After yesterday’s tough edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, today another cobblestone race awaited the riders, the 72nd edition of Kuurne – Bruxelles - Kuurne. The race featured 201km with 11 hills and cobblestones sections around the city of Kuurne.
From drop of the flag, the riders launched one attack after another. Also, Laurens de Vreese and Manuele Boaro were quite active, trying to distance themselves. After some kilometers of constant attacking, a group of five riders pulled away. Astana Pro Team rider Hugo Houle was among them, who built a maximum gap of more than six minutes. The breakaway worked perfectly together and was gone for most of the day.
Approaching the final 40km of the race, the reduced bunch, with Alex Aranburu in, started to increase the pace and after some kilometers the breakaway fell apart. At this moment, three riders attacked, while Hugo Houle joined his teammate in the reduced bunch, after a tremendous effort in today’s tough race. In an exciting finale, the soloist K. Asgreen won the race, while Alex Aranburu saw himself in the first chasing group, crossing the line in 19th place.
-Today was quite hard with a lot of wind, but I saw the opportunity to jump into the breakaway, so I gave it a try. We were five guys and worked together. We had a good tempo and when I saw, that we had six minutes I knew, we can make it over the Kwaremont, because you never know what happens in the back. It was a nice day in the front and I pushed myself. In the finale we also stayed in the front, where I helped Alex for the sprint. Yesterday I missed the groups, that was a pity but today was nice, it is not easy to get into the break in these Classics races, therefore I am satisfied with my performance. – Hugo Houle
-First, Chapeau Hugo! He did a great job and rode a fantastic race. He was in the breakaway until the final 30km of the day and was also there, when the race headed into the finale. There, he worked for Alex for the sprint, also Alex showed a great performance. It was one of his first participations here at the Classics races in Belgium. It was another windy edition of these Belgium races and therefore we had some splits but I think our team did a good job today, finishing in the first group. – Stefano Zanini, Sports Director
Photo credit: © Getty Images