Cavendish Wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
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March 1, 2015 – Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) won his second Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday, beating Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff in a bunch sprint.
By Daniel McMahon // Images: Tim De Waele/Etixx-Quick-Step
“I am super happy to win here in Kuurne,” Cavendish said. “Raced it two times and won it two times.”
First, here are the top 10 results (via Cycling.TV and Sporza):
About midway through the race there was a big split in the field, and on the way back to Kuurne it was Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step) and Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto NL-Jumbo) pushing the pace as they tried to force a smaller selection.
With under 3 kilometers to go, Philippe Gilbert (BMC) took a flyer, and he looked strong, but with 1 kilometer to go he was caught by what was left of the peloton.
Katusha was the main sprint train setting it up and stringing out the field for Kristoff, but alas Cavendish sprinted pretty much perfectly to come around Kristoff, who looked to have a gone a bit too early.
Cavendish said in an interview posted on Universal Sports that, before the race, his sports director didn’t think he could pull it off.
“We thought this morning, like, I think Wilfried Peeters didn’t think I could make it,” Cavendish said. “He thinks if it’s 200 guys I can be there, but if it’s only small, I’m not good. But at least the riders all believed in me and got me in a good position.”
Kristoff said postrace that his legs had felt tired all day, having raced on Saturday at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. While he complimented Cavendish on his win and said he was the fastest man on the day, he also noted that Cavendish didn’t race on Saturday and likely had fresher legs as a result.
Cavendish, who also won KBK in 2012, said his next big goal is Milan-Sanremo, as did Kristoff.
This was Cavendish’s reaction just over the line:
Here’s the podium, with Viviani in third:
Your 2015 #KBK podium. pic.twitter.com/mkBxPI7qOb
— peloton magazine (@pelotonmagazine) March 1, 2015
Winner’s time: 4:29:00 over 193 km. Average speed 43.048 kph = 26.749 mph. French fast man Nacer Bouhanni almost crashed into the barriers in the sprint but managed to come up with a great save.
.@BouhanniNacer almost lost it against the barrier. Way to stay up. #KBK pic.twitter.com/yEC95lPO2o — peloton magazine (@pelotonmagazine) March 1, 2015
Watch the final 10 kilometers here (skip to 10:30 for 1k to go):
For his trouble, Cavendish won a donkey.
2-for-2 for @MarkCavendish in #kbk. The Donkey of #kbk stays in the @Etixx_QuickStep family. #OurWay pic.twitter.com/XVYgJspOJO
— Alessandro Tegner (@AleTegner) March 1, 2015