won the Gent-Wevelgem Spring Classic in Belgium this afternoon.
The poor weather conditions saw the race start moved to Gistel, shortened by 45kms to 183.4kms, race organisers state that if a rider went down on a patch of ice, the race would be stopped and the number of clmbs reduced from ten to nine.
Team Garmin Sharp's David Millar was one of those who did not start due to the flu but there were some big names including the likes of Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Matt Hayman, Andre Greipel, Lars Boom and Thor Hushovd as well as Stybar, Kwiatkowski, Eisel, Sutton, Henderson, Willems, Sieberg, Wynants, Blythe, Oss, Phinney, Bodnar, Fischer, Kuschynski, Paolini, Amador, Breschel, Morkov, Fouchard and Cousin who were in a group of 26 riders who were first to attack.
With 132kms to go, they had a lead of 45 seconds over a second group with the peloton 1.44 back and another group some four minutes back.
The lead group of twenty six were caught by the second group with 100kms to go and formed a group of 50 riders.
Ten kilometres later and Maes attacked taking nine riders including Greipel and Greg Van Avermaet, who had been marshalled by British Champion Ian Stannard, with coming in.
This attack did not last and with 85kms to go, Juan Antonio Flecha went away with Ladagnous and Bazayev and they took a lead of 37 seconds.
Source: Coventry MAD