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Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2019


The beauty of Opening Weekend is that they get to do it all again. Not everybody who lined up at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad yesterday is on the start line in Kuurne this morning, of course, but teams who fell short in Ninove on Saturday afternoon have a chance to salvage their weekends at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne today. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won last year's race in a bunch sprint. There is a strong field of fast men on show here, but with 13 hills on the agenda, the terrain is there for willing attackers to upset the odds.

As ever, there is enough rugged terrain in the middle of the race to break up the peloton, but the flat final 50km gives the sprinters a chance to regroup. The climbs are as follows:


1 Volkegemberg 33km
2 Eikenmolen 47.9km
3 Onkerzele berg 68.3km
4 La Houppe 83.8km
5 Kanarieberg 89.3km
6 Kruisberg 96.7km
7 Hotond 98.5km
8 Cote de Trieu 106.7km
9 Oude Kwaremont 116.5km
10 Kluisberg 123.3km
11 Tiegemberg 139.5km
12 Holstraat 143.8km
13 Nokereberg 151.4km


The peloton is currently in the neutralised zone in Kuurne, and is due to reach kilometre zero at 11.53 local time.


There are a number of riders named on the start list who have opted not to line out today, including 2016 winner Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) and Zico Waeytens (Cofidis).


201km remaining from 201km

The flag drops and the 2019 edition of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne is underway.


196km remaining from 201km

The first attack to gain any traction comes from Sean De Bie. The Roompot-Charles rider has a small gap over the peloton, but he will surely hope for some company.


191km remaining from 201km

Sean De Bie has been pegged back by the peloton, and the high speed in the early kilometres is making it difficult for a break to take form.


There are accelerations aplenty on the front of the peloton, but as yet nobody has managed to forge clear. The temperature is a pleasant 12 degrees, though there has been some light rain in the Flemish Ardennes this morning and a risk of more in the afternoon.


181km remaining from 201km

20 kilometres into the race and still no breakaway has formed. The pace has been searing thus far. The first climb on the agenda is a little over 10 kilometres away, the Volkegemberg.


At the moment, the selection looks more likely to come from the back of the race than the front. A group of 40 or so riders briefly lost contact at the rear of the peloton but there was a regrouping shortly afterwards.


171km remaining from 201km

Angelo Tulik (Direct Energie) abandons on the approach to the Volkegemberg. The Vital Concept duo of Marc Fournier and Corentin Ermenault have also pulled out. The pace remains brisk at the head of the peloton and as yet, no break has taken shape.


The big news this morning concerns Stefan Denifl. Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung and state broadcaster ORF reported that Denifl confessed to blood doping when interviewed by Austrian police last week. Denifl was questioned as part of the doping inquiry that saw five cross-country skiers arrested at last week's World Championships. The 31-year-old signed for CCC last October following the demise of Aqua Blue Sport, but then parted company with the team in December - the news was announced/buried late in the evening of December 23 - without any explanation. Read more on this developing story here.


165km remaining from 201km

Two further abandons as Vyacheslav Kutznetov (Katusha-Alpecin) and Thimo Willems (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) call a halt to their races after the cobbles at Holleweg.


161km remaining from 201km

The peloton is still grouped as it hurtles through Brakel, home of Peter Van Petegem, an Opening Weekend specialist. He won Omloop Het Volk, as it was then known, in 1997, 1998 and 2002, while he claimed Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in 2001. 


154km remaining from 201km

The bunch hits the Eikenmolen, the second climb of the day, having covered some 46.3km in a fast opening hour of racing.


147km remaining from 201km

Magnus Cort (Astana), Pim Ligthart (Direct Energie) and Jimmy Turgis (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) have managed to break clear from the peloton, while Lawrence Naesen (Lotto-Soudal) is bridging across to them. They have a handful of seconds in hand for the time being, but will they be able to establish themselves?


Naesen joins Cort, Turgis and Ligthart, and this quartet extends its lead over the peloton to half a minute.


141km remaining from 201km

Ludwig De Winter (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo) and Benoit Jarrier (Arkéa-Samsic) are trying to make it across to the break, which now has a minute in hand on the peloton.

138km remaining from 201km

The two groups unite and we now have a break of seven riders in front: Magnus Cort (Astana), Pim Ligthart (Direct Energie), Jimmy Turgis (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels), Lawrence Naesen (Lotto Soudal), Ludwig De Winter (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo) and Benoit Jarrier (Arkéa-Samsic). 


130km remaining from 201km

As the seven leaders approach the feed zone at Zarlardinge, their advantage over the peloton stands at 4:23.

128km remaining from 201km

The peloton is reluctant to give this group too much leeway, and their lead has been promptly trimmed back to 2:30.


Daniel Benson spoke with CCC manager Jim Ochowicz about the Denifl blood doping case at the start this morning. Denifl signed with CCC last October but parted by mutual consent in December before turning a pedal in anger for the team. Ochowicz said that the Austrian had asked to leave the team due to personal reasons. "He said it had nothing to do with sport but to do with his family business," Ochowicz told Cyclingnews."It was something with his wife, and then something with his father, and sister. I didn't ask a lot of questions. He said he wasn't able to do this [join the team]. So I said okay, fair enough." Read the full story here.


122km remaining from 201km

The seven leaders have extended their advantage once again, and it now stands at 3:13. They are approaching La Houppe, the fourth hill of the day.


After two hours of racing, the average speed was 42.65kph.


112km remaining from 201km

The break has reached the day's fifth climb, the Kanarieberg, with a lead of 3:20 over the peloton.


Alexey Lutsensko (Astana), who finished 4th at Omloop yesterday, has abandoned the race. According to the team's Twitter feed, Lutsenko"quit the race to recover for his upcoming races."


104km remaining from 201km

On the day's 6th hill, the Kruisberg, the break has a lead of 3:45 over the peloton. A reminder of the names in the move: Magnus Cort (Astana), Pim Ligthart (Direct Energie), Jimmy Turgis (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels), Ludwig De Winter (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Lawrence Naesen (Lotto-Soudal), Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo) and Benoit Jarrier (Arkaa-Samsic).


100km remaining from 201km

At the midway point, the break's lead is a shade under 7 minutes.


A crash in the peloton sees Dorian Godon (AG2R), Daniel Hoelgaard (Groupama-FDJ) and Franck Bonnamour (Arkea-Samsic) among the fallers. Godon abandons the race.


95km remaining from 201km

Over the Cote du Trieu, the break has a lead of 2:15 on the peloton. The next climb on the agenda will be the Oude Kwaremont.


88km remaining from 201km

Deceuninck-QuickStep are setting the tempo in the peloton on the approach to the Oude Kwaremont, and the race has been strung out into a long line. 


Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar are prominent at the front and they have managed to split the peloton into several echelons. 


Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), meanwhile, has crashed further back the road. He gets to his feet but has yet to remount and his challenge might be coming to an end.


There is a delegation from LottoNL-Jumbo in this front echelon, which is being driven by Deceuninck-QuickStep. They are rapidly reducing the deficit to the seven leaders on the approach to the Kwaremont.


Deceuninck-QuickStep are without their recognised fast man Fabio Jakobsen due to illness, hence their desire to try to eliminate as many sprinters as they can in this lumpy mid-section of the race.


The escapees are on the lower slopes of the Kwaremont with a lead of 57 seconds over the chasers.


The peloton looked set to regroup at the base of the Kwaremont, but now Ian Stannard (Team Sky) is laying down a brisk tempo on the lower part of the climb and the race is breaking up once again.


Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar are lined up on Stannard's wheel, while Oliver Naesen is also present in this increasingly elite front end of the peloton.


83km remaining from 201km

Lampaert moves to the front and accelerates on the upper part of the Kwaremont. Deceuninck are determined to break this race to pieces ahead of the finale.


Lampaert, Stybar, Naesen, Stannard, Owain Doull, Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini and Stefan Kung form a rather elite chasing group over the top of the Kwaremont. They are 16 seconds down on the break on the approach to the Kluisberg.  


79km remaining from 201km

The Lampaert group catches the break, swelling the front group to fifteen riders. This group has a small buffer over the remnants of the peloton.


The men in this front group are: Yves Lampaert, Zdenek Stybar, Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Davide Ballerini, Magnus Cort (Astana), Ian Stannard, Owain Doull (Team Sky), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Pim Ligthart (Direct Energie), Jimmy Turgis (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels), Lawrence Naesen (Lotto Soudal), Ludwig De Winter (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo) and Benoit Jarrier (Arkéa-Samsic).


77km remaining from 201km

Over the Kluisberg, the front group has now expanded to around 30 or so riders, with Bob Jungels, Andre Greipel and Matteo Trentin among those to have joined the move. They have a small lead of another group of equivalent size.


75km remaining from 201km

This is beginning to look like a definitive split. The front group has a lead of 45 seconds over a second peloton, which is being led by Bora-Hansgrohe on behalf of Pascal Ackermann.


Dylan Groenewegen has also missed this split, and LottoNL-Jumbo have joined Bora-Hansgrohe in organising the chase. 


72km remaining from 201km

A number of interesting names in this front group, including some notably fast finishers. They have 48 seconds in hand on the chasers: Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo), Yves Lampaert, Zdenek Stybar, Kasper Asgreen, Florian Senechal, (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Gijs Van Hoecke (CCC), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) Jens Keukeleire, Nikolas Maes, Lawrence Naesen (Lotto Soudal), Nils Politt, Jens Debusschere (Katusha-Alpecin), Davide Ballerini, Magnus Cort (Astana), Ian Stannard, Owain Doull (Team Sky), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Pim Ligthart (Direct Energie), Jimmy Turgis (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels), Ludwig De Winter (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo), Andre Greipel, Benoit Jarrier (Arkéa-Samsic), Matteo Trentin, Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott), Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First), Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates).




70km remaining from 201km

Deceuninck-QuickStep are determined to keep this move alive. Yves Lampaert puts in a big turn on the front, and there seems to be a decent working agreement in place at the head of the race. The gap is 47 seconds.


66km remaining from 201km

Senechal sets the tempo in the front group as they hit the cobbles at Varent. Their lead over the peloton is 31 seconds. LottoNL-Jumbo head the chase.


Bob Jungels takes over on the Varent and stretches things out. Stannard battles to hold his wheel, with Kung just behind.


Jungels split the front group on the Varent, and only Magnus Cort, Ballerini, OIiver Naesen and Langeveld have managed to stay with him.


This group of strongmen is pressing on with a small advantage over the rest of the front echelon. With nobody willing to take up the chase, their lead is growing.


61km remaining from 201km

Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First), Davide Ballerini, Magnus Cort (Astana) lead the chasing group by 17 seconds, while the peloton is at 57 seconds.


Jungels, Cort, Ballerini, Langeveld and Oliver Naesen are swapping turns quite smoothly. Jens Keukeleire leads the chase, but there are four QuickStep riders still in this group - Lampaert, Stybar, Asgreen and Senechal. The Jumbo-Visma-led peloton is at 1:05.


58km remaining from 201km

Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) was briefly sitting on the front of the main peloton, though with Matteo Trentin up ahead, one assumes the Dane was looking to disrupt Jumbo-Visma's chase effort. 


57km remaining from 201km

The escapees are on the penultimate climb of Holstraat with a lead of 23 seconds over the chasers and 1:10 over the main peloton. Oliver Naesen is contributing generously here.


Bora-Hansgrohe set the tempo in the main peloton. They have nobody at all up front. Jumbo-Visma do at least have Danny van Poppel ahead in the cashing group.


55km remaining from 201km

The front five are collaborating well. Jungels has looked very assured, and this augurs well for the 2018 Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner's cobbled Classics campaign ahead.


52km remaining from 201km

Jungels, Oliver Naesen, Ballerini, Cort and Langeveld are increasing their lead. They have 32 seconds in hand on the chasers and 1:12 over the peloton, though they still have more 50km left to cover.


49km remaining from 201km

The break hits the final climb of the day, the Nokereberg, with a lead of 50 seconds over the chasers. 


46km remaining from 201km

The peloton has swallowed the unwieldy chasing group, leaving just five riders out in front. Jungels et al have 1:04 in hand on the bunch.


44km remaining from 201km

It's Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First), Davide Ballerini and Magnus Cort (Astana) against the peloton. The five leaders have precisely 1 minute in hand.


A crash for Clement Venturini (AG2R) who remounts and gives chase, but he will struggle to catch the peloton, where Jumbo-Visma are ratcheting up the pace.


41km remaining from 201km

The break's lead hovers around the one-minute mark as Jumbo-Visma continue to pile on the pressure behind.


The race concludes with two laps of a local circuit around Kuurne. The riders cross the finish line for the first time with 30.4km to go.


37km remaining from 201km

Taco van der Hoorn has put in a big shift for Jumbo-Visma at the head of the peloton, which is 55 seconds down on the break. Bora-Hansgrohe and Mitchelton-Scott are also contributing to the pursuit.


35km remaining from 201km

This front group is scarcely yielding an inch. Their lead remains locked at 1 minute.


A mechanical issue for Jasper Philpsen (UAE Team Emirates), who gets a quick bike change and starts to chase back on to the peloton.


34km remaining from 201km

Philipsen has rejoined the peloton, which lies 56 seconds down on Jungels, Ballerini, Cort, Naesen and Langeveld.


32km remaining from 201km

Luke Durbridge moves to the front of the peloton to join Bora-Hansgrohe and Jumbo-Visma in their pursuit of the break.


Jungels, Naesen and company are putting up fierce resistance, and the peloton is struggling to make any real inroads into their advantage. The fast finisher in this peloton include Pascal Ackermann, Matteo Trentin, Dylan Groenewegen, Jasper Philipsen and Andre Greipel.


30km remaining from 201km

Naesen, Jungels, Ballerini, Cort and Langeveld cross the finish line for the first time with a lead of 40 seconds over the peloton.


27km remaining from 201km

Bora-Hansgrohe, Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma are providing the manpower at the head of the peloton. 38 seconds the gap to the five leaders.


A crash in the peloton sees Matteo Trentin come down. He doesn't appear to be hurt and he quickly remounts, but he will have to chase hard to get back on. The incident will also - temporarily at least - excuse Mitchelton-Scott from the chase effort at the head of the bunch.


24km remaining from 201km

Naesen, Jungels, Ballerini, Cort and Langeveld remain a cohesive unit out in front. They still have 33 seconds in hand on the peloton.


23km remaining from 201km

Durbridge re-assumes his position at the head of the peloton, but Trentin has not quite caught the tail-end of the bunch. He has Robert Stannard for company as he works his way through the convoy.


20km remaining from 201km

Trentin still hasn't made his way into the peloton and he is now by himself and without much shelter as he continues to chase the rear of the bunch. Even if he makes it back, the Italian will have expended a lot of energy before an eventual sprint.


Meanwhile, Bora-Hansgrohe and Jumbo-Visma wind up the pace in the bunch, which is still 34 seconds down on Jungels and company.


18km remaining from 201km

Naesen, Jungels, Cort, Ballerini and Langeveld maintain a lead of half a minute and they continue to swap turns smoothly. 


Jempi Drucker rides on the front of the peloton for Bora-Hansgrohe, 24 seconds down on the break.


17km remaining from 201km

Jungels attacks alone from the break and opens a small gap. An exhausted Cort, meanwhile, has dropped back to the peloton.


15km remaining from 201km

Jungels crosses the finish line with one lap remaining with a lead of 7 seconds over Naesen, Ballerini and Langeveld. The bunch trails at 29 seconds.


Matteo Trentin, incidentally, has finally rejoined the peloton ahead of the final lap of the finishing circuit.


12km remaining from 201km

Bob Jungels has taken flight and has opened a lead of 26 seconds over Naesen, Ballerini and Langeveld, while the peloton is now 47 seconds down. It looked as though the peloton was gradually and grimly clawing back their deficit, but Jungels has produced a remarkable burst over the last 4km.


Deceuninck-QuickStep come to the front of the peloton in a bid to hinder the pursuit effort. Jempi Drucker shakes his head as he moves around Yves Lampaert to resume his position on the front.


10km remaining from 201km

There is no disagreement between Naesen, Langeveld and Ballerini over whose responsibility it is to chase, but they simply can't match the remarkable surge of Jungels, who has 33 seconds in hand.


9km remaining from 201km

Langeveld, Naesen and Ballerini have been caught by the peloton, which is 34 seconds down on the flying Jungels.


Naesen launches once defiant kick as the bunch catches him, but his challenge is over. Jumbo-Visma, Cofidis and Lotto Soudal each have riders at the front. QuickStep are still trying to upset the rhythm of the chase.


7km remaining from 201km

Jungels sits with his forearms resting on the top of the handlebars, as though gripping imaginary Spinaci bars. He has 29 seconds in hand on the peloton.


Matteo Trentin has lost contact with the peloton. It looks as though he may have been ordered out by the commissaires for riding on the pavement during his pursuit of the bunch, but we await confirmation of what has transpired.


6km remaining from 201km

Jungels continues to pedal smoothly with a lead of 26 seconds over the peloton. The race looked set for a bunch sprint, but the Luxembourger has more than a fighting chance of holding off the pursuers.


5km remaining from 201km

A few seconds have been clipped off Jungels' lead, but he shows no signs of slowing.


4km remaining from 201km

Jungels rolls his mammoth gear with a lead of 18 seconds over a peloton that's being led by Jempi Drucker (Bora-Hansgrohe). QuickStep riders are lined up behind Drucker. The men in blue are trying to disturb the chase.


3km remaining from 201km

Jungels still has 18 seconds, and QuickStep's blocking tactics seem to be stifling the cohesion of the chase.


2km remaining from 201km

The impetus has ebbed away from this chase and Jumbo-Visma have disappeared. Owain Doull attacks... Lampaet, Niki Terpstra and Jens Keukeleire come with him.


2km remaining from 201km

Jungels has 18 seconds over Doull, Terpstra, Keukeleiere and Lampaert, with the bunch a little further behind. This is looking like a winning gap for Jungels.


1km remaining from 201km

Jungels grits his teeth as he enters the final kilometre. He has 16 seconds on Keukeleire, Lampaert, Terpstra and Doull. Cofidis lead the peloton just behind.


Into the final straight for Jungels, who is going to win Deceuninck-QuickStep's second Classic in as many days.


Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.


Owain Doull (Team Sky) takes second place with Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie) third. 


Jungels won with 12 seconds to spare over Doull, who came home just in front of the closing peloton.


Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was a faller in a crash in the finishing straight. 




1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep
2 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
3 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Direct Energie
4 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
5 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6 Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic
9 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team


Winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege last year, Jungels has been seconded to Deceuninck-QuickStep's cobbled Classics unit this season. He last raced a cobbled Classic when he placed 84th at Paris-Roubaix as a neo-professional in 2013, having won the race as an under-23. After 16th at Omloop yesterday, he soloed to victory here for his second win of the 2019 season after a stage of the Tour Colombia. And, of course, he completes an Opening Weekend double for Deceuninck-QuickStep, who took Omloop through Zdenek Stybar yesterday.



Matteo Trentin did not finish the race, but his Mitchelton-Scott team have confirmed that he was not disqualified.




1 Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:42:54
2 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
3 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Direct Energie
4 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
5 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6 Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic
9 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team
11 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
12 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
13 Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
14 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
15 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
16 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert
17 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
18 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
19 Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
20 Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team


Thanks for following our live coverage of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne this afternoon. A full report, results and pictures are available here.




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