Saturday, 25 February 2012

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and live streams

Oude Kwaaremont many only reach 111m above sea level,
but like several of the hills in this race it's one of the most
respected climbs in cycling
(image credit: Marcel Baguette CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the opening event of the Belgian cycling season, is a race for the hard men and women of cycling with its tough hills and bone-shattering cobbles. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne has more of the same, but less of it. Make no mistake, however - this is not an easy race for anyone. There are some steep hills along the 195km parcours, but with the last one some 50km before the finish line this is a competition that can suit the sprinters; which is a likely reason that in the 67 years the two races have been run nobody has ever managed to win both in a single season.

The race starts in Kuurne but never quite reaches Brussels, turning back at Galmaarden some 25km from the capital. It's on the return that it encounters the low but very steep climbs of the Flemmish Ardennes, taking in some of the same hills as the Omloop but adding a few others for good measure; several of them approaching or even surpassing a 10% gradient. The first is Edelareberg, 28km from the start; then there's La Houppe after 86km; Kanariebeg at 94km; Kruisberg at 99km; Oude Kwaaremont at 105km and cobbled for the last 1.6km; the Cote de Trieu at 119km, Tiegemberg at 131km and finally the entirely cobbled Nokereberg at 142km.

Cav at Gent-Wevelgem, 2009
(image credit: Thomas Ducroquet CC BY-SA 3.0)
Predictions: Several teams are sending the biggest of their hitters to this race - when riders such as Tom Boonen (winner in 2007/2009 and the only rider still active to have won two editions), Andre Greipel and Greg Van Avermaet are competing, it's exceedingly difficult to make a prediction. However, take a look at Team Sky: they have Flecha, an excellent Classics rider albeit one who will be tired from the Omloop; Ian Stannard, who was third here in 2010; Christopher Sutton, who won this race last year; Jeremy Hunt, third in 2009; Mathew Hayman, a rider who has specialised in the cobbled Classics for almost a decade and Alex Dowsett, young, eager and looking for glory. Six good, strong riders, each of them capable of winning this race on a good day.

They also have Mark Cavendish. We all know that Cav can't climb, but while the hills of the K-B-K are steep none are long in comparison to the giants of the Grand Tours - and while it takes him a long time and a lot of effort to get up those, get up them he does. If Sky can get him to those last 50km in one piece, protect him until the finish line is in sight and then light the blue touchpaper, there's only one possible outcome. 

It'll be tough to do it, but would leave no doubts that Sky is now complete and ready to take on the world. That is a prize that will encourage heroic effort. (It'll also be the third anniversary of the day when Team Sky was announced to the world, so what better way to celebrate?)

(start lists, live streams and other shiny stuff after the map...)

click to enlarge
Sports-Livez live streams 1 / 2 / 3 / 4  / 5 / 6
Sporza
(available from 14:00 CET/13:00 GMT, 26th of February)


Tickers: If you're stuck at work and your idiot boss thinks that watching cycling isn't important, you can still follow the action via a live ticker (which is far harder for anyone to notice on your screen). Several are available, including some that autotranslate into English with varying and sometimes amusing degrees of success, such as Sporza and Sport.be. Cycling News has one in English, though in our experience they're not as quick with the updates as the foreign tickers.

Weather: Little change from the Omloop, which benefitted from what was probably about the best weather a Belgian February can offer. If anything, a little warmer due to lighter wind. While it may be cloudier, no rain is expected.

Starters
SKY
Team (GBR)
1.
Cavendish
Mark
 (GBR)
2.
Sutton
Chris (AUS)
3.
Flecha
Juan
Antonio (ESP)
4.
Dowsett
Alex (GBR)
5.
Barry
Michael (CAN))
6.
Hunt
Jeremy (GBR)
7.
Haymann
Matthew (AUS)
8.
Stannard
Ian (GBR)

OMEGA
PHARMA_‐
QUICK‐STEP (BEL)
11.
Boonen
Tom
12.
Steegmans
Gert
13.
Velits
Martin (SVK)
14.
Ciolek
Gerhald (GER)


15.
Van
Keirsbulck
Guillaume
16.
Maes
Nikolas
17.
Terpstra
Niki (NED)
18.
Vandenbergh
Stijn

LOTTO
‐
BELISOL (BEL)
21.
Greipel
Andre (GER)
22.
Henderson
Greg (AUS)
23.
Bak
Lars (DEN)
24.
Reynes
Vicente (ESP)
25

Sieberg
Marcel (GER)
26
.Cordeel
Sander
27.
Van
Genechten
Jonas
28.
Willems
Frederik

KATUSHA (RUS)
31.
Paolini
Enrico (ITA)
32.
Galymzyanov
Denis (RUS)
33.
Kristoff
Alexandr
 (NOR)
34.
Gusev
Vladimir (RUS)
35.
Kuchynski
Aleksandr (BLR)
36

Selig
Reudiger (GER)
37.
Haller
Marco (AUT)
38.
Isaychev
Vladimir (RUS)

RABOBANK (NED)
41.
Renshaw
Mark (AUS)
42.
Breschel
Matti (DEN)
43.
Tankink
Bram (NED)

44.
Bol
Jetse (NED)

45.
Leezer
Tom (NED)
46.
Wijnants
Maarten
47.
Flens
Rick (NED)
48.
van
Winden
Dennis (NED)

GARMIN
‐
BARRACUDA (USA)
51,
Farrar
Tyler (USA)
52.
Klier
Andreas (GER)
53.
Maaskant
Martijn (NED‐)
54.
Kreder
Michel (NED)
55.
Fischer
Murilo
 (BRA))
56.
Rarthe
Jacob (USA)
57.
Bauer
Jack (NZL)
58.
Rosseler
Sebastien

GREENEDGE (AUS)
61.
Keukeleire
Jens
62.
Kruopis
Aidis (LIT)
63.
Meyer
Travis (AUS)
64.
Mouris
Jens (NED)
65.
Docker
Mitchel (AUS)
66.
Vaitkus
Thomas (LIT)
67.
Tuft
Svein (CAN)
68.
Wilson
Matthew (AUS)

FARNESE
VIVI

–
SELLE
ITALIA (GBR)
71.
Pozzato
Filippo (ITA)
72.
Balloni
Alfredo (ITA)
73.
Gatto
Oscar (ITA)
74.
Favilli
Elia (ITA)
75.
Mazzanti
Luca (ITA)
76.
Hulsmans
Kevin
77.
Giordani
Leonardo (ITA)
78.
Riccibitti
Davide (ITA)

BMC
RACING
TEAM. (USA)
81.
Ballan
Alesandro (ITA)
82.
Van
Avermaet
Greg
83.
Phinney
Taylor (USA)
84.
Quinziato
Manuel (ITA)
85.
Blythe
Adam (GBR)
86.
Schär
Michael (SUI°
87.
Wyss
Danilo (SUI)
88.
Lodewyck
Klaas

AG
2R
–
LA
MONDIALE (FRA)
91.
Elmiger
Martin (SUI)
92.
Goddaert
Kristof
93.
Hinault
Sébastien (FRA)
94.
Shpilevskiy
Boris (RUS)
95.
Casper
Jimmy (FRA)
96.
Belletti
Manuel (ITA)
97.
Mondory
Lloyd (FRA)
98.
Ravard
Anthony (FRA)

VACANSOLEIL
–
DCM (NED)
101.
Devolder
Stijn
102.
Van
Hummel
Kenny (NED)
103.
Feillu
Romain (FRA)
104.
Boeckmans
Kris
105.
Mol
Wouter (NED)
106.
Mortensen
Martin (DEN)
107.Selvaggi
Mirko (ITA)

108.
Pavarin
Marcello (ITA)

TEAM
NETAPP (GER)
111.
Schillinger
Andreas (GER)‘
112.
Seubert
Timon (GER)
113.
Koenig
Leopold (GER)
114.
Barta
Jan (CZE)
115.
Benedetti
Cesare (ITA)
116.
Schorn
Daniel (AUT)
117.
Huzarski
Bartosz (POL)
118.
Dietziker
Andreas (SUI)

FDJ_‐
BIG
MAT (FRA)
121.
Hutarovich
Yauheni (BLR)
122.
Bonnet
William (FRA)
123.
Rasch
Gabriel (NOR)
124.
Guesdon
Frédéric (FRA)
125.
Boucher
David (FRA)
126.
Ladagnous
Matthieu (FRA)
127
.Demare
Arnaud (FRA)
128.
Rollin
Dominique (CAN)

ACCENT
JOBS‐WILLEMS
VERANDA’S
 (BEL)
131.
Hoste
Leif
132.
Van
Dijk
Stefan (NED)
133.
Drucker
Jempy (LUX)
134.
Cappelle
Andy
135.
Van
Landschoot
James
136.
De
Wilfde
Sjef
137.
Goris
Rob
138.
Caethoven
Steven

EUROPCAR (FRA)
141
.Voeckler

Thomas (FRA)
142.
Arashiro
Yukiiya (JPN)

143.
Chavanel
Sébastien (FRA)
144.
Gaudin
Damien (FRA)
145.
Haddou
Said (FRA)
146.
Veilleux
David (CAN)
147.
Hurel
Tony (FRA)
148.
Turgot
Sébastien (FRA)

TEAM
TYPE
1
–
SANOFI (USA)

151.
Bodrogi
Laszlo (FRA).
152.
Bazzano
Alessandro (ITA)
153.
Colli
Daniele (ITA)
154.
Eldridge
Joe (USA)
155.
Fortin
Filippo (ITA)
156.
Laengen,
Vegard
Stake (SLO)
157.
Serebrykov

Aleander (RUS)
158.
Verschoor
Martijn (NED)

SAUR
–
SOJASUN. (FRA)
161.
Engoulvant
Jimmy (FRA)
162.
Martias
Rony (FRA)
163.
Galland
Jérémie (FRA)
164.
Laborie
Christophe (FRA)
165.
Lemoine
Cyriel (FRA)
166.
Paiani
Jean‐Lou (FRA)
167.
Coyot
Arnaud (FRA)
168.
Tortelier
Etienne (FRA)

TOPSPORT
VLAANDEREN‐MERCATOR
 (BEL)
171.
Lietaer
Eliot
172
Wallays
Jelle
173.
Neyrinck
Stijn
174.
De
Vreese
Laurens
175.
Vanoverberghe
Arthur
176.
Vanspeybrouck
Pieter
177.
Van
Staeyen
Michael
178.
Vandousselaere
Sven

BRETAGNE
–
SCHULLER (FRA
181.
Dion
Renaud (FRA)


182.
Pichon
Laurent (FRA)
183.
Lequatre
Geoffroy (FRA)
184.
Delpech
Jean‐Luc (FRA)
185.
Blot
Guillaume (FRA)
186.
Lebon
Johan (FRA)
187.
Halleguen Matthieu (FRA)
188.
Vachon
Florian (FRA)

COFIDIS,
le
crédit
en
ligne. (FRA))
191.
Duque
Leonardo (COL)
192.
Fouchard
Julien (FRA)
193.
Saramotins
Aletjej (LET)
194.
Labbe
Arnaud (FRA)
195.
Garcia
Egoitz (ESP)
196.
Barle
Florent (FRA)
197.
Petit
Adrien (FRA)
198.
Demaret
Jean‐François (FRA)

PROJECT
1t4i (NED)
201.
Degenkolb
John (GER))
202.
De
Kort
Koen (NED)
203.
Curvers
Roy (NED)
204.
De
Backer
Bert
205.
Timmer
Albert (NED)
206.
Klemme
Dominic (GER)
207.
Veelers
Tom (NED)
208.
Stamsnijder
Tom (NED)

LANDBOUWKREDIET
 (BEL)
211.
Stallaert
Joeri
212.
Devillers
Gilles
213.
Traksel
Bobbie (NED)
214.
Honig
Reinier (NED)
215.
Claeys
Kevin
216.
Planckaert
Baptiste
217.
Breyne
Jonathan
218.

Delfosse
Sébastien

SPIDERTECH
POWERED
BY
C10 (CAN)
221.
Bell
Zachary (CAN)
222.
Boiven
Guillaume (CAN)


223.
Houle
Hugo (CAN)
224.
Gilbert
Matin (CAN)
225.
Lacombe
Keven (CAN)
226.
Boily
David (CAN))
227.
Mc
Carty
Jonathan (USA)
228.
Seelander
Bjorn (USA)

AN
POST
–
SEAN
KELLY
TEAM (BEL)
231.
Eeckhout
Niko
232.
Ghyllebert
Pieter
233.
Bagdonas
Geminidas (LTU)
234.
Ennekens
Stijn
235.
McNally
Mark (GBR)
236.
Benett
Sam (IRL)
237.
Cassidy
Mark (IRL)
238.
Van
Bilsen
Kenneth

WALLONIE
–
BRU
–
CR.
AGRICOLE
(BEL)
241.
Bertholet
Quentin
242.
De
Witte
Jonathan
243.
Dron
Boris
244.
Everard
Laurent
245.
Polazzi
Fabio
246.
Legrand
Philippe
247.
Stenuit
Robin
248.
Van
Hoecke
Justin

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