The winner of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne gets a stuffed donkey, but it's not a personal insult against the kind of rider who wins this race. The denizens of this West Flanders town have some sort of history with the animal, and it resulted in a grotesque donkey-head trophy that has been, thankfully, replaced with a plushie in recent years.
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) has won the race three times, and last year he triumphed in a small group sprint, despite being outnumbered by the Belkin riders. He topped Moreno Hofland and Sep Vanmarcke in the dash to the line.
The early season semi-classic was cancelled due to snow in 2013, and although the parcours is less lumpy than the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, bad weather, wind and distance makes it more than just a sprinter's race. The most extreme edition of the race happened in 2010, when high winds from a winter storm named Xynthia tore the peloton to shreds and only 26 riders finished the race. Winner Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil) credited his victory to a few kilos of weight leftover from the winter.
- Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Start list
- Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne overview, highlights, winners and previous editions