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This weekend's cobbled classics: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for Juan Antonio Flecha and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne for Bobbie Traksel

Added: sunday 28 February 2010 at 16:49:00
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    This weekend's cobbled classics: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for Juan Antonio Flecha and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne for Bobbie TrakselThe 2010 season of cobbled classics has started this weekend with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne today. If the weather wasn't very good yesterday with some rain, today the riders really suffered with the rain and very heavy wind (and cold!).

    Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne: 20 km shorter than planned

    Initially planned over 194 kilometers, the organisation decided during the race to remove a circuit from the route and thus reduce it by 20 kilometers.
    195 riders came to the start with some drizzling rain and 16 of them formed the first leading group. Lloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale) was also part of this group, but a fall made an end to this K-B-K for him.
    When the first leading group was taken back the wind divided the peloton in two parts and the 44 riders who were in the second part massively decided to abandon in the feeding zone, just like Nick Nuyens and Joost Posthuma (Rabobank). Tom Boonen, the winner of this revenge race in 2007 and 2009, also gave up indicating he was freezing cold.
    A bit later it was Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) and Filippo Pozzato's (Team Katusha) turn to give up, just like Greg van Avermaet (Omega Pharma-Lotto).

    Bobbie TrakselIn the mean time, a leading duo was formed by Bobbie Traksel (photo) and Arnoud van Groen (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) while Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam) and Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) decide to launch a counter attack. Those last two riders get company of 13 other riders including Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Sébastien Rosseler and Gregory Rast (Team Radioshack), Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) and Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank).
    Van Groen is taken back by this second group and the Dutch rider Bobbie Traksel is thus alone ahead.

    At that time the organisation decides to remove a circuit with the climb of the Côte du Trieu from the race because the road was blocked by a tree which didn't resist the wind.

    Hayden RoulstonWhile Rosseler falls at a round about, Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and Rick Flens (Rabobank) bridge the gap with Bobbie Traksel and this leading trio stays ahead until the finish! At that time they are followed by another trio, formed by Thor Hushovd and Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam) and Hayden Roulston (photo, HTC-Columbia).
    Jeremy Hunt however decides to give up at about 35 kilometers from the finish and tries to warm up a bit in a Shimano car.
    At the first crossing of the finish line Hushovd and Roulston are at 40 seconds of the leading trio, but at about 20 kilometers from the finish Hushovd is getting really cold and lacking energy and he's no longer able to follow Hunt. He doesn't give up however!

    At the second crossing of the finish line Roulston is running 51 seconds behind the leading trio. Hushovd is about 2 minutes behind him and his team mate Dominique Rollin another 30 seconds behind.

    The Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2010 podiumAt 9 kilometers from the finish Rick Flens attacks but Stannard doesn't want to let him go. 2 kilometers further the Team Sky rider tries to get away himself, three times actually, but he doesn't succeed either. At 2 kilometers from the finish Rick Flens attacks again with Bobbie Traksel in his wheel. While Stannard seems to have to let the two others go, the leading trio finally gets back together and with the wind blowing in their faces the three riders continue to battle for the first place. Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) finally launches the final attack and wins this cobbled classic.

    After the finish Bobbie Traksel explained that he had always been so jealous of the riders who won the little donkey (people living in Kuurne are nicknamed donkeys; see photo, image Sporza).

    Here's the top 10 of the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2010 final ranking:
    1/ Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 4h43m14s
    2/ Rick Flens (Rabobank)
    3/ Ian Stannard (Team Sky)
    4/ Hayden Roulston (Cervélo TestTeam) - +1'00"
    5/ Dominique Rollin (Cervélo TestTeam) - +2'58"
    6/ Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) - +2'58"
    7/ Sébastien Turgot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) - +5'38"
    8/ Davy Commeyne (Landbouwkrediet) - +5'41"
    9/ Grégory Rast (Team Radioshack) - +5'50"
    10/ Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank)- +5'50"

    Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

    Yesterday the first attack came from the Belgian rider Frederik Veuchelen of the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team and he rapidly got company from Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano), Roger Kluge (Team Milram) and Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux). While three riders try to get back on them (Grégory Habeaux (Veranda's Willems), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)), the leading group creates a gap of up to 12 minutes.

    When the second group is taken back by the peloton, the leading group loses one minute because a railway crossing is closed and their gap with the peloton is than back to about 7 minutes.

    At about 70 kilometers from the finish Team Sky and Quick Step get to the front of the peloton to try to reduce the gap. Just before the Kruisberg the German rider Kluge can no longer follow the 3 other leading riders and at 53 kilometers from the finish he's caught back by the peloton.
    Tom BoonenOn the Taaienberg Tom Boonen (photo, Quick Step) attacks and he stays ahead alone until the Eikenberg. A group of about 30 favourite riders is formed there, including Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky). While Lars Boom (Rabobank) manages to get away from this group, Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) and some other riders manage to bridge the gap with this group of favourites.

    Juan Antonio FlechaFinally a new leading group is formed by two riders who survived from the initial leading group, Frédéric Guesdon and Roy Curvers, Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky), Philippe Gilbert and Jurgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Nick Nuyens (Rabobank). The last rider gets a puncture and Philippe Gilbert is the first rider to attack. Juan Antonio Flecha doesn't allow him to go very far and simply leaves him behind. Gilbert tries to get back on the Spanish rider of Team Sky, but at about 15 kilometers he's taken back by Jurgen Roelandts and Frédéric Guesdon and those riders are than at 30 seconds from Flecha.

    Juan Antonio FlechaThe peloton is led by the Cervélo TestTeam at that time and at 7 kilometers from the finish the 3 riders behind Flecha are taken back while the gap for the leading rider is up to 41 seconds. Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) tries to get back on Flecha but the Spanish rider stays ahead until the finish.

    Another nice victory for Team Sky with Juan Antonio Flecha who did his arrow (flecha) sign when crossing the finish line (see photo, image RTBF) before pointing to the Sky logo on his shirt.

    Here's the top 10 of the final ranking of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2010:
    1/ Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) - 5h07m15s
    2/ Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) - +0'18"
    3/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) - +0'18"
    4/ Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) - +0'18"
    5/ Marcel Sieberg (HTC-Columbia) - +0'18"
    6/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) - +0'18"
    7/ Niko Eeckhout (An Post - Sean Kelly Team) - +0'18"
    8/ Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Columbia) - +0'18"
    9/ Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) - +0'18"
    10/ Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha) - +0'18"

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Cycling general (except Tour de France)| Classics | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 4 comments!
  1. Mis en ligne


    | Roland TISSIER | sunday 28 February 2010 at 19:13:16

  2. Les routes belges sont dans un état pitoyable. Sinon, ce dimanche, quel vent, quel froid, quelle pluie... ils sont fous ces coureurs. A noter un coureur en forme, mais sans chance, Sébastien Rooseler!

    | Pito | sunday 28 February 2010 at 20:17:41

  3. De Belgische renners presteren weinig in de grote rittenkoersen, en tijdens het openingsweekend lieten de zogenaamde dappere en sterke flandriens - op eigen bodem en in vertrouwd weder - ook helemaal niets zien. Dus zijn vanavond weer van toepassing 'Wij hebben alleen nog maar onze ogen om met tranen te vullen ( dixit ongeveer Karel Van Wijnendaele anno 1950....)' en ... ' Waar is der ouderen fierheid gegangen .... ? ( Vlaams gezegde uit 1302 )' .

    | Journée | monday 01 March 2010 at 0:07:47

  4. @Journée : Het leek wel een Nederlandse invasie ;-)

    @Pito : ici aussi les routes sont dans un très mauvais état. On voit de plus en plus de panneaux "trous en formation" ... pas cool, qu'on m'explique ce qu'ils apprennent et combien de temps dure leur cursus parce que moi j'en ai un peu marre ;-).

    | Thomas Vergouwen | monday 01 March 2010 at 0:56:35

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