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Sutton wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

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
1Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling4:39:39
2Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ
3André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
4Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
5Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
6Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
7Anthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
9Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
10Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
11James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent
12Leif Hoste (Bel) Katusha Team
13Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
14Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
15Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Leopard Trek
16Bert De Backer (Bel) Skil - Shimano
17Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling Team
18Saïd Haddou (Fra) Team Europcar
19Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
20Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
21Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team
22Matthew Brammeier (Irl) HTC-Highroad
23Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
24Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team
25Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
26Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ
27Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
28Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
29Romain Lemarchand (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
30Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
31Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
32Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
33Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) An Post - Sean Kelly
34Kevin Ista (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
35Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
36Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
37Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
38Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team
39Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ
40Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
41Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
42Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
43Renaud Dion (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller
44Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad
45Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team
46Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling
47Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad
48Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
49Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
50Gilles Devillers (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
51Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
52Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
53Rony Martias (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
54Ludovic Mottet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
55Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
56Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
57Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
58Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
59Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
60Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
61Mathieu Claude (Fra) Team Europcar
62Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
63Robin Steenuit (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
64Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) FDJ
65Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ
66Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
67Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
68Travis Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo
69Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent
70Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
71Wim De Vocht (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent
72Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team
73Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano
74Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
75Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet
76Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly
77Huub Duyn (Ned) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
78Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
79Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
80Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
81Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
82Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling
83Nikolas Maes (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
84Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
85Davide Vigano (Ita) Leopard Trek
86Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
87Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad
88Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
89Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad
90Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
91Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team
92Olivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
93Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
94Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
95David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar
96Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Donckers Koffie - Jelly Belly
97Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling
98Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team
99Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team
100Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team
101Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team
102Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo
103Marco Bandiera (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team
104Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
105Martin Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad
106Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
107Damien Gaudin (Fra) Team Europcar
108Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha Team
109Martin Reimer (Ger) Skil - Shimano0:00:21
110Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
111Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
112Dominic Klemme (Ger) Leopard Trek0:00:24
113Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:00:52
114Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:01:06
115Robert Wagner (Ger) Leopard Trek0:01:20
116Alessandro Proni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:01:33
117Sjef De Wilde (Bel) Veranda's Willems - Accent
118Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ0:01:40
119Frederik Willems (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:57
120Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:02:44
121Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:02:54
122Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:03:35


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