Christopher Sutton (Sky) won the Belgian semi-classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday, coming out on top in a field sprint ahead of Yauheni Hutarovich (Française des Jeux) and Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma). American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) finished fourth.
Despite a series of attacks throughout the race, the sprinters’ teams in the field kept a tight leash on escapees and the peloton reached the finish line in Kuurne.
One of the final attempts to break away came from Belgian Tom Boonen (Quick Step), joined by Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun). But with Sky’s Juan Antonio Flecha and Edvald Boasson Hagen driving at the front of the peloton, Boonen and Engoulvent were pulled back, setting up the race for a field sprint.
Despite Sky’s big effort, the team was still able to deliver Sutton to the line for the win.
“I felt good this morning and have for the last few days. We spoke about it on the bus this morning and Edvald said he was happy to lead me out,” said Sutton. “With one lap to go Mat Hayman asked if I was still up for it and I said ‘mate, I can win’. All the boys had all confidence in me and it worked out so well.”
Sutton praised his team for its hard work on his behalf.
“It just goes to show how important teamwork is,” he said. “I didn’t have to do anything — we had Hayman away, as well as Stannard and Flecha — we had all these other options.
“But when it all came back together the whole team backed me and did a stunning job. Edvald just delivered a perfect sprint for me, I shouted ‘go’ to him with 500 metres left and just waited and waited.
“Someone came up on my right with 200 meters to go so I went full gas and kicked clear. I’m so glad I was able to go the whole way to the line and win. It wasn’t a victory for me, it was for the team after what they did today.”
- 1. Christopher Sutton (Aus), Sky in 4:39:39
- 2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr), FdJ, same time
- 3. André Greipel (G), Omega Pharma-Lotto, s.t.
- 4. Tyler Farrar (USA), Team Garmin-Cervelo, s.t.
- 5. Jonas Vangenechten (B), Wallonie Bruxelles, s.t.
- 6. Sébastien Chavanel (F), Europcar, s.t.
- 7. Anthony Ravard (F), Ag2r, s.t.
- 8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (N), Sky, s.t.
- 9. Adrien Petit (F), Cofidis, s.t.
- 10. Kristof Goddaert (B), Ag2r, s.t.