Ballan wins queen stage, Boom wins overall
Belga
Lars Boom and Alessandro Ballan divided the victories is the final stage of the Eneco Tour 2012. Ballan won the stage, but Boom was the overall victor.
After four flat races with a sprint in the end, one team time trial and one individual time trial, Tuft was in the lead in the Eneco Tour. The Orica-Greenedge rider wanted to take the white jersey to his homeland, Canada. But, this meant that Tuft had to survive the tough final stage. The Leberg, the Langendries, the Valkenberg, the Ten Bosse and the Eikenmolen served as the warm-up for the Muur van Geraardsbergen. This classic climb is no longer included in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but now forms part of the Eneco Tour. The riders had to climb this monument of Flemish cycling history three times today. 

In the first hour, no one managed a break because of an average speed of 44 km/h. It was only after 50 kms that a group of six managed to break away. Mol, Neyens, Brutt, Burghardt, Urtasun and Hondo were later accompanied by Van Der Sande, Steegmans and Gerdemann. Wallays also tried to join this group, but failed. This breakaway was perfect for De Vreese. This way, the Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator rider did not have to worry about his black Primus jersey. After the ride, it was his.

As expected, the nine riding ahead did not make it to the end. For most of them, their attack ended 30 kms before the finish line. Earlier, Kroon had already increased the pace during the second climb of the Valkenberg. Boonen and Boom followed easily. It was hard on Tuft, but he managed. A little later on Ten Bosse, Kroon sped up again, without consequences for the top riders. But immediately after, Boonen had to step aside. The Belgian champion had some issues with his rear wheel 40 kms before the finish line. When Boonen got caught up, Tuft punctured. His chase lasted about five kilometers. He lost a lot of energy and he had to let go on the Muur, after Contador accelerated.

A few riders followed Contador, but the next attack was by Bakelants. He stranded right before the last climb on the Muur. That was when Ballan took over. He was accompanied by Boom. Boonen and Contador never managed to get in the leaders' wheels. In the streets of Geraardsbergen, Boom and Ballan raised their hands. Ballan for winning the stage, Boom for winning overall.