Dylan Groenewegen sprints to Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne Win
Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) added a fourth victory to his early-season success with Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday. He outsprinted Arnaud Démare (FDJ)) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) in a final sprint
A bunch sprint was predicted this year as the 200 kilometre route featured twelve Flemish 'Hellingen', but the finale was played out on the flat with the last hill, the Nokereberg, crested with 50 kilometres still left to go.
Seven riders established the first breakaway of the day including; Bagdonas, Gediminas (Ag2r La Mondiale), Korsaeth, Truls (Astana), Bono, Matteo , (UAE Team Emirates), Allegaert, Piet (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Van Bilsen, Kenneth (Cofidis), Cardis, Romain (Direct Energie), Perry, Benjamin (Israel Cycling Academy).
They were plenty of warnings of and pretty soon riders in the peloton hit some of the right hand side shoulder which rippled through the field with some riders in the hedgerows and grass, unfortunately Boy Van Poppel (Trek-Segafredo) had to abandon the race injured.
Over the over Oude Kwaremont, the peloton started to fracture and 20 riders were left in the lead group including favorites such as Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Daniel Oss (Bora-hansgrohe), Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC).
They group quickly built up a lead of 40 seconds and the pace was such that Fernando Gaviria was dropped!
Daniel Oss and Jasper Stuyven attacked and got a gap of 17 secs on the favourites group with 47 kms to go. Oss punctured and Stuyven was swept up with 20 kms to go.
As the pace lifted again there was the inevitable crash, Sacha Modolo from EF Drapac went down hard, hitting his head and was seen motionless on the ground.
They were even more attacks, Julien Duval and Julien Vermote got a gap with 6.5 kms to go, as the leading group slowly reeled them in, it was clear that is was going to come down to a bunch sprint for those remaining in the lead group.
In the finale, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) easily over powered his rivals with a blistering sprint in front of Arnaud Demare (AG2R La Mondiale)and Bahrain-Merida's Sonny Colbrelli stepped on the last spot of the podium.
This year, Groenewegen had already taken victories at one stage of the Dubai Tour and two of the Volta ao Algarve making this his fourth win this season.
VIDEO: 2018 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne Final Kilometres
2018 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne Top 10
1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
5 Justin Jules (Fra) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
6 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
7 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
8 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
9 Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data
10 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert