Boonen wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

On Sunday Tom Boonen became the first man to win the Belgian one-day Classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne three times (2007, 2009, 2014).

The OPQS rider formed part of a ten-man breakaway group with 70km remaining and then sprinted to victory over Moreno Hofland (Belkin) and Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) who came in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The 197km race took shape on the famous Oude Kwaremont climb, when Belkin blew the peloton apart by launching an attack that only OPQS and two other riders could respond to.

A group of ten formed – comprising of five from OPQS, three from Belkin, Garmin-Sharp’s Johan Vansummeren and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise’s Yves Lampaert – who quickly opened up a gap of almost a minute, absorbing the day’s initial breakaway in the process.

Back in the peloton, Lotto Belisol and Team Sky moved to the front in a bid to ramp up the pace and close their deficit, but Belkin and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step worked together well and maintained their advantage going into the flat run-in to the finish in Kuurne.

Vansummeren and Wynants both tried late attacks, but each time OPQS chased them down as they successfully set up a bunch finish for Boonen.

The Belgian was first to launch his sprint and he then held off a late surge from Hofland to claim his fourth win of the season.

Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne 2014

Boonen said afterwards:

I’m very happy about this victory especially if I think about yesterday’s race. Today I felt good the entire day, I was completely recovered and this was a good sign. We did our race, we controlled the other teams and then on the Oude Kwaremont we accelerated. To be honest it wasn’t something planned. Stijn Vandenbergh did a good tempo and at the top, after the false flat, we realized that we were all in the front. So we upped the pace and we went. It was still far from the finish and maybe a bit risky, but also the other teams who had to chase were tired. Fortunately we had three Belkin riders in the group and they really work hard with us. Everybody in the group worked hard to go to the finish. We all believed in this action. To me it was better to arrive in a small group instead of facing a bunch sprint, so we made the race hard. In the final I was a bit nervous because we could only lose this race with five of us in the front. In the last 20 kilometers we started to think about the sprint. I was expecting more attacks but there was a lot of wind and it wasn’t easy to attack. I have to thank the whole team. We showed once again that we are a good group. After the winter I understood that I was ok, that I was ready for a good season. I won at Tour of Qatar but of course this race in my home country has a special taste, even if it doesn’t change a lot. As usual we will check the ’the balance’ of my first part of the season after Roubaix, but of course this weekend makes me confident for the upcoming weeks.

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne results

1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, 4:28:55
2 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin, same time
3 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin, st
4 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, st
5 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
6 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin, st
7 Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
8 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
9 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
10 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp, st

See full results from the 2014 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne here.

Ian Stannard claims opening Spring Classic: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Ian Stannard became the first British winner of the Belgian one-day Classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad after a thrilling race starting and finishing in Gent on Saturday.

69th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2014 Elite

The 26-year-old Team Sky rider broke away from the peloton late in the race and then got the better of BMC’s Greg van Avermaet in a two-man sprint in wet and cold conditions.

Opening his sprint early, Stannard was able to overtake van Avermaet, while Edvald Boasson Hagen rounded out the podium in third position.

“I knew the guys behind us had dropped off a bit so it was just about playing it right,” Stannard told Sporza afterwards. “I felt strong on the lead-in and I was confident for the sprint. I knew 300m [was a good distance]. I needed to wind it up a little bit and not have it be super fast.

“It worked out well. I knew I had to try and hit him as hard as I could and I was able to get a gap.”


1 Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky, 4:49:55
2 Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC, same time
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky, +24sec
4 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin, st
5 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
6 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, +1:34
7 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC, st
8 Dries devenyns (Bel) Giant-Shimano, st
9 Egoitz Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, st
10 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ, st

See full results from the 2014 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad here.

Amy Pieters takes out Women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

On Saturday Amy Pieters (Giant-Shimano) took the win at women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium.

69th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2014 women

Pieters was part of a three rider breakaway that formed in the middle of the race. It was touch and go as to whether they would hold off a fast closing bunch but they held on and Amy proved to have the fastest legs on the line.

It is Pieters’ second win of the season after her stage victory at the Ladies Tour of Qatar.

After the finish, Pieters said: “Four of us got away on the Paterberg and then on the Paderstraat it dropped to three. I knew they were good sprinters too but I was confident in myself and knew that if it came back together we had Kirsten behind.

“I started the sprint from the front and it really was all or nothing. What a start to the season. The team work was fantastic again today. It’s great to be part of such a good group and to have the support that we do.

“The bike was amazing today. You can really tell that Giant have spent a lot of time making it specific to women.”

Women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad results

1 Amy Pieters (Ned) Giant Shimano, 3:30:15
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS, same time
3 Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans, st
4 Liesbet de Vocht (Bel) Lotto Belisol, +6sec
5 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Giant-Shimano, st
6 Sofie de Vuyst (Bel), st
7 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized-lululemon, st
8 Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (RSA) Hitec Products, st
9 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, st
10 Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans, st

See full results from the 2014 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad here.

Alex Edmondson wins world title in Individual Pursuit

Australia’s Alex Edmondson has claimed his second gold medal at the world track cycling championships with victory in the men’s individual pursuit.

The 20-year-old narrowly edged out Swiss rider Stefan Kueng in the final in Cali, Colombia, on Friday, beating him by a mere 0.41seconds.

The South Australian had qualified fastest for the event. The win is Edmondson’s second in 24 hours, having taken gold in the team pursuit on Thursday.

It is also Australia’s fourth consecutive title in the event, after Queensland’s Michael Hepburn claimed back-to-back crowns in 2013 and 2012, and Jack Bobridge took the honours in 2011.

“It’s been the craziest last 24 hours, especially with the team pursuit last night with the boys,” Edmondson said after his race.

“Then to come out here and win another world title, I’ve just got no words.”

Amy Cure wins world title in Points Race

Amy Cure has won her maiden world title after claiming the women’s 25km points race at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Columbia on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Cure, who hails from the Tasmanian town of Penguin, rode a calculated race beyond her years to win on 38 points head of Germany’s Stephanie Pohl and Canada’s Jasmin Glaesser.


It was the third podium appearance in three days for Cure after she took bronze in both the team and individual pursuit events held on day two and three.

“It is pretty unbelievable, It has been so long, to finally get a world championship, it is all I have ever dreamed about,” said Cure, who claimed four world titles on the track in 2009 and 2010 in the under 19 category.

“Four times junior world champion, but all I have ever wanted was that senior title. It has taken a few years, but to finally get there, words can’t really express how I am feeling,” added Cure, who became just Australia’s second champion in the event following Katherine Bates’ 2007 world title.

Text adapted from Cycling Australia press release

Minori Shimmura wins 116th Austral Wheelrace

Minori Shimmura, became the 116th winner of the Austral Wheelrace – adding his name to an honour roll that includes Sid Patterson, Shane Kelly and Danny Clarke – tonight at Darebin International Sports Centre (DISC) in Melbourne.


Shimmura, who came off a handicap of 105m, attacked ferociously with a lap and a half to ride and maintained his speed to the line to become the first Japanese winner of the famous race.

When asked how it felt to win Australia’s most prestigious and famous race, Shimmura said, “I am very happy. Thank-you.”

Young Victorian sprint star Jacob Schmid (90m) rode strongly but was no match for Shimmura’s finishing power and came in second, while Warrnambool’s Samuel Lane (190m) finished third. The first backmarker across the line was Scott Sunderland (10m), who came in fifth.


Swiss Paralympian, Annina Gallagher was successful in the Women’s Austral, winning comfortably from Brunswick’s Rebecca Sutherland and Gabrielle Belz. Gallagher and Sutherland both started from a 230 metre handicap and combined exceptionally to stay well clear of the chasing riders behind.

Earlier in the program, Blackburn’s Kelland O’Brien was successful in the Junior Men’s Austral, and Brunswick’s Grace Mazzarella took the title in the Junior Women’s.

In the first race of the evening, South Australian Lisa Hanley won the Victorian Women’s scratch race from Shannon McCurley. Coming in third was Alexandra Manly, also of South Australia, who took out first place in the under 19’s.

To round out the evening, Dutch rider Roy Pieters added to the strong international flavour of the night, taking out the Elite Men’s Scratch Race from NSW’s Scott Law.

The stars of track cycling will now turn their focus to the Bendigo International Madison Carnival next weekend (March 7-9).

Text via Cycling Victoria press release

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed this week:

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