|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
62nd Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne - 1.1
Belgium, March 1, 2009
Boonen exacts his revenge
By Bjorn Haake in Kuurne, with additional reporting by Susan Westemeyer
Tom Boonen got revenge for a botched Omloop Het Nieuwsblad by taking a commanding win in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne ahead of Bernhard Eisel (Columbia-Highroad) and Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam). The Quick Step team placed three riders in the lead group of 13, enabling them to mark late attacks by the Rabobank team and deliver Boonen to the sprint victory.
The loser of the day was Team Silence-Lotto which failed to make the decisive break. The Dutch team Rabobank once again was well represented at the front, putting three riders in the group but was once again shut out in the finale. Nick Nuyens, Juan Antonio Flecha and Tom Leezer all launched unsuccessful attacks in the final kilometres, with Flecha's move with 3km to go the most promising, but Quick Step sacrificed Sylvain Chavanel to bring the Spaniard back.
Nuyens tried to counter the move, but was closely marked by Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam), setting up the sprint between the ten remaining riders, which Boonen won easily.
The Belgian knew that the team made the difference today. "We tried to make the course hard with Chavanel and Maarten [Wynants]. Rabobank could always jump with Flecha and Leezer." Boonen added that the flat finish dictated the tactics. "Chavanel and Wynants could go on the attack if there was a small group going. They brought Flecha back in the end."
Boonen said his form was OK, "good enough to win Kuurne." The day before he also felt fine, but was impacted by the crash in the final metres which kept him from contesting the victory. "That was really a missed chance." He was already looking forward to Milano-Sanremo. "The Via Roma is a bit more important..."
Boonen had no comment on what Silence-Lotto was up to. "I don't know, I only look at our team."
Eisel was outnumbered in the group, but was there when it counted. He seemed excited to take second to Boonen, and made a small salute after congratulating the Belgian. "Fortunately I had enough power left in the end." He benefitted from being the only rider from Team Columbia-Highroad in the lead group. "I could say I am taking less pulls." However, in the attack-filled finale, Eisel had to cover all the moves. "I just couldn't tell a teammate, 'hey, it is your turn now...'"
Cervélo loses contact with each other
The Cervélo TestTeam followed up on its successful Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with another podium performance by Hunt. The team once again had Heinrich Haussler in the leading bunch, but after his long efforts the day before the German was dropped when things began heating up in the last few kilometres. "I turned around and he was gone. He wasn't even on the radio anymore," Hunt said. "I figured he missed a wheel."
But if the German could have beaten Boonen? Even Haussler acknowledged he didn't know. "I won't make such a claim." He was angrier with himself for making a big blunder. "It was a bad situation. I wanted to stay with Boonen, Jeremy was up front." But then several riders attacked. "I didn't react quickly enough," Haussler said. "You have to get right on the wheel." Once he hesitated he had to play along. "I also didn't want to ride after my teammate."
Haussler said his form and the legs were good, though. "I made a mistake that I can learn from. Fortunately it happened here and not in Flanders."
Haussler and Hunt were seen at the front of the group as they went though the start-finish line. At that point they talked face to face, rather than relying on the radio. "We were just trying to figure out who would cover what moves," Haussler said. He added that it was difficult with three Rabobank and three Quick Step riders. "Plus a lot of other riders who want to win. It's a very tactical game, but Jeremy got third and that is really good."
Good speed but early finish line for Kroon
Karsten Kroon of Saxo Bank was one of the most dangerous riders in the break, and launched a strong move with five kilometres to go. "You have to try some thing, there were a lot of fast guys like Boonen, Haussler and Eisel," he told Cyclingnews. "You don't have a chance against guys like that in the sprint."
Once Kroon was caught again, Flecha went and Kroon knew it was going to be a sprint. "Flecha was going too slowly and I knew they would catch him." The tactics for Kroon in the sprint were simple. "I tried to surprise them with momentum. With nobody pulling I thought the sprint would start early and maybe the sprinters would slow down." He then planned to pass the early birds, but the plan didn't quite work out. "I had the momentum, but the finish line came too early," he said with a grin.
The first break of 11 riders formed at kilometre 98, but as expected, it was the Oude Kwaremont some ten kilometres later that broke things open. Another group of six went clear, with more riders coming across from a large chase group to solidify the winning move. Once Boonen made it across, the Quick Step team drove the pace. The group contained 29 riders, without anybody from Silence-Lotto.
At km 141, an attack went clear with Chavanel, Wynants, Eisel, Kroon, Haussler and Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel). This move was later joined by Nuyens, Mathieu Ladagnous (Française des Jeux), Boonen, Flecha, Leezer, Meersman and Hunt. This was the winning move of 13 that reached the final two laps of ten kilometres with a good gap over the chase group that contained Gert Steegmans (Katusha).
After the unsuccessful attacks of Kroon, Flecha and Nuyens, it came down to the sprint where Boonen proved he is right on target for the bigger Classics coming up.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Bjorn Haake/Cyclingnews.com
Images by ISPA/www.ctm-images.com
Images by Florian and Susanne Schaaf/www.cyclingpictures.de
Images by Nicolas Götz/www.sport-phot.com
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 4.20.48 (44.402 km/h) 2 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia-High Road 3 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo Test Team 4 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank 5 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank 6 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel 7 Mathieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française des Jeux 8 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank 0.04 9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 0.12 10 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank 0.15 11 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Française des Jeux 1.03 12 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 13 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step 14 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 4.17 15 Anthony Ravard (Fra) Agritubel 16 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil-Shimano 17 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank 18 Hub Duijn (Ned) Garmin-Slipstream 19 Stijn Hoornaert (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 20 Baden Cooke (Aus) Vacansoleil 21 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 22 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française des Jeux 23 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step 24 Sergey Ivanov (Rus) Katusha 25 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team Columbia-High Road 26 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram 27 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank 28 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Katusha 29 Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil 30 Aurelien Clerc (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale 8.18 31 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 32 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 33 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 34 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 35 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 36 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Verandas Willems 37 Yaonn Offredo (Fra) Française des Jeux 38 Michael Schär (Swi) Astana 39 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 40 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 41 Koen de Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano 42 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram 43 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Team Columbia-High Road 44 Jos van Emden (Ned) Rabobank 45 Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia-High Road 46 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Katusha 47 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia-High Road 48 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Katusha 49 Leonardo Duque (Fra) Cofidis 50 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha 51 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank 52 Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team 53 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil 54 Sebastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 55 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quick Step 56 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step 57 Frederic Amorison: (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 58 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Slipstream 59 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank 60 Sebastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux 61 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto 62 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank 63 Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 64 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Saxo Bank 65 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) AN Post Team Sean Kelly 8.50 66 Stephen Gallagher (Irl) AN Post Team Sean Kelly 67 Benny De Schrooder (Bel) AN Post Team Sean Kelly 68 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) CC Bourgas 69 Paidi O’Brien (Irl) AN Post Team Sean Kelly 70 Jef Peeters (Bel) AN Post Team Sean Kelly 71 Koen Barbé (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 72 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 73 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 74 Serhiy Matveyev (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team 75 Vytautas Kaupas (Ltu) Revor-Jartazi 76 Kenny Van Braekel (Bel) Revor-Jartazi 77 Dieter Cappelle (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 78 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha 79 Tom Vanbecelaere (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 80 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 81 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Silence-Lotto 82 Kenny van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano 83 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) CC Bourgas 84 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence-Lotto 85 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis 86 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 87 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil-Shimano 88 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Verandas Willems 89 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis 90 Erki Pütsep (Est) CC Bourgas 91 Ian Stannard (GBr) ISD Cycling Team 92 Berik Kupeshov (Kaz) Astana 93 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 94 Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 95 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD Cycling Team 96 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 97 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team 98 Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 99 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 100 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Française des Jeux 101 Michael Friedman (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 102 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream 103 Stephane Poulhies (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 104 Geert Omloop (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 105 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Vacansoleil 106 Cédric Pineau (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 107 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis 108 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano 109 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) ISD Cycling Team 110 David Deroo (Fra) Skil-Shimano 111 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel 112 Matt Brammeier (Irl) AN Post Team Sean Kelly 113 Rémi Cusin (Fra) Agritubel 114 Lars Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank 115 Sébastien Portal (Fra) Cofidis 116 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis 117 Arnaud van Groen (Ned) Vacansoleil 118 Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil 119 Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil-Shimano 120 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Silence-Lotto 121 Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil 122 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil-Shimano