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Sutton wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Cycling News

Team Sky Australian sprints to biggest victory of career

Chris Sutton (Team Sky) won the 64th edition of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne after a perfect high-speed lead-out from teammates Juan Antonio Flecha and Edvald Boasson Hagen.

The 26-year-old Australian hit the front with 200 metres to go and had the speed to hold off Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ), André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo). Sutton became the first Australian to win the Belgian race.

“I've won a stage in the Tour Down Under but for me this is pretty big. I've always wanted to win one of the classics and it's a nice way to start with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne,” Sutton said happily.

“The boys were just incredible in the last 10 kilometres. I told the guys I was up for it. I was pretty confident in myself and the team put all their confidence in me. I just yelled: 'Go!' at 500 metres out. I then waited and waited. But at 200 metres I saw someone come up and knew I had to go. I then just went full gas.”

It was a surprising to see that Team Sky did not ride for Boasson Hagen in the sprint in Kuurne but the talented Norwegian quickly explained why the team choose to opt for Sutton.

“I did the race yesterday and he didn't so he was fresh. Everybody talked about me but we had another plan and it worked perfect. I'm really happy now,” Boasson Hagen told Cyclingnews.

Bigger-name sprinters of the calibre of Greipel and Farrar were unable to match Sutton’s fine burst of speed. Greipel blamed the lack of organization in his team. “The problem was that there was no train,” he told Cyclingnews.

Farrar admitted he made a mistake in the sprint. “I had bad luck but felt really good,” he said.

The climbs in the middle section of the race caused a lot of damage to the peloton but everything came back together in the flatter finale. Several breakaway attempts followed with Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad) making the most impressive move.

Tom Boonen (Quick-Step) also tried to avoid the sprint by joining a late attack with but the sprinters were hungry for success and pulled him back. Team Sky took control in the final two kilometres and Boasson Hagen gave Sutton a perfect lead out. The Australian then completed the job with a fine turn of speed to claim some big-name sprinter’s scalps and the biggest win of his career.

All the action

196 riders were at the start in the hippodrome in Kuurne, with only Joost Posthuma (Leopard-Trek) failing to start. After the rain on Saturday, the riders were happy to see dry roads but were worried about the strong winds.

A group of five riders escaped the peloton early on in an attempt to stay away at least until the television coverage started. The five were Edwig Cammaerts (Landbouwkrediet), Arnaud Coyot (Saur-Sojasun), Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Cervélo), Arnaud van Groen (Veranda's Willems-Accent) and Andrew Fenn (An Post-Sean Kelly).

The lead quintet quickly opened a lead of seven minutes. Fenn was dropped and was waiting for the peloton but then there was suddenly confusion up front when the four remaining leaders sneaked through a railway crossing that was about to close. They were disqualified by race officials and were out of the race.

Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ) and Sander Armee (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) joined Fenn up front and a new break was formed. When they reaching the first climbs of the race, the three leaders had a lead of three minutes. On the day's third climb, the Kanarieberg, Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil) and Anthony Ravard (AG2R La Mondiale) sparked a counter-attack and set off in pursuit. Up front Fenn was dropped from the lead group as the riders tackled the tough cobbled Kruisberg climb.

On the Oude Kwaremont the gap was down to 2:20 as Flecha lead the peloton on the long cobbled climb. Tom Boonen (Quick-Step), Wouter Weylandt (Leopard-Trek) and Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil) followed the Spaniard, creating an interesting break. Weylandt quickly dropped back and at the end of the climb and Selvaggi was dropped as well but he caught up with Ian Stannard (Sky) who was the only rider to come up from behind. By the end of the Oude Kwaremont the two leaders had one and a half minute on four chasers: Flecha, Stannard, Boonen and Selvaggi. However, just before the Côte de Trieu the breakaway attempt was neutralized by Garmin-Cervélo, with Martijn Maaskant doing a lot of work. It was a very tactical race.

On the Trieu several attacks were launched and a group of seven leaders got away: Martin Velits (HTC-Highroad), Maxim Vantomme (Katusha), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Matthew Hayman (Sky), Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil) and Sébastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale). Just before the penultimate climb of the day, the Tiegemberg, Ladagnous and Armee were caught by seven chasers, with the peloton at one and a half minute. In the reduced peloton Quick-Step and Rabobank took up the chase.

With 45km to go, on the Nokereberg, the last climb of the day, Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) and Weylandt put the hammer down and the duo powered away as the race took yet another twist. Quick-Step quickly neutralized this attempt as a second peloton bridged back up. A few kilometres later the breakaway group was caught as well, meaning the race was all back together.

Just before hitting the two finishing circuits around Kuurne, Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad) launched a solo attempt. The former Danish champion quickly opened a lead of half a minute but the bunch refused to let him go. A counter-attack of five men failed and another by Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun), Alessandro Proni (Acqua & Sapone) and Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale) had a hard time closing the gap. With 17km to go Bak sat up and joined this breakaway group but the peloton kept them in sight.

At the start of the second and last lap, the peloton was lead by Omega Pharma-Lotto and Team Sky. They trailed the breakaway by 14 seconds but soon closed them down.

Engoulvent was the last survivor of the attack and he was surprised to suddenly find Boonen on his wheel after he jumped across the gap after a tight corner and a crash. The move from the two-time Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne winner made the finale even more exciting for a while but proved unsuccessful as it became clear a bunch sprint was unavoidable.

When Boonen and Engoulvent were caught with two kilometres remaining, Flecha led the peloton into the last kilometre, before Boasson Hagen took over. Everyone else was left fighting for the right wheel or right line, while Sutton was able to chose his moment and finish the job for Team Sky in great style.


Full Results
1 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling 4:39:39  
2 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ    
3 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
4 Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
5 Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
6 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar    
7 Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
8 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
9 Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
10 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
11 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
12 Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha Team    
13 Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet    
14 Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
15 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek    
16 Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano    
17 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team    
18 Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar    
19 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly    
20 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
21 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team    
22 Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad    
23 Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
24 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team    
25 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
26 Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ    
27 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
28 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
29 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
30 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar    
31 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
32 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
33 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly    
34 Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
35 Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
36 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
37 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale    
38 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
39 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ    
40 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
41 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
42 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
43 Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller    
44 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad    
45 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team    
46 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
47 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad    
48 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
49 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
50 Gilles Devillers (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
51 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
52 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
53 Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
54 Ludovic Mottet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
55 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
56 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
57 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
58 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
59 Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
60 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
61 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar    
62 Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
63 Robin Steenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
64 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ    
65 Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ    
66 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
67 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
68 Travis Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
69 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
70 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
71 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
72 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team    
73 Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano    
74 Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
75 Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet    
76 Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly    
77 Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly    
78 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
79 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
80 Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne    
81 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
82 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling    
83 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
84 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
85 Davide Vigano (Ita) Leopard Trek    
86 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
87 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad    
88 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
89 Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad    
90 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet    
91 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team    
92 Olivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole    
93 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
94 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar    
95 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar    
96 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly    
97 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
98 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team    
99 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team    
100 Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team    
101 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team    
102 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo    
103 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team    
104 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ    
105 Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad    
106 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto    
107 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar    
108 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team    
109 Martin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano 0:00:21  
110 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun    
111 Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team    
112 Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek 0:00:24  
113 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:00:52  
114 Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - Shimano 0:01:06  
115 Robert Wagner (Ger) Leopard Trek 0:01:20  
116 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:01:33  
117 Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent    
118 Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ 0:01:40  
119 Frederik Willems (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:01:57  
120 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:02:44  
121 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:02:54  
122 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:35