Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Cat. 1.2

Belgium, March 2, 1997

1996 Results

Race Distance - 199 kms:

   1. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei            4.55.10 (40,478 km/h)
   2. Stiphane Barthe (Fra) Casino
   3. Bruno Boscardin (Sch) Festina
   4. Rolf Svrensen (Den)  Rabobank
   5. Wilfired Peeters (Bel) Mapei       all s.t.
   6. Nico Eeckhout (Bel)  Lotto           + 0.47
   7. Hendrik Van Dijck (Bel) TVM
   8. Andrei Tchmil (Rus) Lotto
   9. Johan Capiot (Bel) TVM
  10. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Festina
  11. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) Gan
  12. Frank Corvers (Bel) Telekom
  13. Brian Holm (Den) Telekom
  14. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Mapei     all s.t.
  15. Enrico Cassani (Ita) Polti         + 5.03 

  17. Vierhouten (Ned) 
  20. Engels (Ned)
  24. Talen (Ned)
  37. De Jongh (Ned)		       all s.t.

(193 starters, 74 finishers)


Johan Museeuw understated his experience in Het Volk on Saturday, a Flandrian classic he has never won. "I didn't have a good day," he said at the finish after team-mates Ballerini and Steels had been stitched up by TVM. Sunday was a different story. Kuurne--Brussels--Kuurne, another excursion into the cobbled countryside, in cold and wet weather, proved to be Museeuw's first Belgian victory in the rainbow jersey.

Museeuw attacked on the Oude Kwaremont 116km into the 199km race, with eventual second-placed Stephane Barthe, a 22-year-old neo pro of two months' standing (12th in Het Volk the day before) making first contact with the world champion after which an escape group of 14 riders developed that also included Franco Ballerini and Wilfried Peeters (Ita, Mapei), Andrei Tchmil (Ukr, Lotto) Rolf Sorensen (Den, Rabobank) and Bruno Boscardin (Ita, Festina). Boscardin essayed an attack 15km from the finish, with Museeuw and Peeters the first to take up the chase. Barthe (Festina) and Sorensen then bridged the gap to complete the five that would contest the sprint. Museeuw told the press that he was in the race "to work on his physical condition" but "that he couldn't let the opportunity go by to win in front of my public." The young Barthe showed more emotion. "At the end," he said, "I was dead. I would have been content with fifth place ... but the second place behind monsieur Museeuw, that's truly super."