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Saturday, July 13, 2024

KUURNE’24: Great Wout Wows ‘Em!

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Race Report: No shock: Wout van Aert gained the second race of the ‘opening weekend’ – Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Visma | Lease a Bike dominated the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne for a double weekend of success. Van Aert, Tim Wellens and Spanish champion, Oier Lazkano, fought for the victory, for Van Aert to place the cream on the Visma cake.

Wout van Aert has taken his first Traditional victory of the 2024 season. The chief of Visma | Lease a Bike defeated Tim Wellens and Oier Lazkano in a three-man dash within the last of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The three had raced for greater than 80 kilometres off the entrance.

Kuurne 2024
First win for Wout in 2024

The Parcours
The route is way the identical as final yr’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, or extra accurately; Kortrijk-Brussels-Kuurne, as the beginning is in Kortrijk, subsequent to Kuurne. Within the early a part of the race, among the climbs have modified. The course is barely longer than in 2023. The finale is identical as final yr. It’s sure that the Hainaut triptych newcomers with Hameau des Papins (1,200 meters, common 6.6%, max. of 16.2%), Le Bourliquet (1,300 meters, common 6.8%, max. 15.3%) and Mont Saint-Laurent (1,300 meters, common 7.8% max. 17%), along with the following last part together with the Hotond, the Côte de Trieu or the Knokteberg and the Kluisberg, can flip the race the other way up.

Kuurne 2024

The beginning is in Kortrijk this yr and never on the Brugsesteenweg in Kuurne. That is adopted by a route of just about 200 kilometres with 13 climbs. The primary is the well-known Tiegemberg after simply 17.5 kilometres of racing. After about 20 kilometres with none climbs, the cobbled climbs observe one another in fast succession. The Volkegemberg, Lepelstraat, Bossenaarstraat and the Berg Ten Houte. The five hundred metre lengthy Beerbosstraat, 33.5 kilometres from the end, is the final cobbled part and fairly an impediment earlier than the end. Then, through the hilly Sint-Denijs in the direction of Kuurne, the place the end line is handed after 183.9 kilometres. There may be one other native circuit of 12.5 kilometres via Kortrijk and Harelbeke. The sprinter’s groups can attempt to get a dash lead-out ready, that all the time creates some pleasure.

Kuurne 2024

Tiegemberg (1,400m at 4%) – 17.5km
Volkegemberg (1000m at 5.1%) – 35.6km
Lepelstraat (2100m) 3.4%) – 51.1km
Bossenaarstraat (1,300m at 5.6%) – 67.4km
Berg Ten Houte (1,100m at 6.2%) – 70.9km
La Houppe (1,880m at 4.8%) – 78.2km
Hameau des Papins (1,200m at 6.6%) – 95.9km
Le Bourliquet (1,300m at 6.8%) – 104.4km
Mont Saint Laurent (1,300m at 7.8%) – 109.5km
Kruisberg (1,400m at 4.8%) – 118.9km
Hotond (1,200m at 3.1%) – 120.1km
Côte de Trieu/Knokteberg (1,260m at 7%) – 127.7km
Kluisberg (1,100m at 6%) – 135.1km.

Kuurne 2024
Wout van Aert – Prime favorite once more

Kuurne 2024
Second within the Omloop, Nils Politt, Can he go one higher in Kuurne?

On the second day of the ‘opening weekend’ all eyes had been on Kortrijk (Kuurne) for the beginning of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and the end on the Brugsesteenweg. There was 196 powerful kilometres to race with a complete of 13 climbs on the menu, the final 7 in 30 kilometres.

Kuurne 2024
The followers had been out to see the peloton depart Kortrijk (not Kuurne)

Kuurne 2024
First crash of the day

As a result of sturdy headwind within the first 2 hours of the race, an early break took a very long time coming. The wind didn’t invite assaults, however on the fourth climb of the day, Dries De Bondt (Decathlon-AG2R), Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Dstny), Fran Miholjevič (Bahrain Victorious), Luke Rowe (INEOS Grenadiers) took their likelihood. They quickly had a lead of three minutes.

Kuunre 2024
There are windmills in Belgium in addition to the Netherlands

Kuurne 2024
The moist fields of Flanders

The primary hours of racing had been very nervous and there have been many crashes, together with favourites Gerben Thijssen and Biniam Girmay, Jordi Meeus and Per Strand Hagenes. They had been all capable of proceed, however Thijssen wasn’t wanting too good. Within the peloton Visma | Lease a Bike had taken management. Would they make first climb of the day, the Hameau des Papins, tough.

Kuurne 2024
The peloton remains to be collectively, however when it splits…

Kuurne 2024
Van Aert in the course of all of the motion

The Visma males held again till the subsequent climb, Le Bourliquet, to essentially put down the facility. It was Wout van Aert who began the battle, resulting from his acceleration the peloton break up into a number of items. Riders on the again, together with Jasper Stuyven (Lidl-Trek) and Luke Lamperti (Soudal Fast-Step) had been in bother.

Kuurne 2024
Time to wish for dry roads

On the entrance Visma | Lease a Bike was one of the best represented. Along with Van Aert, in addition they had European champion Christophe Laporte, Dutch champion Dylan van Baarle and Matteo Jorgenson. There was additionally Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Fast-Step), Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty), Toms Skujins (Lidl-Trek), Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny), Pierre Gautherat (Decathlon-AG2R), Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious), Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech), Oier Lazkano (Movistar), Tim Wellens (UAE Workforce Emirates) and Laurence Pithie (Groupama-FDJ). This was a stable group of favourites.

Kuurne 2024
The climbs come one after the opposite

On the cobbles of the Mont Saint-Laurent, Van Aert determined that that group was nonetheless too giant. Within the gutter, solely Lazkano, Wellens and Pithie managed to go together with the Belgian. On the high of the climb, Van Aert wasn’t positive if this was the perfect state of affairs and sat on the again of the group for a second. The opposite three had been prepared and keen to work. The 20 seconds lead that they had on the cobbles, quickly expanded.

Kuurne 2024
Omloop winner, Jan Tratnik, again to working for the group

Van Aert will need to have determined it was transfer and began to work. On the ultimate climb of the day, the Côte de Trieu, the Visma | Lease a Bike chief put in an assault. This was an excessive amount of for Pithie, who was distanced and Lazkano was additionally in bother, however the Spanish champion fought his method again. This left three on the entrance with 69 flat kilometres to race to Kuurne.

Kuurne 2024
The favourites on the entrance

Kuurne 2024
Van Aert wished to separate the race

The lead continued to extend. Behind there was a counter-attack by Jorgenson and Mohorič, who had been later joined by the dropped Pithie, however they had been caught at slightly below 2 minutes. The chase group was at between 3 and 4 minutes. It seemed very very similar to the winner would come from the Wellens-Lazkano-Van Aert trio.

Kuurne 2024
Van Aert had Tim Wellens and Oier Lazkano with him

The main three labored collectively for a very long time. The tailwind within the last made positive the pace was excessive. Lazkano, who was in all probability the weakest on paper, continued to take his turns, on the recommendation of his Movistar DS, Jürgen Roelandts. Wellens attacked stealthily on the left facet of the street 4 kilometres from the end did issues get a bit messy. Nonetheless, tried an assault on the within of a piece of avenue furnishings, however Van Aert was capable of reply, whereas it took Lazkano a bit longer to battle his method again to the opposite two.

Kuurne 2024
Matteo Jorgenson wished to be within the motion once more

Kuurne 2024
Would this be the successful break?

Resulting from Wellens taking a look at Van Aert, Lazkano was again in with a (slim) likelihood. Simply after the final bend, the Spanish champion made his anticipated assault. He began the dash for Wout van Aert, who rapidly caught Lazkano’s wheel. Van Aert then made a pointy last soar and Wellens couldn’t come previous him earlier than the road. After Jan Tratnik’s victory in Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Van Aert topped off an ideal ‘opening weekend’ for the Visma | Lease a Bike group. Additionally Jonas Vingegaard and Marianne Vos added their victories to the group’s profitable weekend.

Kuurne 2024
Victor Campenaerts tried to get away from the opposite chasers

Kuurne winner, Wout van Aert (Visma | Lease a Bike): “It’s a good victory, it is rather rewarding. It was a tough race, however I had two good companions. Once I felt we had a tailwind within the last I knew there was likelihood that the strongest would survive after the hilly zone. The tempo was tremendous excessive, I felt it was going to separate. It was the logical tactic for us. Once we took the lead with 4 I knew we had likelihood to remain forward. With three males it’s tough to shock, it was state of affairs. I used to be assured that I might reply to assaults and end within the dash. I’m very proud of our efficiency this weekend. It’s nice to start out the Classics like this. We did effectively as a group. It’s good for my confidence, however the upcoming Classics shall be very totally different.”

Kuurne 2024
The peloton wouldn’t see these three until after the end line

2nd, Tim Wellens (UAE Workforce Emirates): “It was an excellent race for me. We rode away within the hilly space after which we all the time stored working. I used to be fascinated about how I might win the race towards Wout, however I didn’t see many eventualities. That facet (of the street island) was not essentially quicker. Quite the opposite, I believe it was even a little bit longer. However it was tougher to take a seat on the wheel immediately. However, beating Wout on the flat isn’t simple. So second was the very best potential. It was an excellent weekend for the group, with Nils (Pollit) ending second yesterday and me as we speak. I didn’t anticipate to be in such fine condition, as a result of I hadn’t skilled very intensively. In keeping with my coach, I’m not in high form but, however it actually felt that method in the course of the race. That offers confidence for what’s but to come back. It was a robust headwind. So I knew that I shouldn’t begin the dash first, however now it isn’t the case that I’m stranded on half a wheel.”

Kuurne 2024
The beginning of a high season for Wout van Aert?

third, Oier Lazkano (Movistar): “I attempted to go for the win, however Wout and Tim had been very sturdy. They only stored accelerating. It was additionally unlikely for me to be on the street with these champions. Usually you solely see them on tv. I wished to proceed working collectively. You may’t try this, not take part. Then they begin attacking you. It’s higher to not play your playing cards till the tip. However there was nothing left in my legs. These are lovely races that I all the time wished to journey. I additionally wished to do effectively right here. Fortuitously I had the assist of sports activities director Jürgen Roelandts. He is aware of the roads right here greatest and was one of many strongest riders of his technology. He makes you’re feeling a bit at dwelling right here.”

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Outcome:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Visma | Lease a Bike in 4:21:01
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) UAE Workforce Emirates
3. Oier Lazkano (Spa) Movistar
4. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Visma | Lease a Bike at 1:23
5. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) dsm-firmenich PostNL
6. Emilien Jeannière (Fra) TotalEnergies
7. Luke Lamperti (USA) Soudal Fast-Step
8. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Lotto Dstny
9. Marius Mayrhofer (Ger) Tudor
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Lidl-Trek.

# Meet up with all of the weekend information in EUROTRASH Monday. #

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