Cavendish wins in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Sky controls finale perfectly

 Mark Cavendish claimed a straightforward victory in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, delivered to the line perfectly by his Sky teammates.

Resplendent in his world champion's jersey, the Manxman took victory by a decisive margin over FDJ-BigMat rider Yauheni Hutarovich. Vacansoleil-DCM's Kenny Van Hummel was two lengths back in third, while world under 23 champion Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) was a fine fourth.

Cavendish had suffered with illness earlier in the race, but his Sky team set about bringing the race back together for a bunch finish on the flat run-in to the finish in Kuurne. In the finishing straight, CJ Sutton piloted Cavendish to victory.

“After the cobbles I told CJ that I didn’t feel so good,” Cavendish said afterwards. “Once we took control it got better although I was still vomiting. It’s incredible. I don’t know if I can take any credit for this win. The whole day they looked after me. I was never in the win and always in the front of the peloton. It’s a great win.”

Coming into the final kilometre, the stage appeared set for a duel between Cavendish and his great rival André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) but the German found himself boxed in and faded in the final meters, finishing tenth.

“At 300m from the finish line I was confident that I could not lose the sprint. Then Van Hummel swerved from right to left and there was no more space for me. I should’ve gone earlier,” a clearly disappointed Greipel said.

A fast start

In a quick and nervous first hour at 50km/h no attacks proved successful. After a collective stop at a railway crossing a group powered away.

Seven riders made the day's early breakaway: Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Niko Eeckhout (An Post-Sean Kelly), Jérôme Baugnies (Team Netapp), Koen Barbé (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Gilles Devillers (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Justin Van Hoecke (Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole) and Julien Fouchard (Cofidis, le credit en ligne).

At the fourth climb of the day the seven had a gap of four minutes on a peloton led by the Sky team. By the time they reached the Oude Kwaremont, the gap was down to three minutes. Van Avermaet set the pace up front, dropping all his companions except for 41 year-old Eeckhout. At the top of the long cobbled helling another half a minute was whittled off the gap thanks to the efforts from Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) at the front of the peloton.

The selective climb caused some damage and the peloton split in several groups. A first group of about twenty-five riders including fast men Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) and John Degenkolb (Project 1t4i) quickly picked up half a minute on a sprinter-studded peloton where Lotto-Belisol did the work.

With seventy kilometers to go Eeckhout and Van Avermaet were re-joined by Barbé, Fouchard and Baugnies. They had 1:30 on the Boonen group, with the peloton trailing by fifty more seconds, but efforts from the Vancansoleil-DCM team, Lotto-Belisol and Europcar closed first the gap to the Boonen group, and then the fate of the seven up front was sealed.

Eeckhout’s effort

As his group was being brought back, Eeckhout attacked and was followed by Wouter Mol (Vacancoleil-DCM), and was later joined by Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun), Jan Ghyselinck (Cofidis) and Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony).

With Sky content to let a group dangle just within their reach, the new escape quickly picked up half a minute at 40km from the finish line. When approaching the finish line a first time, having two more local circuits of 16km ahead of them, the gap ran up to a minute.

The Sky train was in full control, however, and one lap later half a minute was gone from that gap. At 10km from the finish line there were only 10 seconds left and a bunch sprint seemed unavoidable.

Once more it was Eeckhout who was the last man standing, having attacked his companions as the peloton was nipping on their heels, and had a brief foray with a Engoulvent before the high pace of the Sky-led group sped past.

With four men ahead of Cavendish, Sky hurtled into the finishing chute at such a pace that no rider stood a chance at coming around the world champion. Only Hutarovich could get close to his wheel, while Van Hummel looked glued to the tarmac as he struggled over the final meters to claim third.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling4:27:30 
2Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat  
3Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
4Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
5Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
6Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i  
7Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
8Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
9Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team  
10André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team  
11Guillaume Boivin (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
12Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
13Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
14Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
15Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team  
16Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team  
17Guillaume Blot (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
18Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo  
19Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team  
20Leif Hoste (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
21Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
22Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
23Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
24Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
25Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
26Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
27Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
28Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
29Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
30Martin Gilbert (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
31Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
32Timon Seubert (Ger) Team NetApp  
33Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
34Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
35Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly  
36Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
37Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
38Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
39Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
40Jens Keukeleire (Bel) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
41Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
42Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
43Kevin Lacombe (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
44James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
45Fabio Polazzi (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
46Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
47Edwig Cammaerts (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
48Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
49Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Team NetApp  
50Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team  
51Jean-Lou Paiani (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
52Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
53Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
54Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Cervelo  
55Christophe Laborie (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
56Niels Wytinck (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
57Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
58Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
59Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
60Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
61Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
62Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
63Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
64Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet  
65Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Katusha Team  
66Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
67Roy Curvers (Ned) Project 1t4i  
68David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
69Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team  
70Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
71Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller  
72Florent Barle (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
73Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp  
74Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team  
75Matti Helminen (Fin) Landbouwkrediet  
76Philippe Legrand (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
77Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10  
78Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
79Stijn Ennekens (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
80Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling  
81Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Cervelo  
82Travis Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team  
83Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
84Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
85Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
86Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
87Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
88Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
89Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling  
90Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
91Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
92Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling  
93Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
94Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team  
95Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
96Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Cervelo  
97Ole Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-Big Mat  
98Mark Mcnally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly  
99Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
100Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team  
101Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
102Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur - Sojasun  
103Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
104Jetse Bol (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
105Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
106Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
107Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team  
108Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team  
109Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale  
110Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
111Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:20 
112Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
113Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:00:29 
114Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:35 
115Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
116Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat  
117William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
118Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:40 
119Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
120Niko Eeckhout (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
121Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team  
122Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling0:01:30 
123Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:46 
124John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1t4i0:01:54 
125Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
126Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:02:08 
127Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
128Aliaksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha Team0:02:12 
129Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:19 
130Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
131Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar  
132Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling0:03:05 
133Bernard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling  
134Jimmy Casper (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:31 
135Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
136Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Team NetApp0:04:52 
137Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Project 1t4i0:05:25 
138Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia  
139Matthew Wilson (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team  


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