59th Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne - 1.1
Belgium, February 26, 2006
Latest live report Complete
live report Results
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Brecht Decaluwe
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CET
Estimated finish: 17:00 CET
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
Welcome to the centrally heated Cyclingnews
blimp for our live coverage of the 59th Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, the second
race of the Belgian opening weekend. Held on a slightly easier parcours than
Het Volk, KBK usually offers the sprinters a bit more of an opportunity. But
if yesterday was anything to go by, we'll see a very attacking race, with little
hope of a bunch sprint.
At the sign on this morning in Kuurne's Hippodrome,
it was very cold (1°), overcast, windy and even snowing lightly. But plenty
of hardy souls (and frozen journalists) were willing to brave the elements to
catch a glimpse of the riders as they shivered their way to the stage, maybe
being blessed with an autograph on the way back.
a the cobbled sections of yesterday, the course is still quite difficult. It
features eight climbs, starting with the Edelareberg after 29 km and finishing
with the Nokereberg at km 150. The key climb is the Kwaremont after 112 km,
which usually causes a split.
14:32 CET 102km/92km to go
At the moment, we
have a lone leader, Steve Cummings (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), who has 2'20 as
he tackles the Kanarieberg, the third climb of the day. The peloton is on the
descent towards the climb, led by Kuyckx and Boonen at 75 km/h. Everyone wants
14:35 CET 103km/91km to go
Cummings will certainly
make it to the top of this climb in front as the attacks start behind. Lithuanian
Thomas Vaitkus managed to get away after La Houppe and started the climb with
a small advantage over the bunch. Now a Jartazi ride goes past him: Muravyev?
He and Vaitkus are now together. Ivanov (T-Mobile) leads the bunch with Boonen
on his wheel, and they pass Vaitkus and Muravyev.
14:36 CET 104km/90km to go
Boonen sticks to Ivanov's
wheel over the top, with some seven riders making it. The peloton follows at
another five seconds. Cummings still has 2'07, nice riding.
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step)
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
World champion Tom Boonen was not
happy about how thing unfolded in the Omloop Het Volk yesterday: "The rivalry
between Quickstep and Davitamon made things develop in a way that shouldn't
Boonen is always confronted with a lot of media attention
and a bodyguard is on his side these days: "I don't really need that bodyguard
but this is the same guy as in the Tour de France. He was in the neighbourhood
so he's helping us a bit."
14:40 CET 107km/87km to go
Boonen swings off
after doing a turn, then Aivaras Baranauskas (Agritubel), Leukemans (Davitamon).
Serge Baguet is also there for Quick.Step. There are about 12 riders ahead of
Matt Hayman (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
Matt Hayman is also up there for Rabobank.
He was in the break yesterday, and we caught up with him at the start: "I didn't
eat enough," was his summary, then related how he was off the back then suddenly
off the front: "We figured we'd turn onto the big road...We had a crosswind
from the left and I thought we'd have a headwind. I was going to take my jacket
off. Next thing I know, we were on the side of the road and 10 of us got dropped
off the back. So I had to do a bit of chasing to get back on. Then as soon as
I got back on, I jumped once, and we were gone. 30 seconds, 40 seconds, and
I thought, 'Oh no'. Joost [Posthuma] was going to be our guy. I was just following
wheels, then with 20 km to go I realised I hadn't eaten enough and the lights
just went out and I just got to the finish.
"Today is normally a
little bit easier but there are a lot of the same riders riding as yesterday.
Normally the guys that go really deep on the first day suffer on Sunday. A lot
of guys didn't finish yesterday, so they're really motivated to do well today.
It's a little bit easier compared to yesterday but we'll have to wait and see.
The Oude Kwaremont is where it's going to be decided. After that, there's a
group away, and it's how many guys in the bunch left chasing, and then sometimes
it comes back together before the finish, sometimes it doesn't.
"Graeme Brown had his first encounter on the cobbles yesterday. He'd been a
bit sick this week, so he didn't have any legs. It was definitely an experience
for him. Today's more of a sprinters' race so maybe, another day since being
sick. It was only a virus thing, he was over it pretty quick, but it tends to
take it out of you. He was off at the feed so maybe he'll have a good run. Joost
is really strong at the moment, Marc Wauters also.
"We're not the
team to control the race so we've just got to get guys in the moves. We had
three guys in the break [yesterday] and 15 km before that I wouldn't have thought
we would have. We didn't really have much control over the race, like Lotto
14:43 CET 109km/85km to go
Cummings starts the
Kruisberg with 1'12 on the Boonen group, which leads the peloton by 20 seconds.
Maccanti (LPR) and Albasini are also there. They're the guys from yesterday.
Baguet now does a turn on the Kruisberg,
and it's hard. Leukemans and Boonen follow, then another T-Mobile and Albasini.
The rest are having problems.
Baguet, Leukemans and Boonen drop
the rest of the break on the Kruisberg. 38 seconds to Cummings at the top.
14:49 CET 112km/82km to go
Over the top of the
Kruisberg, and there is support for Boonen and Baguet. The group is now six-strong,
with Boonen, Baguet (Quick.Step), Leukemans (Davitamon), Albasini (Liquigas),
Baranauskas (Agritubel), Bernucci (T-Mobile). They trail Steve Cummings by 40
14:52 CET 114km/80km to go
Jaan Kirsipuu (CA),
who won this race in 2002, is passed by the Boonen group. He's already packed
and is riding home.
Hayman, Maccanti, Ivanov and Weissinger are chasing
the Boonen group, which has just caught Steve Cummings.
14:55 CET 117km/77km to go
the situation at 78
km to go: We have a lead group with Tom Boonen, Serge Baguet (Quick.Step), Bjorn
Leukemans (Davitamon), Michael Albasini (Liquigas), Aivaras Baranauskas (Agritubel),
Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile), and Steve Cummings Landbouwkrediet). A second group
is chasing them at 17 seconds with Sergei Ivanov (T-Mobile), Michele Maccanti
(LPR), Matt Hayman (Rabobank), Rene Weissinger (Skil). Then a group of 15 or
so riders, then the peloton.
Albasini decides it's too slow, and
Ah - the chasing groups have merged and a 25 man group forms
at the foot of the Kwaremont. Albasini is caught.
14:57 CET 118km/76km to go
Mattan attacks the
group as the Kwaremont starts, and is joined by Baguet and Bernucci.
14:58 CET 118km/76km to go
Winner of Gent-Wevelgem
2005, Belgian Nico Mattan, finished in the bunch in the Belgian opening classic
Omloop Het Volk. The flamboyant Davitamon rider explained why he wasn't up front:
"I had some saddle sores in Qatar. Because of these annoying problems, I can't
perform to my best this weekend. I'll try to slip into the big escape but otherwise
I'll work for the team. But, my real goal is to win the prologue of Paris-Nice
next weekend. In the past, I could win that time-trial twice (2001 and 2003)
and always finished into the top-10."
Asking him about the rivalry
between the Quickstep and Davitamon teams: "Of course we fight against Quickstep
and more specifically, world champion Boonen, because he is one of the strongest
men in the peloton. But, we realize that when our teams are fighting each other,
an third team is going to clinch the win most of the time."
Mattan, Baguet and Bernucci have a
nice gap on the bunch on the Kwaremont, 18 seconds. Peter van Petegem has not
made the 25 man bunch, which will hurt Davitamon's chances. Baguet looks very
15:01 CET 120km/74km to go
Baguet even gaps Mattan
and Bernucci at the top.
Behind, Hoste goes hard in the bunch, taking
Leukemans and Boonen with him over the top of the Kwaremont. The gap is 17 seconds.
15:03 CET 121km/73km to go
The Boonen chase group
grows as Steegmans, Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), and Leif Hoste (Discovery) all
join. Then a few more. The three leaders have 12 seconds on the big road before
the descent towards Ronse.
The group grows to 20 and all cooperation
disappears. Quite a few Quick.Step jerseys here, but the shouldn't ride with
Baguet in front. Seven riders are chasing 20 chasing three.
Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) said that,
"Yesterday I enjoyed a great race. Doing better than my seventh place was not
possible. Today, together with veteran Marc Wauters, I'm leading the team again.
Hopefully with an even better result."
15:07 CET 124km/70km to go
Baguet, Mattan and
Bernucci have 22 seconds now as they reach the foot of the descent. The Cote
de Trieu awaits. Hoste drives the group behind, irritated that they won't work
with him. The three big teams have riders in front though.
Roger Hammond (Discovery) attacks
the medium sized group in pursuit of the three leaders.
Peter Van Petegem underperformed yesterday: "My legs felt like they were blocked
by something. Today won't be better. There are some new names in our team, so
maybe they can perform to their best."
15:09 CET 126km/68km to go
Hammond is fighting
a losing battle, although he's gapping the bunch now. He's 32 seconds behind
the three leaders, Mattan, Baguet and Bernucci, who are just about on the Trieu.
There look to be only 20-30 riders in contention for the win now.
15:11 CET 127km/67km to go
Hammond rides through
Russeignies, half a minute behind the lead break. He checks back, and can't
see the bunch, who are 10 seconds behind but around a corner.
is leading the break as they reach the foot of the Trieu (known in Flanders
as the Knokteberg, but we're not in Flanders here).
15:12 CET 128km/66km to go
The Trieu measures
1.1 km and averages 8 percent, with a maximum of 13 percent. Mattan and Baguet
are doing most of the work. Staf Scheirlinckx attacks the peloton in pursuit
of Hammond and the three leaders.
The Irishman Mark Scanlon (AG2r)
did well in the Omloop Het Volk but blew up his legs with 20 kilometres to go:
"I think that I recovered from my efforts from yesterday. I want to ride in
front. Hopefully, it will deliver again."
15:14 CET 128km/66km to go
Hoste, Nuyens, Simon and a few others form a group behind Hammond on the Trieu.
Posthuma catches the British rider near the top, but they are 40 seconds behind
Posthuma and Hammond trail the three
leaders by 32 seconds over the top. Then the Boonen group comes over at 43 seconds,
led at a relaxed pace by the World Champion himself. Hoste attacks again.
15:18 CET 131km/63km to go
Hoste drives down
the Ronde van Vlaanderenstraat with the rest of the small bunch on his wheel.
They won't let him go of course. Steegmans obliges with a turn. It's up to 43
seconds now to the three leaders. Boonen is doing a great job slowing it down
for his teammate Baguet. Plenty of Davitamon jerseys in the bunch now, but they
shouldn't chase with Mattan up there.
15:19 CET 132km/62km to go
Some teams are trying
to get Davitamon to chase, but there's no way. It'll have to be Discovery, FDJ,
Jacques, whoever... not the big guns.
Posthuma and Hammond are still
clear of the bunch, trailing the three leaders by 40 seconds.
15:21 CET 133km/61km to go
Koen Barbe (fourth
yesterday) attacks through Berchem in pursuit of the five in front.
Stijn Devolder is chasing back onto the peloton after being dropped on the Trieu.
Frenchman Franck Renier was a surprising
eighth yesterday in the Omloop Het Volk: "I was surprised myself because I couldn't
train for three weeks. We had some luck because the race developed very tactically.
Sadly enough, when we were almost caught by the chasers, I jumped. At that moment,
Philippe Gilbert attacked and took the win. But, he deserved that win.
"Last year was a catastrophic season for me. Some falls and health problems
disallowed from getting any serious results. My performance in the Omloop Het
Volk gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming races. The team is also boosted
by my result and we are motivated to do well in Kuurne too. The cold isn't really
hindering us, it would be different if it would be wet."
15:23 CET 134km/60km to go
We now have five leaders
with 60 km to go: Serge Baguet (Quick.Step), Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile), Nico
Mattan (Davitamon), Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), and Roger Hammond (Discovery).
The Boonen group has eased off, allowing
the five in front to gain 38 seconds again. Five teams are represented in front.
This is a dangerous moment of the race.
15:27 CET 137km/57km to go
Koen Barbe and Maarten
den Bakker attack, or at least try to lift the pace in this 25 rider chase group.
30 seconds behind them is the main peloton.
but Hulsmans and Ingels mark him.
The leaders hit the Tiegemberg
with 43 seconds.
15:29 CET 165km/29km to go
Coenen, Simon, Hulsmans,
Scheirlinckx, Renier and Ingels have now got a small gap over the Boonen group
as they reach the foot of the Tiegemberg. Hoste leads the peloton up to them,
then Boonen himself counters, catching all but Coenen and Simon.
At the top, the leading five have 32 seconds on a strung out mini-peloton.
We spoke to Henk Vogels (Davitamon)
this morning, and the West Australian was looking comfy in the cold weather.
"I've done Mallorca, Tour Down Under, Portugal and hopefully it should be alright,"
said Vogels of his first race in Belgium. "The condition is not that bad but
not really good yet. I think today that the most dangerous thing is the wind."
The plan? "Steegmans is great, Van Petegem is good. It's all going to be on
the Kwaremont. The whole race is going to change on the Kwaremont for sure.
The first 80 km there's a lot of wind too, so I'll try and stay out of the crap
at the back. "
15:32 CET 140km/54km to go
The Boonen group grows
a bit. Erwin Thijs (Unibet) attacks through Anzegem, and is just 23 seconds
behind the five leaders: Serge Baguet (Quick.Step), Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile),
Nico Mattan (Davitamon), Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), Roger Hammond (Discovery).
15:34 CET 142km/52km to go
Leukemans and Nuyens
chat in the bunch as a big chunk of the peloton returns. The leaders have about
20 seconds advantage, and now there should be teams to chase.
15:36 CET 143km/51km to go
The bunch is at 50
seconds while Thijs is just 15 seconds behind the leaders. He's nearly there.
15:37 CET 140km/54km to go
Thijs' thighs pump
up and down as he closes the gap to the five leaders. A good ride there. He
used a bit of strength though, using a monstrous gear.
behind now as various teams take up the cudgels to chase. The gap is 55 seconds.
15:39 CET 144km/50km to go
attacks the bunch in pursuit of the now six leaders. Auge and Martias go after
It's a pretty big peloton now, maybe 80 riders.
Lebeau is a neo-pro, and hasn't had
any big results yet.
Ludovic Auger (FDJ) is the next rider to try
to go after the leaders. May as well. The three chasers are 44 seconds behind
the front six: Serge Baguet (Quick.Step), Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile), Nico
Mattan (Davitamon), Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), Roger Hammond (Discovery), Erwin
15:43 CET 146km/48km to go
The chasers are fighting
hard against the wind, keeping the gap at 44 seconds. The front six are in a
good position, given that most of the teams are represented. The peloton is
now at 1'20.
There's no-one really left to chase
in the peloton. A couple of Liquigas jerseys mosey on down to the front.
15:47 CET 147km/47km to go
Skil-Shimano is working
with Française des Jeux now. They'd better do something, as the gap between
the six leaders and the bunch is over a minute. The three chasers are still
dangling at 43-44 seconds.
15:50 CET 149km/45km to go
The leaders hit the
final climb, the cobbled Nokereberg, with 44 seconds on the chase group of three
and 1'08 on the Skil-led peloton. Fred Guesdon (FdJ) reacts from the peloton,
with Tom Boonen on his wheel as policeman. A few more riders join on. Boonen
won't do a hard turn.
15:51 CET 150km/44km to go
The bunch has splintered
a bit as Boonen does a turn in this chase group, which catches the three in
front. Verheyen and Pronk are there too.
The chase group is at 45 seconds,
containing Boonen, Verheyen (Quick.Step), Lebeau (Landbouwkrediet), Martias
(Bouygues), Pronk (Unibet), Guesdon (FDJ), and Auge (Cofidis). The peloton is
reacting, courtesy of Davitamon-Lotto. Of course.
15:53 CET 151km/43km to go
Boonen is giving it
gas as they put 20 seconds into the peloton. Boonen is left with Martias after
they cross a bridge. That had to hurt. 37 seconds.
Leukemans works hard on the front
of the peloton. You don't let the World Champion go. That's rule number 1.
15:54 CET 153km/41km to go
Boonen's group has
carved the gap back to 32 seconds, with the peloton another 15 behind, led by
Roesems, Vogels, Leukemans. Steegmans in fourth wheel as the protected rider.
15:55 CET 154km/40km to go
The gap melts like
butter as Boonen drives the group behind to within 16 seconds.
(Landbouwkrediet) is dropped. Six chasers, six leaders. And the peloton.
15:56 CET 155km/39km to go
The peloton is 17
seconds behind Boonen and 32 behind the leading six. The two front groups come
together with 39 km to go. There are now three Quick.Steps in front.
The leading group is now: Tom Boonen,
Geert Verheyen, Serge Baguet (Quick.Step), Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile), Nico
Mattan (Davitamon), Joost Posthuma (Rabobank), Roger Hammond (Discovery), Erwin
Thijs, Matthe Pronk (Unibet), Rony Martias (Bouygues), Fred Guesdon (FDJ), Stephane
Auge (Cofidis). They have 17 seconds on the Davitamon led peloton. It's panic
stations a bit here.
Leukemans rides himself into the ground in
15:59 CET 156km/38km to go
Mattan won't work
in the front group, of course. The peloton is coming back now, and is at 10
seconds. The leaders had better get a wriggle on.
It's Pronk and Thijs working now,
then Boonen comes through for another turn in front. The gap between the two
groups is 10 seconds with the peloton in a loooong line. This will hurt Davitamon,
but it will also hurt Boonen. Probably someone from another team will win then.
16:01 CET 158km/36km to go
Thijs does another
turn, followed by Guesdon, Auge, Hammond, Posthuma, Baguet. The advantage is
slender - 9 seconds. One mistake in front and it's all over.
16:02 CET 159km/35km to go
It's very very close,
but the bunch hasn't closed the gap yet. Now Boonen comes through for another
powerful turn, lifting the pace with Posthuma in tow. But the reactions are
coming from the bunch, which is close enough to close the gap. Two riders jump
across - Steegmans is one of them, and Hulsmans?
16:03 CET 160km/34km to go
It's Pozzato, not
Hulsmans. But now the grunt goes out the lead group as they sit up. Pronk keeps
going. But no, it's back together.
16:05 CET 161km/33km to go
It's probably in Quick.Step's
interests to work for a sprint now, as they have enough men. 33 km to go and
they're getting close to Kuurne. Coenen now on the front, and attacks. Wauters
chases him, as does Scheirlinckx, B.
16:07 CET 163km/31km to go
The peloton won't
stay together for long. Coenen, Van Impe (2nd last year) take turns. Then a
Skil rider attacks with Jurgen van den Broeck (Discovery) on his wheel. The
pair get a gap.
16:08 CET 163km/31km to go
It's Folkert de Haan
from Ubbink with Van den Broeck. They are caught by Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step).
16:10 CET 165km/29km to go
Folkert de Haan (Ubbink),
Jurgen van den Broeck (Discovery), Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step), and Matthe Pronk
(Unibet) are in front now, with 5 seconds on the peloton. The counters keep
coming through. It's very high speed racing as the finishing circuits approach.
16:13 CET 167km/27km to go
A small group with
Van Impe, Boonen, Steegmans, Eeckhout and a few others close the gap to the
four leaders. The peloton is breaking up a bit. Nine in front.
Klier, Mattan, and Flickinger are chasing.
16:14 CET 171km/23km to go
Leaders: Folkert de
Haan (Ubbink), Jurgen van den Broeck (Discovery), Van Impe, Boonen, Nick Nuyens
(Quick.Step), Coenen, Matthe Pronk (Unibet), Steegmans (Davitamon), Eeckhout
Then a group with Mattan (Davitamon), Hoste (Discovery),
Klier (T-Mobile), Flickinger (Ag2r). Here they come past the finish line for
the first time.
Mattan and Hoste will close the gap to the leaders.
The peloton is at 23 seconds.
16:16 CET 174km/20km to go
Hoste and Mattan fight
very hard to close the gap to the latest Boonen group. But they do. Klier. and
Flickinger can't though. 11 leaders with 20 km to go.
16:17 CET 175km/19km to go
Boonen attacks, and
Steegmans reacts with VDB the Younger on his wheel. Boonen is fairly strong
today, it seems. But he's got Nuyens and Van Impe with him. 24 seconds to the
16:18 CET 176km/18km to go
Bouygues and Landbouwkrediet
are chasing in the peloton, at 23 seconds. In front, the cooperation is not
sensational, as you would expect.
Our 'Leffe of the Day' goes to Boonen
for being the most aggressive today. Mattan next, then maybe Leif Hoste.
16:20 CET 177km/17km to go
Bouygues and Landbouwkrediet
continue to chase, pegging the gap back to 18 seconds. It's not easy.
16:22 CET 179km/15km to go
The leaders: Tom Boonen,
Kevin Van Impe, Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step), Folkert de Haan (Ubbink), Jurgen van
den Broeck (Discovery), Johan Coenen, Matthe Pronk (Unibet), Nico Mattan, Gert
Steegmans (Davitamon), Niko Eeckhout (Jacques). They are actually working.
The peloton is at 21 seconds, also working. They are on the first of two finishing
circuits, and the late afternoon sun is out to warm the riders and the crowds.
16:24 CET 181km/13km to go
It's breaking up a
bit in front as the speed lifts. Four men off the front, with Boonen and a teammate,
and a couple of others. Four chasers close the gap.
Nuyens, Van den Broeck, Pronk are all in front. Mattan and de Haan are dropped.
16:25 CET 181km/13km to go
Steegmans and Boonen
attack in the crosswind. Ouch. The peloton hits the crosswind 23 seconds behind
Van den Broeck and Coenen join the
lead pair, then Eeckhout. It's getting hard.
16:28 CET 183km/11km to go
Leaders: Tom Boonen,
Jurgen van den Broeck (Discovery), Johan Coenen (Unibet), Gert Steegmans (Davitamon),
Niko Eeckhout (Jacques). They come to the end of the first lap, and Boonen throws
off his jacket.
Four chasers: Kevin Van Impe, Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step),
Matthe Pronk (Unibet), Hoste (Discovery). The peloton remains at 24 seconds,
16:29 CET 184km/10km to go
The peloton is at
40 seconds, well out of it. Amorison gets across to Mattan and de Haan on his
own, but they're 35 seconds down on the leaders, who have 7 seconds on the Nuyens/Van
16:30 CET 185km/9km to go
The last lap of KBK,
and Tom Boonen is still in a perfect position to win this race. One of the others
will have to attack, but Boonen looks comfy as he sits on the tops and chats
to Eeckhout. The chasing four are coming back.
16:31 CET 185km/9km to go
Nine leaders again:
Tom Boonen, Jurgen van den Broeck (Discovery), Johan Coenen (Unibet), Gert Steegmans
(Davitamon), Niko Eeckhout (Jacques), Kevin Van Impe, Nick Nuyens (Quick.Step),
Matthe Pronk (Unibet), Hoste (Discovery).
16:32 CET 186km/8km to go
Van Impe and Nuyens
work now, wanting to set up Boonen for a sprint. The others behind aren't coming
back - 35 seconds.
Boonen is also working, as he has
done for the whole day. This has been a hell of a ride by him, but he still
has to finish it off. Will the others go to the finish with him?
16:34 CET 187km/7km to go
The riders' shadows
are long as they negotiate the back part of the circuit, Tom Boonen casting
a very big one. Coenen in front on a roundabout. Maybe the Discovery duo can
16:35 CET 188km/6km to go
Eeckhout pulls through,
then Van Impe attacks on Boonen's signal. Steegmans has to chase him down. He
does. Steegmans looks good. Then Van den Broeck counters, but Coenen is on his
wheel. Boonen watching, in third.
16:36 CET 188km/6km to go
Eeckhout is next to
attack, as Nuyens and Hoste counter. Steegmans has to chase them, and he has
Boonen and Van Impe for company.
16:37 CET 189km/5km to go
All together for a
short time. Eeckhout gesticulates wildly. That was his chance. Now it's Nuyens
attacking. That's good. Eeckhout reacts and Boonen gets his wheel. The World
Champ is playing a perfect role. Nuyens still has a gap, and Van den Broeck
has to chase now.
16:39 CET 190km/4km to go
Nuyens is caught by
VDB, Boonen and Coenen. Then Steegmans, Eeckhout, Pronk and the other two close.
Nuyens attacks again!
16:40 CET 191.5km/2.5km to go
Nuyens goes under
3 km to go with a small gap, now Jurgen van den Broeck leads the chasing group.
Nuyens looks back and sees he has a good gap. This is dangerous. Rule number
2 is that you don't let Nick Nuyens go.
16:41 CET 193km/1km to go
Nuyens now under 2
km with 6 seconds. VDB leads the chase. Van Impe and Boonen next. The others
will have to chase. Van den Broeck explodes. It's over, surely?
16:42 CET 193km/1km to go
Coenen and Steegmans
try a rearguard action, but the two remaining Quick.Steps have the race in hand.
Nuyens reaches the final kilometre with 8 seconds!
The rest are sitting up until Eeckhout
goes with Van Impe in tow. Nope. Can't get away. Nuyens keeps looking back -
don't do it son! Just win.
16:46 CET 194km/0km to go
And Nick Nuyens wins
the 59th Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne with a fantastic solo on the final lap!!! Hoste
second, alone, then Boonen, saluting in third, and Eeckhout.
That's all from us in the live blimp
from the Belgian opening weekend. We'll keep the central heating on for a bit
longer, as snow is predicted next week. But not today: it stayed dry and we
saw another great race. Quick.Step achieved its revenge for yesterday, while
Davitamon came away a bit empty handed, although Steegmans' form is promising.
1 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick.Step
2 Leif Hoste (Bel) Discovery
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step
4 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
5 Matthe Pronk (Ned) Unibet.com
6 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto
7 Johan Coenen (Bel) Unibet.com
8 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Discovery
9 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick.Step