Oudenaarde: Belgium's in-form Tom Boonen took a third career victory in the Tour of Flanders, Belgium's top one-day classic on Sunday.

Second behind the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was Filippo Pozzato of Italy, with 2007 race winner Alessandro Ballan third.

The first three riders formed a leading breakaway 17 kilometres from the finish on the third and final ascent of the Oude Kwaremont climb, then Boonen beat the other two in a sprint.

Favourite Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, winner in 2010 and third in 2011,crashed with 61 km to go and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

Boonen won the Gent-Wevelgem last weekend and the Harelbeke earlier this month.