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by Mark Zalewski
March 16, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Bouhanni wins Nokere Koerse; UK Sport went easy on British Cycling for medals; USA Cycling reveals Pro Road Championship courses; Strange incident in final kilometres of Nokere Koerse; Van Avermaet ready for San Remo; Riders already saying goodbye to Boonen; Melbourne cyclist who was shot speaks about incident; Rapha looking to sell?; 77-year-old cyclist to ride entire Giro course for charity; Perth cyclists draw a Strava goat; 2017 Cape Epic trailer.
The final ten kilometres of Nokere Koerse were definitely chaotic, with multiple crashes happening on the small Belgian roads as riders tried to move into position for the impending sprint. The tenseness of the peloton was evident in a strange incident when Lotto-Soudal rider Kris Boeckmans, riding up along side the leading team, put his arm on the shoulder of another rider, Justin Jules (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect), slowing him and taking the pair all the way to the rear of the peloton.
The entire way the two could be seen ‘discussing’ something, with the WorldTour rider Boeckmans essentially relegating the Continental rider to the rear of the peloton. The speculation is Boeckmans was upset that the team was taking advantage of the crash of defending champion Timothy Dupont (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) by pushing the pace.
Boeckmans then went back to the chief commisaire and discussed the incident with a lot of gesticulations, obviously upset with how Jules and his team were riding the finale.
Jules’ team would later be the last on the front inside the final kilometre with any sort of numbers — three riders, before being passed by Cofidis. Jules would go on to finish the best of the team in 16th place.