Report: Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, 198km - 26 February 2012 Source: Team Sky Release
Mark Cavendish sprinted to a superb victory at the 2012 Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne after a dominant Team Sky performance.
The world champion was brilliantly led out by last year's winner Chris Sutton at the end of the 195 kilometres route and he finished it off in style by accelerating clear of his rivals. Cavendish was adding a first victory in the Belgian Classic to his palmarès having made it one of his early-season targets. It was his third win of the new campaign and an eighth success of 2012 for Team Sky.
A dangerous break was brought back in the last 10km of racing by the hard-working Sky team, who still had enough in reserve to provide Cavendish with a highly effective and disciplined lead out. The world champion then finished things off in style, going for the line quite early and leaving all his main rivals standing, with only Frenchman Yauheni Hutarovich able to stay in touch right to the line.
After the race, Mark Cavendish said: “I didn't really have to do anything, the team did everything for me and it was incredible, a super display. I was ill all day and kept vomiting but I was always kept at the front by the whole team. Then when the split went on the Oude-Kwaremont it was perfect as we had three in the front while the other guys stayed with me and we didn’t have to do any chasing.
“With 50k left I still didn’t feel marvellous but just kept going and was being kept out of trouble all the time. They controlled it at the end to deliver me and with 250 metres to go I kicked and that was it. We were obviously disappointed after Oman [when the team were unable to add to Cavendish’s two victories in Qatar a week earlier] but they couldn’t have been any better today. It was the display of a team that looks like it’s been riding together for years.
“We had last year’s winner leading me out in CJ [Sutton] and for him to sacrifice the chance of going for a double shows the class he has. That was great and for Team Sky to win it two years in a row is very, very nice. ”
Team Sky Sports Director Steven de Jongh said:
“I’m really pleased with the whole team - they did a brilliant job. They did exactly what we'd asked them to do. It all went to plan but you’re always nervous, especially when it comes to the finish. You can see everything that’s going on; you know Cav is okay and you just hope it’s all going to work out as you want. We’ve got a good score in this race – Ian [Stannard] had a third place here in terrible conditions in the first year, CJ won it last year and now Cav has followed it up today. It's rounded off a nice weekend!”
More on the race on the Team Sky Website
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 4:27:30
2 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
3 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
4 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
5 Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi
6 Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i
7 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
8 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
9 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team
10 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team
16 Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team
80 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
98 Mark Mcnally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly
122 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:30
132 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:03:05