By Jeff Jones
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is the second race of the Belgian opening weekend, taking place over a slightly shorter (194 km) and easier parcours than Saturday's Omloop Het Volk. Most significantly, there aren't the tricky cobbled sections in the finale that so often destroy the bunch in Het Volk, and the sprinters usually do better in K-B-K. But, being a Belgian one day classic, bunch sprints are hard to come by.
Last year, George Hincapie and Kevin van Impe made the most of a very chaotic finale to escape on the finishing laps, with Hincapie taking the victory. This year, the American is racing in the Tour of California, while Van Impe has joined the Quick.Step block, and will be riding support for Tom Boonen, who is a good chance to win.
There will be no Robbie McEwen in the Davitamon team, as his wife Angelique just gave birth to a baby daughter, Elena. Instead, Davitamon will look to Peter van Petegem, Gert Steegmans, and perhaps Nico Mattan and Henk Vogels. Defending champions Discovery Channel will rely on sprinters Roger Hammond and Max van Heeswijk, with Stijn Devolder sure to play a role
Cyclingnews will be covering the 59th Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne live, starting 14:30 local time (CET)/08:30 (USA East)/05:30 (USA West)/00:30 (Australia East).