Groenewegen wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) added another victory to his early-season success after sprinting to win Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday. He led the reduced field sprint across the line ahead of Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida).

Late-race breakaway riders Julien Duval (AG2R La Mondiale) and Julien Vermote (Dimension Data), joined by Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing) in the final kilometres, where pulled back into the fold by a charging reduced peloton led by Lotto Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo. Despite spending much of his energy in the breakaway attempt, Vermote hung on for ninth on the day.

Duval had initiated the move on the final lap and was joined by Vermote first and then Vliegen, who had already been on the attack earlier in the race. Vermote looked the strongest of the three as they held a slim advantage over the closing kilometres, but the peloton behind never appeared too troubled with FDJ taking control to set things up for Demare.

A rider well used to pulling on the front for hours on end, Vermote held out the longest and forged on in the hope that he might be able to pull off an upset, but he had no response when the sprinters began their dive for the line.

Groenewegen struck out first, catching Démare on the hop and putting enough distance between them to stop him from coming back.

Groenewegen was almost not in contention after he missed a big split in the bunch that saw riders such as Jasper Stuyven, Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin go up the road. Thanks to some solid work from his teammates and some help from Astana, who also missed out, he was given a second chance.

"We came into the Kwaremont and it all broke up. My teammates brought me back perfectly. When we got back, Stuyven was still a bit further up but we caught him and in the final kilometres I was able to put myself into the right position," said Groenewegen. "We were coming from behind with a fair amount of speed so I was able to come around Arnaud Démare. I do like these kinds of races and I like it when it is harder."

How it happened

Bright blue skies and big crowds welcomed the riders Kuurne on Sunday morning. Roger De Vlaeminck - winner in 1970 and 1971 – was one of those there after receiving the honour of firing the start gun. Seven riders dared to challenge the headwind that marked the first half of the race towards Brussels. The seven were Truls Korsaeth (Astana), Gedaminas Bagdonas (AG2R), Matteo Bono (UAE Team Emirates), Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis), Romain Cardis (Direct Energie) and Ben Perry (Israel Cycling Academy). It was the second day in a row that Van Bilsen featured in the long breakaway move, after going up the road at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

The seven leaders worked well together but didn’t gain much more than two minutes on the peloton. As the first hills started to feature, the gap started to come back down and quickly. Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) had a chain problem and lost a lot of time before receiving a new bike. The nervousness was rising as the often crucial long cobbled Oude Kwaremont climb approached. A high-speed crash in the descent towards the Oude Kwaremont included Trek’s sprinter Boy van Poppel and German champion Marcus Burghardt; Van Poppel abandoned the race.

On the Oude Kwaremont, Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) upped the pace and stormed by most of the breakaway riders. Specialists Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) were quick to get on his wheel. The trio exited the Oude Kwaremont together with breakaway survivors Bagdonas and Korsaeth.

The pace dropped and the five leaders allowed a large group to bridge across, creating a large leading group. On the following Kluisberg climb, Quick-Step Floors sprinter Fernando Gaviria struggled and dropped out of the group. A few moments later, Gaviria’s lead-out man Max Richeze punctured.

The first group of 21 riders gained a lead of more than half a minute on the main peloton. The move included fast men like Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott), Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrein-Merida) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). The chase in the first peloton was led by the LottoNL-Jumbo team, whose sprinter Groenewegen had missed the cut.

The leaders reached the two-kilometre cobbled Varent street with an advantage of 25 seconds on the peloton. Lampaert led the group with Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida), Van Avermaet and Vanmarcke working too. All of the leaders, and most of the peloton, rode on the smooth path next to the cobbles. The pace in the peloton dropped away on the cobbles and the bonus grew up to a minute once off the cobbles. Astana charged forward in the peloton and brought the gap back down to forty seconds at Nokereberg, the final climb of the day.

Former winner Stuyven sneaked away at the top of Nokereberg and Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe) joined him up the road, while Démare opted to hold back and stay with the group. When passing through the Dwars door Vlaanderen finish town of Waregem, the two leaders had a lead of 20 seconds on the group and 45 seconds on the Astana-led peloton. The group sat up and was caught back by the peloton at 40 kilometres from the finish. The two leaders still had a bonus of 45 seconds when Oss punctured away at 33 kilometres from the finish. Stuyven picked up the prize money at stake at the finish line and hit the two local laps with a bonus of nearly a minute on the Bahrain-Merida-led peloton.

EF Education First-Drapac lost Modolo, when he crashed as the peloton rode through the centre of Kortrijk and looked to be in a lot of pain after hitting the tarmac hard. Meanwhile, Stuyven’s lead came down as Lotto-Soudal took the initiative when heading back to Kuurne. The move caused splits in the peloton and at 18 kilometres from the finish Stuyven was brought back.

There was a brief hiatus in hostilities as the peloton entered the final lap until two brief moves from Niki Terpstra and Guillaume van Keirsbulck. As the latter was brought back to the fold, Duval went clear on his own, soon to be joined by Vermote. The pair worked together, but Duval appeared to be struggling compared to Vermote and they began slipping back to the peloton. Vliegen saw his chance and joined the two leaders and helped them build a bigger advantage.

With some big sprinters behind, the three were not given much in the way of space out front. As they turned onto the final stretch, Duval was slipping back and Vermote made one last push. Once the fast men began sprinting, Vermote was quickly overhauled and Groenewegen had a clear run to the line. 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo4:51:41
2Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJRow 1 - Cell 2
3Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 3 - Cell 2
5Justin Jules (Fra) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 6 - Cell 2
8Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 7 - Cell 2
9Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension DataRow 8 - Cell 2
10Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 9 - Cell 2
11Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 10 - Cell 2
12Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 11 - Cell 2
13Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 12 - Cell 2
14Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 13 - Cell 2
15Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 14 - Cell 2
16Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-ScottRow 15 - Cell 2
17Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 16 - Cell 2
18Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 17 - Cell 2
19Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 18 - Cell 2
20Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 19 - Cell 2
21Kenny Dehaes (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 20 - Cell 2
22Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 21 - Cell 2
23Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 22 - Cell 2
24Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-HansgroheRow 23 - Cell 2
25Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 24 - Cell 2
26Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La MondialeRow 25 - Cell 2
27Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 26 - Cell 2
28Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 27 - Cell 2
29Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 29 - Cell 2
31Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 30 - Cell 2
32Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 32 - Cell 2
34Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 33 - Cell 2
35Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 34 - Cell 2
36Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 35 - Cell 2
37Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 36 - Cell 2
38Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 37 - Cell 2
39Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 39 - Cell 2
41Julien Mortier (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 40 - Cell 2
42Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-SegafredoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 42 - Cell 2
44Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 44 - Cell 2
46Romain Cardis (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 45 - Cell 2
47Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 46 - Cell 2
48Mathias De Witte (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 47 - Cell 2
49Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJRow 48 - Cell 2
50Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-ScottRow 49 - Cell 2
51Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-AlpecinRow 50 - Cell 2
52August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 51 - Cell 2
53Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 52 - Cell 2
54Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step FloorsRow 53 - Cell 2
55Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 56 - Cell 2
58Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 57 - Cell 2
59Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 58 - Cell 2
60Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 59 - Cell 2
61Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 60 - Cell 2
62Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ0:00:17
63Huub Duijn (Ned) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 62 - Cell 2
64Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 64 - Cell 2
66Michal Golas (Pol) Team SkyRow 65 - Cell 2
67Alberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:31
69Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) FDJ0:00:33
70Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky0:00:50
71Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:20
72Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 71 - Cell 2
73Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:21
74Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:03:52
75Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 74 - Cell 2
76Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 75 - Cell 2
77Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-MeridaRow 76 - Cell 2
78Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 77 - Cell 2
79Stijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems CrelanRow 78 - Cell 2
80Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-SegafredoRow 80 - Cell 2
82Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 81 - Cell 2
83Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect VeranclassicRow 82 - Cell 2
84Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 83 - Cell 2
85Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 84 - Cell 2
86Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 85 - Cell 2
87Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 87 - Cell 2
89Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Truls Korsaeth (Nor) Astana Pro TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse LoterijRow 90 - Cell 2
DNSSondre Enger (Nor) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFGregory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFKiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFBoy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Dibben (GBr) Team SkyRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Lawless (GBr) Team SkyRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFOwain Doull (GBr) Team SkyRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFMads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFBaptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFFernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step FloorsRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFMaximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step FloorsRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFSam Bennett (Irl) Bora-HansgroheRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFMarcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFMickael Delage (Fra) FDJRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFAntoine Duchesne (Can) FDJRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFLucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFAmund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-JumboRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFBert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFTimo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFSacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFTom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFBorut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFIvan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFMagnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFSimone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFFilippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFAleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFBen Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFEdvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFBernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension DataRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFNicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension DataRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFJay Thomson (RSA) Dimension DataRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFScott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension DataRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFBram Welten (Ned) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFPierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFSVENDGAARD Michael CarbelRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFFlorian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Farazijn (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFJordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFMilan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFPiet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-BaloiseRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFMichaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFCyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 156 - Cell 2

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