The opening weekend of racing in Belgium goes on with the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018. The second race of the Belgian road calendar, together with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, completes an intense weekend of racing on Flemish soil. Category 1.HC, the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne is traditionally viewed as a ‘Sprinters Classic’, not dissimilar to the Scheldeprijs, an event where the speedsters can impose themselves on the otherwise classics-specialists. Scheduled for Sunday 25 February, 25 teams will line up for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 on the starting grid. 16 of these are World Teams and the remaining 9 are pro-continental teams. Former Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will not be present at the 2018 edition of the race.
Start time: 11.45
Expected finish time: 16.26 – 16.54
Official hashtag: #KBK2018
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 Gold Book
2017 SAGAN Peter
2016 STUYVEN Jasper
2015 CAVENDISH Mark
2014 BOONEN Tom
2012 CAVENDISH Mark
2011 SUTTON Chris
2010 TRAKSEL Bobbie
2009 BOONEN Tom
2008 DE JONGH Steven
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 Favourites
At KBK we’ll be sure to see the fast-men present at the finish line. Judging by performances so far this season it’s difficult to set the riders apart at this stage. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) has already won a handful of sprints so far this season and has shown himself dominant sprints featuring big names like Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Katusha Alpecin) and Elia Viviani (Quickstep).
Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) can also not go unmentioned having just won three consecutive stages at the Colombia Oro y Paz race in South America, he’ll also be supported by a strong surrounding team, including Yves Lampaert who displayed good form at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the previous day.
The French would be angry if we didn’t mention Arnaud Démare (FDJ). He’s got pedigree and has won hefty races like Milan-San Remo- proving that he can have the legs for a sprint after a big day on the road.
Jasper Stuyven of Trek-Segafredo won the race back in 2016 and just missed out on a podium step at Het Nieuwsblad- if he’s got any fight left in him he’ll be looking for redemption at Kuurne.
What about yesterday’s losers? Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott), Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale), and Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) will all be looking to improve on their performances at Het Nieuwsblad too.
Keep an eye on the Team Sky runner-up too- Łukasz Wiśniowski came 5th in the 2016 edition of the race and showed he was in good form yesterday.
Weather forecast Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018
Sunny with no clouds. Temperatures ranging from -4 to +1°C. 0% predicted precipitation.
22 – 24 km/h East North Easterly Wind.
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 Route
The course remains the same as it was for the 2017 edition of the race minus the 600m they managed to cut out. The 200kms are rounded off with two laps of a 15.3kms circuit around Kuurne. This year, the Wolvenberg is the first touchstone of the race arriving at the 32km mark. The climb is well known for its use in the Ronde van Vlaanderen. It might not be so challenging with its average gradient of 7.9% over 708m but you may still see riders fighting for position to avoid potential crashes early in the day.
The Kruisberg (1km avg. 7.7%) after 95kms and the Oude Kwaremont will set the cats among the pigeons. The Kwaremont, known for having its very own beer named after it, is still at 85kms from the finish line, so it everything is still to play for despite it being a deciding factor in the race.
The fight for position and attacks will come around the Tiegemberg-Vossenhol with 62kms to go (750m avg. 5%), this is followed by the Holstraat (1km avg. 5.2%) and the Nokereberg (350m avg. 5.7%). They’ll be hurting by this point and gunning for a break to oust the chances of any sprinters looking for opportunities.
With a prevailing cross-tail-wind for most of the back end of the race, they won’t want to let a group away onto the final 30km (2 x 15km circuit). If a group hasn’t made it by this point, it’ll be everyone together until the last 500m, which is on a relatively wide, unprotected section of road and will test the nerve of all the fast-men who’ve anything left in the tank.
Kuurne > Kuurne (200,1 kms)
Km 32 – Wolvenberg (700 meters, 8% average and 17% max)
Km 68 – Onkerzeleberg (2100 meters, 3% average and 8% max)
Km 83 – La Houppe (1800 meters, 5% average and 10% max)
Km 88 – Kanarieberg (1000 meters, 8% average and 14% max)
Km 95 – Kruisberg (1800 meters, 5% average and 9% max)
Km 97 – Hotond (2700, 3% average and 7,5% max)
Km 105 – Cote de Trieu (1250 meters, 7% average and 13% max)
KM 115 – Oude Kwaremont (2200 meters, 4% average and 11,6% max)
KM 120 – Kluisberg (1100 meters, 6% average and 11% max)
KM 138 – Tiegemberg-Vossenhol (700 meters, 5% average and 9% max)
KM 143 – Holstraat (1000 meters, 5% average and 12% max)
KM 150 – Nokeremberg (350 meters, 5% average and 7% max)
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 Profile
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2018 Route