Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) won the Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Elia Viviani (Team Sky). Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Kristian Sbaragli sprint his way into the top 10 by placing 8th on the line.
It was another impressive display on the Belgian roads by Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne today. After the early 8 rider break was nullified with around 70km to go, a number of surges and attacks saw a dangerous 19 rider group ride clear of the peloton by over a minute.
With 5 Etixx-QuickStep riders in the move, including their two captains Cavendish and Tom Boonen, most people thought that was the race winning move. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had other ideas though as the African team took control of the peloton and in a powerful display of riding, reeled in the group of favourites.
After such a mammoth effort, setting up for the sprint was the task which still lay ahead. Etixx-QuickStep, Katusha and Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were the most prominent trains coming into the final as they all looked to position their sprinters. In the end it was Etixx-QuickStep who came out on top.
Kristian Sbaragli ended the day off well with a fine top 10 place for our African team. While a place on the podium was the initial goal, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung can be proud of its efforts as it announced itself as a genuine classics contending squad after today’s strong performance.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
In the finale I was pretty close to Edvald and we were a little far back but were also moving up quickly. At 400m a rider hit the barrier and we had to stop pedaling for a few seconds and we lost our rhythm. Without this obstacle maybe we could have done better. As a team we still rode well to close the big after the Oude Kwaremont. We tried our best today and we can now only look forward to the next races.
J.P. Heynderickx – Sport Director
It was a good result for Kristian today but overall I expected a bit more from the team. We missed the break at a key point but after that we did a good job in the chase. Kristian was 8th which is okay but I think we could’ve done better.