Race Report: Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) dominated the finalé of the week-end’s second race – Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. The Dane broke away with Boris Vallée (Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles) with 12 kilometres to go. Two kilometres later Asgreen was solo and heading for victory, holding off the baying pack on his heels.
A bold win for the Dane – Kasper Asgreen
After an impressive solo, Kasper Asgreen took the win in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. The Danish Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider managed to stay out in-front of a chasing pack. Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT) sprinted to second place, ahead of Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates). Asgreen’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammate Fabio Jakobsen was fourth.
Hells and cobbles – Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2020
1. Volkegemberg (1,0km and 5%) – 33km
2. Holleweg (700 metre and kasseien) – 33,2km
3. Eikenmolen (0,4km and 5,9%) – 47,5km
4. Gieterijstraat (300 metre and kasseien) – 77km
5. Bossenaarstraat (1,3 km and 5,6%) – 79,2km
6. Mont Saint-Laurent (1,3km and 7,8%) – 96,4km
7. La Houppe (1,9km and 4,8%) – 111,1km
8. Kanarieberg (1km and 7,7%) 116,3km
9. Kruisberg (1,9km and 4,8%) – 123,6km
10. Hotond (2,7km and 3,1%) – 125,4km
11. Côte du Trieu (1,3km and 7%) – 133,3km
12. Oude Kwaremont (2,2km and 4%) – 143,1km
13. Kluisberg (1,1km and 6,3%) – 149,9km
14. Beerbosstraat (500 metre and kasseien) – 166km.
The ‘break of the Day’ led by Astana’s Hugo Houle
After a very active opening hour, five riders managed to escape the peloton. Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates), Hugo Houle (Astana), Roy Jans (Alpecin-Fenix), Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X) and Boris Vallée (Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles) formed the early break of the day. They managed to take more than a six minute gap on the peloton. Yves Lampaert, Søren Kragh Andersen and Dries De Bondt crashed in the early part of the race, but were fairly unhurt.
One of many small crashes
With more than 70 kilometres to go, Bjerg had a mechanical problem and was forcing to let the other four go. In the peloton it was occasionally hectic on the narrow roads, as a result of which there were a few small crashes. There was also the formation of echelons which caused the loss of a few riders. Deceuninck – Quick-Steps’s Kasper Asgreen was one of the pace setters in the run-up to Oude Kwaremont, with 60 kilometres left to race.
Belgium – The home of the cobble!
Trentin was the first over the top of the Kwaremont, but the CCC rider didn’t consolidate his position. A prominent group formed, but because of the Kluisberg climb, a second chase group was able to join up. There was still 50 kilometres to go, and they were 3:30 behind the four leaders.
The peloton split a few times
A better day for Kristoff than on Saturday
After the Kluisberg (the last climb of the day) a select group escaped in the crosswind, with Greg Van Avermaet and Sep Vanmarcke as the big hitters. Tim Merlier, Sonny Colbrelli, Alexander Kristoff, Cees Bol, Tiesj Benoot, John Degenkolb, Zdenek Stybar, Jasper Stuyven and Stefan Küng were also there. A second group followed 30 seconds behind. Behind; Deceuninck – Quick-Step had to work hard to bringing back the Dutch champion, Fabio Jakobsen, who had missed the move.
Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) and Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
Sunweb were strong, but out of luck – Tiesj Benoot
With 30 kilometres to go, the two large groups got together, partly because the co-operation in the front pack was not great. After that various riders tried to make the race hard: Bob Jungels, Jasper Stuyven and Niki Terpstra all tested their legs. Kasper Asgreen was the only one who managed to make the crossing to Vallée and Jans, the last two remaining from the break. With Deceuninck – Quick-Step in control behind, the difference became ever greater. Julien Vermote was still in between, but he was unable to close the gap, as Sunweb and Ineos joined forces in the chase.
Asgreen managed to cross to the front riders
All over for Jans
Asgreen was doing nearly all the work in the leading group. Jans was dropped 17 kilometres from the finish with cramps, after which Vallée stuck to the wheel of Asgreen, but with great difficulty. With a 35-second lead, the leaders started the last 15-kilometre local lap around Kuurne.
Vallée tried to hold Asgreen, but it had been a long day
The peloton slowly closed the gap on Asgreen and Vallée. The Dane had enough of Vallée 10 kilometres from the line and dropped Vallée with a solid attack. He held on to his lead of 20 seconds, as the force of the peloton was no longer strong.
Full gas for Asgreen
Five kilometres before the finish and Asgreen could be seen by the peloton, but it was too hard to close that last gap. His Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates had control and so the chase was not what it could have been and Asgreen was able to seize the solo win in fine style. The sprint in the peloton came too late. Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) took second place, just ahead of Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates). Fourth place went to Fabio Jakobsen, a good day for Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
It was close, but they were not going to catch the Dane
1. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:47:18
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT at 0:03
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-McLaren
7. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar
9. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) EF Pro Cycling
10. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
11. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) EF Pro Cycling
12. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
13. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie
14. Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
15. Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Movistar
16. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Bora-Hansgrohe
17. Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis
18. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
19. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana
20. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
21. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
22. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert
23. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
24. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar
25. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix.