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2002 K-B-K

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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

56th Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne - 1.2

Belgium, March 2, 2003

2002 Results     Past winners


By Jeff Jones

Jaan Kirsipuu
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

Taking place on the Sunday following Het Volk is the 190 kilometre semi-classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The two races are traditionally held on the same weekend, and 2003 marks the 56th edition of KBK. It's a tough race, but not as hard as Het Volk, containing far fewer flat cobbled sections and only seven climbs. Last year's winner was Jaan Kirsipuu, who did so with a rare but not unheard of solo attack. Kirsipuu is one of the front runners again for this year's edition, and is certainly in good enough form.

The race is also a chance for the Lotto-Domo team to take back some ground on Quick Step, who so masterfully dominated Het Volk. The Museeuw/Bettini/Boonen/VDB train smashed the peloton on the climbs and across the cobbles, leaving Lotto's Peter Van Petegem and Robbie McEwen struggling behind them. KBK suits both Van Petegem and McEwen, although Museeuw's name stands on the past winners list twice.

Quick Step are going in with a similar team, save for Kashechkin and Cretskens, who have been substituted by Luca Paolini and Aurelien Clerc. The big guns are still there though, and it will be interesting to see if they fired all their shots in Het Volk.

The US Postal presented by Berry Floor squad had a good result in Het Volk with Max van Heeswijk's second place. He can sprint well, but may be a little worn from his efforts on Saturday. On the other hand, they have George Hincapie, still recovering from a sinus problem, and Viatcheslav Ekimov, who figured in the front group in Het Volk.

Rabobank will be hoping for better things from Oscar Freire, who suffered a little in his first Belgian outing. They have Robert Hunter, Kevin de Weert and Mathew Hayman to help him, among others. Fassa Bortolo's Filippo Pozzato and Roberto Petito are in good form at the moment, although Petito suffered a fall in Het Volk on Saturday.

Cofidis has a past winner in Jo Planckaert, who abandoned Het Volk presumably to save something for KBK. The 1999 winner will be hoping for a bit of luck in order to repeat his success, but he's very capable of doing so. His team with Peter Farazijn, Chris Peers and Nico Mattan is also quite strong.

From Saeco, Fabio Sacchi showed his strength on Saturday, although he did miss the critical break. Combined with Dario Pieri, the boys in red might be able to do something on Sunday.'s Baden Cooke can certainly be considered a favourite for Kuurne, having won three races already this season and sprinting well. If he can survive the Belgian conditions, he'll be there at the finish.

The bright yellow Sidermec jerseys were prominent at the front of the bunch at the end of Het Volk, so look for Romans Vainsteins and Gianluca Bortolami again in KBK. Bankgiroloterij will be relying on Gerben Lowik again, and finally Landbouwkrediet-Colnago's Tom Steels will be hoping for a better ride on Sunday, after DNF'ing in Het Volk.

Past winners

2002  Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2r-Prevoyance 188 kms in 4.31.00
2001  Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Mercury     188 kms in 4.20.00
2000  Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco    197 kms in 4.47.06
1999  Jo Planckaert (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar  188 kms in 4.38.45
1998  Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar  197 kms in 4.56.00
1997  Johan Museeuw (Bel)
1996  Rolf Sörensen (Den)
1995  Frédéric Moncassin (FRA)
1994  Johan Museeuw (Bel)
1992  Olaf Ludwig (Ger)
1991  Johnny Dauwe (Bel)
1990  Hendrik Redant (Bel)
1989  Edwig Van Hooydonck (Bel)
1988  Hendrik Redant (Bel)
1987  Ludo Peeters (Bel)
1985  William Tackaert (Bel)
1984  Joseph Lammertink (Ned)
1983  Jan Raas (Ned)
1982  Gregor Braun (Ger)
1981  Joseph Jacobs (Bel)
1980  Jan Raas (Ned)
1979  Walter Planckaert (Bel)
1978  Patrick Lefevere (Bel)
1977  Patrick Sercu (Bel)
1976  Frans Verhaegen (Bel)
1975  Frans Verhaegen (Bel)
1974  Wilfried Wesemael (Bel)
1973  Walter Planckaert (Bel)
1972  Gustaaf Van Roosbroeck (Bel)
1971  Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1970  Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1969  Freddy Decloedt (Bel)
1968  Eric Leman (Bel)
1967  Daniel Van Rijckeghem (Bel)
1966  Gustave Desmet (Bel)
1965  Guido Reybrouck (Bel)
1964  Arthur De Cabooter (Bel)
1963  Noél Fore (Bel)
1962  Piet Rentmeester (Ned)
1961  Alfred De Bruyne (Bel) - Leon Van Daele (Bel)
1960  Joseph Planckaert (Bel)
1959  Gentiel Saelens (Bel)
1958  Gilbert Desmet (Bel)
1957  Joseph Verhelts (Bel)
1956  Henri Denijs (Bel)
1955  Joseph Planckaert (Bel)
1954  Leon Van Daele (Bel)
1953  Leopold De Graeveleyn (Bel)
1952  André Maelbrancke (Bel)
1951  André Declerck (Bel)
1950  Valére Ollivier (Bel)
1949  Albert Decin (Bel)
1948  Achiel Buysse (Bel)
1947  André Pieters (Bel)
1946  Henri Delmuyle (Bel

Past winners by Mario Stiehl,