

His task was made easier when Switzerland's Olympic time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara - who won the race in 2010 - crashed 62 kilometres from the finish and was later diagnosed to have broken his right collarbone in three places.

Cancellara was one of the pre-race favourites for the second one-day classic of the season and is set to undergo surgery in Switzerland.

The accident brings a premature end to his classics season which had seen him highly favoured for both this race and the Paris-Roubaix next weekend.