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Fabio Jakobsen wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) edged out Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) in a bunch sprint to win Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

Although it ended in a sprint, the race was far from straightforward, with a breakaway trio of Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) only being brought back on the finishing straight, having been part of a group that first formed about 60km from the finish.

Jakobsen fired past them while sprinting to the line, and just about held off the challenge to his left from Ewan to take victory.

With 20km to go the peloton appeared to have the race firmly under control, with a bunch sprint looking inevitable. The twelve riders left in the breakaway were within sight, and nine of them were brought back 17km from the finish.

But Laporte, Narvaez and van der Hoorn hadn’t yet given up the ghost, and stubbornly refused to be caught, and still held a lead of just over 10 seconds heading into the final 10 kilometres. 

By the time they reached 4km to go with the gap still at 10 seconds, there was panic in the peloton. QuickStep-AlphaVinyl were burning through their domestiques yet making no inroads, while Laporte’s Jumbo-Visma teammates were disrupting the chase by moving to the front round the corners and slowing down.

But a final push to the line in the peloton, notably from Israel-Premier Tech, was just about enough to bring them within reach of the sprinters, and Jakobsen was able to use the trio’s slipstream to start his sprint early. 

“I have to thank the team of course,” he said at the finish. “We had three guys to catch in the end, and I had to use all my teammates to even be able to sprint for the win. 

“The last hour was fast and furious, but I know that I have a good sprint, so I launched it 300m to go and dove into their slipstream. Then it was just all the way to the line. I could feel Ewan come on the left, but I guess I had a good jump and I could pass the line first.

The win is Jakobsen’s fifth of the season, and continues his brilliant recovery since his serious crash in the summer of 2020.

“It’s been step-by-step since last year, especially after the crash in Poland. I had to restart almost all over again. But I had the experience and the time, so I’d like to thank the team for that also, and this is a way to pay them back. Winning is never easy, we always aim for it. 

“The next races are probably Gent-Wevelgem, of course Scheldeprijs, and in my dreams I’d like to win Milan-San Remo, but I need to climb a bit better and be able to do 300k.

“My mind is also in Eastern Europe, with the people in Ukraine. There’s a war going on there, and in Belgium and the Netherlands we are free to do what we want again, go out, watch the race and enjoy riding our bikes. But my mind and my heart is with the people there, and I hope they get through this.”

How it unfolded

Just as it did yesterday during the first part of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the sun shone on the peloton for what was the second part of Opening Weekend.

Lluis Mas (Movistar) was the instigator of the day's break, which also featured Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco), Wessel Krul (Human Powered Health), Arjen Livyns, Bas Tietema (both Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Jules Hesters (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

That seven-man group later became a nine-man group, when the EF Education-EasyPost duo of Ben Healy and Julius van den Berg bridged up to them, making the juncture at 100km to go.

Those EF Education-EasyPost helped increase the pace enough for Tietema then Krul to be dropped, but behind the peloton were motoring along, led by Ineos Grenadiers.  

Their work was enough to bring the gap down to just 30 seconds with 90km to go, until they knocked off the pace a few kilometres later — which was good news for both the break, who extended their advantage back up to over one minute, and Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), who was able to rejoin the peloton easily after having a mechanical 85km from the finish.

The easing up of the pace prompted Rex Laurenz (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) to attack out of the peloton. 

He was only away for a few kilometres, however, as Kasper Asgreen took control of the peloton for QuickStep-AlphaVinyl over the tough Mont Saint-Laurent cobbled climb.

After the climb was crested, Ineos Grenadiers went on the attack, with first Tom Pidcock and then Jhonatan Narvaez putting in digs. Neither went clear, but the increase in pace did reduce the peloton significantly, and bring the breakaway (which now featured just five riders after Healy and Hesters were dropped) back under one minute. 

Ineos Grenadiers continued to ride aggressively on the next climb, the Kruisberg, stretching the peloton into one long line. Asgreen and then Pidcock attacked after the climb, and later another handful of riders including Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) but still no-one could succeed in going clear.

That changed on the next climb, the Côte du Trieu, when Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) exploded out of the peloton. His attack blew the race to pieces, as a group of 16 formed behind him, then joined him 58km from the finish. 

Those 17 riders were: Benoot, Christophe Laporte, Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma), Tom Pidcock, Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ), Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Damien Touze (Ag2r Citroen), Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Ivan Garcia Cortina (Movistar) and Kevin Vauquelin (Arkea-Samsic), plus Durbridge, Livyns and van der Hoorn, who dropped back from the original break. 

Israel-Premier Tech were eager to bring the group back, putting five riders at the front of the peloton, but the group was committed, and by 50km to go had opened up a lead of 50 seconds. Only after they were joined by other teams, including Lotto-Soudal and Bahrain-Victorious, did the gap begin to whittle down, and was back under 20 seconds with 37km left to ride

At this point Garcia attacked out of the lead group, with Van Hooydonck on his wheel. Surprisingly, that acceleration saw Pidcock and Benoot drop out the back of the group, and be swallowed up by the peloton.

Trentin counter-attacked after Garcia and Van Hooydonck were caught, only for the group to reform again shortly after, now consisting of just a dozen riders. 

Kung, Asgreen, Trentin and Laporte each took it in turns to up the pace around 30km from the finish, the latter temporarily ejecting Garcia, Skujins and Livyns from the group. 

On a long, straight road 20km from the finish, the peloton had the break within their sights, and a committed turn from Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Victorious) helped bring them closer still. 

But Laporte, Narvaez and van der Hoorn attacked before the others were caught, with what turned out to be very nearly the race-winning move. 

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 4:32:13
2Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
4Daniel McLay (GBr) Arkea-Samsic
5Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
6Dries Van Gestel (Bel) TotalEnergies
7Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkea-Samsic
8Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
9Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
11Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
12Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
13Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
14Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
15Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
16Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team DSM
17Dion Smith (NZl) BikeExchange-Jayco
18Laurenz Rex (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
19Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
20Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
21Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
22Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Movistar Team
23Samuel Gaze (NZl) Alpecin-Fenix
24Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
25Jordi Warlop (Bel) B&B Hotels-KTM
26Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-EasyPost
27Jonas Koch (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
28Erik Nordsaeter Resell (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
29Magnus Sheffield (USA) Ineos Grenadiers
30Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
31Jenno Berckmoes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
32Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
33Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
34Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
35Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) Human Powered Health
36Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
37Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech
38Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
39Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
40Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
41Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
42Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
43Vito Braet (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
44Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
45Antonio Puppio (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
46Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:07
47Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
48Kévin Vauquelin (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
49Lewis Askey (GBr) Groupama-FDJ
50Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
51Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
52Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroen Team
53Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
54Hugo Houle (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
55Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
56Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
57Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
58Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
59Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
60Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
61Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
62Damien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
63Fabio Van Den Bossche (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
64Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Movistar Team
65Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
66Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
67Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:14
68Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:16
69Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:22
70Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
71Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:40
72Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:47
73John Degenkolb (Ger) Team DSM 0:00:52
74Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
75Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
76Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:01:05
77Adrien Petit (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:07
78Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Arkea-Samsic 0:01:09
79Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
80Cedric Beullens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:36
81Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies 0:01:51
82Ben Turner (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:49
83Jannik Steimle (Ger) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
84Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:03:12
85Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
86Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
87Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
88Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
89Fredrik Dversnes (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:03:45
90Michael Gogl (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix 0:05:20
91Edward Planckaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:08:17
92Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:09:31
93Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 0:09:55
94Laurence Pithie (NZl) Groupama - Fdj
95Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) TotalEnergies
96Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) TotalEnergies
97Juri Hollmann (Ger) Movistar Team
98Milan Fretin (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
99Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM
100William Levy (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
101Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
102Pierre Barbier (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
103Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
104Markus Pajur (Est) Arkea-Samsic
105Jan Maas (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
106Casper Van Uden (Ned) Development Team Dsm
107Antoine Raugel (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
108Colin Joyce (USA) Human Powered Health
109Eddy Fine (Fra) Cofidis
110Cyril Lemoine (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
111Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
112Kim Heiduk (Ger) Ineos Grenadiers
113Pier Andre Cote (Can) Human Powered Health
114Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
115Tom Bohli (Swi) Cofidis
116Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
117Peter Sagan (Svk) TotalEnergies
118Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team
119Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
120Tobias Andresen (Den) Development Team Dsm
121Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
122Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
123Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) EF Education-EasyPost
124Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
125Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
126David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
127Tobias Bayer (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix
128Alex Colman (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
129Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-EasyPost
130Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM
131Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
132Ben Healy (Irl) EF Education-EasyPost
133Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education-EasyPost
134Owain Doull (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost
135Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Cofidis 0:11:53
136Szymon Sajnok (Pol) Cofidis
DNFArvid de Kleijn (Ned) Human Powered Health
DNFSven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFAdam De Vos (Can) Human Powered Health
DNFAugust Jensen (Nor) Human Powered Health
DNFDonavan Grondin (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
DNFMaurice Ballerstedt (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFKamil Gradek (Pol) Bahrain Victorious
DNFGerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFWessel Krul (Ned) Human Powered Health
DNFLukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMartin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFKarl Patrick Lauk (Est) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFLeon Heinschke (Ger) Team DSM
DNFJohan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
DNFJonas Iversby Hvideberg (Nor) Team DSM
DNFOier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJulius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
DNFRaphael Parisella (Can) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFJulien Morice (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
DNFJules Hesters (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFChristopher Lawless (GBr) TotalEnergies
DNFTuur Dens (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
DNFHarry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
DNFTom Wirtgen (Lux) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFBas Tietema (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
DNFAlexander Konychev (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFKenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis
DNFLawson Craddock (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco
DNFMarco Haller (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFMorten Hulgaard (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFJonas Abrahamsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DNFMarkus Hoelgaard (Nor) Trek-Segafredo

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