Monday, June 17, 2024

Bob Jungels Solos Victorious in Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2019

Jungels rode those pan flat kilometres around the finish circuit like a train, holding off the chasers to score a beautiful solo victory.

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HomeDiariesBob Jungels Solos Victorious in Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2019

Sunday’s Kuurne Brussels Kuurne UCI 1.1 HC is the bridesmaid to Het Nieuwsblad’s UCI WT bride but it’s a race with a long history dating back to 1946 and has some interesting winners including Roger De Vlaeminck, Patrick Sercu, Johan Museeuw, George Hincapie, Cav – and a certain Patrick Lefevere in 1978.

Interestingly, it’s one of the very few cobbled races Eddy Merckx didn’t win.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne publicity poster. Photo©Ed Hood

And whilst Styby’s Saturday success in Het Nieuwsblad was Patrick’s team’s first success since 2005, the QuickStep boys have often gained revenge on the Sunday with Tom Boonen – three times to make him ‘recordman’ – Nick Nuyens, Steven de Jongh and Mark Cavendish all taking home the Kuurne Brussels Kuurne donkey trophy.

Photo©Ed Hood

Kuurne residents are known as ‘donkeys’ but not in disparaging terms, a tribute to their work ethic and stubbornness. 

Photo©Ed Hood

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne is much less glam than the Omloop with no glitzy presentations, the teams roll up, park the busses in the main street and pedal off to the sign on, through the crowd.

Photo©Ed Hood

Stalking the mechanics is no problem, albeit we kept clear of the Bahrain dude with the evil eye; standing ready with the hand held compressor as his buddy smothered the chain with lube on what looked like it was going to be a wet day.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

And if you thought the single ring dies with Aqua Blue – not so, Trek are experimenting with it.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

And whilst you can’t get near the QuickStep or Lotto bus, Movistar’s Canyon’s sit sad and lonely – Spanish cobble guys?

Nee, nee, nee – not since Flecha anyway.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

And the jury is out on big Conor Dunne’s De Rosa paint job over at Israel Cycling Academy.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

The mood at the Kuurne Brussels Kuurne start is kinda chilled with Roompot DS Erik Breukink chewing the fat with old friends.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

And ‘Le Gorille’ just hops on his bike right beside you to pedal up to the sign on.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

Lithuanians Bagdonas (AG2R) – current national champion – and former champ, Konovalovas (F des J) were all smiles despite the rain.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

Why, even baby-faced Dutch hitman Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie) had a smile.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

And there’s always the crazy band at the start.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

Our first sighting of the race was just 12 K in at the top of the cobbled Volkegemberg – definitely no smiles and the hurt well on.

Kuurne Brussels Kuurne
Photo©Ed Hood

We had to watch our toes as riders kamikaze dived for the smooth concrete gutter and brief respite from the horror of