Peter Sagan wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

World champion takes first victory of 2017 ahead of Stuyven and Rowe

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) delivered an emphatic sprint to win Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne from a five-man group Sunday. Last year's winner Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) had to settle for second place, while Luke Rowe (Sky) claimed the third step of the podium. Already part of an elite selection that formed after the Oude Kwaremont, the quintet forged clear on the finishing circuit in Kuurne to fight out the victory. 

The beauty of Belgium's Opening Weekend is that it gives an instant shot at redemption. Sagan, beaten into second place by Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 24 hours prior, made amends with a powerful sprint in Kuurne. In truth, Sagan hardly seemed too distraught at missing out in Ghent on Saturday, but the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne victory – his first for Bora-Hansgrohe – bodes well for the remainder of his spring.

"We will see. The big goal is to stay good," Sagan said gnomically as he waited to mount the podium. "After that, whatever comes, everything is good."

The winning move took shape when Stuyven attacked from the front group with a little under 30 kilometres remaining, shortly after the race came through the finish line in Kuurne for the first time. Sagan wasted little time in jumping across to the Belgian, dragging Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) with him.

Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) show-cased his prodigious talent by bridging across alone shortly afterwards, while Rowe was the final man to hitch onto the winning train. BMC, with four riders in the front group including Van Avermaet, were inexplicably left standing on the platform, tickets flapping in the wind. Despite the efforts of Stefan Küng, they never got back on terms.

By the time Sagan and company took the bell for the final lap, their advantage over the chasers had nudged out beyond 30 seconds, but with the main peloton – which had earlier seemed irretrievably distanced – now closing to within a minute, they couldn't afford to start eyeing one another ahead of the finale. Instead, the quintet put their shoulders to the wheel to such good effect that they entered the final three kilometres with a lead of 45 seconds.

"I wanted to go for a normal sprint, but they started attacking after crossing the finish. After that, I was in the front in the breakaway and I was really glad the guys in the front worked very well," Sagan said.

The pace then dropped in the break, but no attack was forthcoming. When Sagan found himself on the front with 1,500 metres remaining, he risked being forced to lead out the sprint, but he cleverly extricated himself from the situation by slowing almost to a standstill beneath the flamme rouge and manoeuvering Trentin to the front.

Trentin, his hand forced, perhaps, promptly attacked with 800 metres remaining, but the move was instantly shut down by Rowe, and he found himself leading out the sprint. Such was the caginess in the front group that both the chasers and the main peloton were closing to within touching distance by the finishing straight, but it was too little, too late.

Sagan rose from the saddle with 220 metres to go and produced a powerful acceleration, quickly opening gap of three lengths over the rest of the group. Stuyven battled gamely to get back on terms, but the world champion had ample time to celebrate his win before crossing the line. "We stopped again with 500 metres to go, so it was a slow sprint, but I thought I would start from 250 metres," Sagan said.

Arnaud Démare (FDJ) out-sprinted Van Avermaet and the rest of a chasing group to take 6th place, while Dylan Groenwegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) led home a main peloton that included Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin).

How it unfolded

The race set out from Kuurne without three-time winner Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors), who endured something of a lost weekend. After crashes ended his Omloop Het Nieuwsblad challenge, illness prevented him from adding to his record tally of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne wins. With just 42 days remaining until his retirement after Paris-Roubaix, the Belgian will likely have just four more races – E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Scheldeprijs – on home roads.

As at Omloop, there was a viciously fast start to proceedings. The peloton covered 48.5 kilometres in the first hour of racing, and almost seventy kilometres passed before Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) established the first break of the day. Together with Antoine Duchesne (Direct Energie), Guillaume Boivin (Israel Cycling Academy), Alex Kirsch (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect), Sjoerd van Ginneken (Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij), David Boucher (Pauwels sauzen – Vastgoedservice), Sander Cordeel (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) and Maxime Farazijn (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), they built up a maximum lead of six minutes.

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne boasts twelve hills in total, but the principal difficulties are clustered near the midway point, and the decisive selection came on the Oude Kwaremont with 80 kilometres remaining, when Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) and Benoot went on the offensive near the top, eventually bringing a group of around twenty riders with them.

Although Tony Martin (Katusha) crashed out of the group after clipping a parked car, with the likes of Sagan, Van Avermaet and Ian Stannard (Sky) on board, there was more than enough firepower to stay clear. They later linked up with Roelandts and the survivors of the early escape inside the final 45 kilometres after the final climb, the Nokereberg. Despite Direct Energie's efforts in the main peloton, it was clear that the winner would come from this elite selection.

The whittling down process was not yet complete, however, as Stuyven seized the initiative with determined attack on the finishing circuit. Sagan had dosed his efforts on the front carefully to that point, leaving the pace-making to Quick-Step and BMC, but he was live to the danger and bridged across. After missing out in Ghent on Saturday, he would make no mistake in the sprint in Kuurne.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora - Hansgrohe4:37:49 
2Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek - Segafredo  
3Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
4Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
5Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
6Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ0:00:06 
7Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
8Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
9Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors  
10Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha - Alpecin  
11Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
12Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica - Scott  
13Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
14Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
15Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:11 
16Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
17Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team0:00:13 
18Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
19Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale - Drapac  
20Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
21Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha - Alpecin  
22Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
23Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
24Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora - Hansgrohe  
25Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
26Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek - Segafredo  
27Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica - Scott  
28Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
29Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie  
30Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
31Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy  
32Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
33Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
34Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
35Martin Elmiger (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
36Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team  
37Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
38Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
39Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale - Drapac  
40Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
41Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
42Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
43Mathias De Witte (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
44Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
45Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ  
46Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:00:19 
47Robert Thomas Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
48Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica - Scott  
49Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
50Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
51Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
52Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Team Bahrain - Merida  
53Maxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
54Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team  
55Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy  
56Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
57Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie  
58Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
59Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
60Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie  
61Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
62Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie  
63Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
64Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky  
65Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha - Alpecin  
66Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica - Scott  
67Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ  
68Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
69Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
70Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
71Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek - Segafredo  
72Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky  
73Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica - Scott  
74Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
75Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
76Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha - Alpecin  
77Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale - Drapac  
78Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
79Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
80Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:29 
81Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
82Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
83Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
84Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky0:00:32 
85Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
86Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
87Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek - Segafredo0:00:39 
88Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:41 
89Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:01:13 
90Arjen Livyns (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice0:01:32 
91Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe0:01:59 
92Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:02:14 
93Lawrence Naesen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:03:12 
94Borut Bozic (Slo) Team Bahrain - Merida  
95Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal0:06:14 
96Kevin Ista (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:08:02 
97Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
98Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ0:09:28 
99Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale - Drapac  
100Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy  
101Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
102Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe  
103Truls Korsæth (Nor) Astana Pro Team  
104Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Team Bahrain - Merida  
105Michiel Dieleman (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
106Simone Antonini (Ita) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
107Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
108Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie  
109Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
110Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek - Segafredo  
111Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
112Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
113Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie  
114Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky  
115Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha - Alpecin  
116Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
117David Per (Slo) Team Bahrain - Merida  
118Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek - Segafredo  
119Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
120Robby Cobbaert (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
121Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
122Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
123Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
124Svein Tuft (Can) Orica - Scott  
125Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
126Stijn Steels (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
127Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
128Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek - Segafredo  
129Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
130Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe0:10:45 
131Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:10:50 
DNFMarco Coledan (Ita) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFMichal Kolár (Svk) Bora - Hansgrohe  
DNFJenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha - Alpecin  
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora - Hansgrohe  
DNFMarc Fournier (Fra) FDJ  
DNFIgnatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ  
DNFTony Martin (Ger) Katusha - Alpecin  
DNFDanny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky  
DNFMichael Morkov (Den) Katusha - Alpecin  
DNFDaniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ  
DNFLukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe  
DNFMichael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
DNFAntonio Nibali (Ita) Team Bahrain - Merida  
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFRomain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFAdrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFBenjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFHamish Schreurs (NZl) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFTyler Williams (USA) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFAviv Yechzkel (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFJens Mouris (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij  
DNFTimothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
DNFDimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFElias Van Breussegem (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
DNFKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFSander Cordeel (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
DNFDavid Boucher (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice  
DNFRob Leemans (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice  
DNFAlexander Geuens (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice  
DNFTimothy Stevens (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice  
DNFLouis Verhelst (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice  
DNFBrecht Dhaene (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice  
DNFBarry Markus (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice  
DNFJimmy Janssens (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
DNFDennis Coenen (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
DNFJohannes De Paepe (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
DNFWim Reynaerts (Bel) Cibel - Cebon  
DNFStef Van Zummeren (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFNico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFLars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
DNFMaarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNL - Jumbo  
DNFTom Scully (NZl) Cannondale - Drapac  
DNFWouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale - Drapac  
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale - Drapac  
DNFDomen Novak (Slo) Team Bahrain - Merida  
DNFIon Ander Insausti Irastorza (Spa) Team Bahrain - Merida  
DNFJonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFChristophe Prémont (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan  
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Orica - Scott  
DNFAndrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
DNFJustin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
DNFOlivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
DNFJulien Stassen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
DNFMark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty Groupe Gobert  
DNFErwann Corbel (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFBoris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFPreben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFMihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFPatrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale - Drapac  
DNSTom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
DNSLuka Pibernik (Slo) Team Bahrain - Merida  

Related Articles

Back to top