Tom Boonen beaten by an American

Tyler Farrar, an American living in Ghent, has won the first stage of the Eneco Tour in Ardooie (West Flanders), snatching the overall lead from Sylvain Chavanel.
25-year-old Farrar, of the Garmin-Slipstream team, was the fastest in a bunch sprint after the 185 km stage between Aalter and Ardooie.
In-form Farrar, who won the German classic race in Hamburg last weekend, easily withstood the challenge posed by Belgian champion Tom Boonen after a hot stage including several climbs in the south of East and West Flanders.

Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen came third. During the sprint, a number of riders crashed just behind the top riders. One of the victims was Gorik Gardeyn of the Silence-Lotto team.

Tyler Farrar, who came second in yesterday's prologue, a short time trial in the streets of Rotterdam, took over the lead from Sylvain Chavanel, a team mate of Tom Boonen in the Quick-Step team. Boonen is now second in the standings, 4 seconds behind Farrar.
The second stage tomorrow takes the riders through the hills of the Flemish Ardennes from Ardooie to Brussels.

The Eneco Tour runs through the Netherlands and Belgium and is part of the Pro Tour circuit. The race has a prologue and 7 stages and ends next Sunday in Amersfoort (the Netherlands).