Edmondson top finisher as Trentin crashes out of contention at Kuurne-Brussels-KuurneSun 3 Mar 2019
Former Australian champion Alex Edmondson was the highest finisher for Mitchelton-SCOTT in 49th place after an unlucky day for Matteo Trentin and the team in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, with the European Champion suffering a fall with less than 30kilometres to go.
It was Bob Jungles (Deceuninck-Quickstep) who claimed the race victory after 200km in the saddle, after he attacked away from a leading group of five in the final 15kilometres and held off a fast chasing reduced bunch to take a solo win.
Wet and wild weather
The day began with traditional Belgian winter weather conditions, grey skies, rain and a cold breeze. Despite a lot of action in the first hour with many attacks, no riders were given any freedom to get away and form the day’s breakaway.
Eventually after more than one hour, four riders, then three more, broke away to make the first breakaway of the day. The seven-rider group hovered around three minutes ahead of the peloton until the final 80kilometres.
Kwaremont causes splits
As the race entered the last 80kilometres a big attack over the Kwaremont saw the peloton shatter and the breakaway almost drawn back in.
Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quickstep) was forcing the pace over the cobbles and eventually, after things settled down, a select leading group of around 25 riders had successfully bridged across to the leaders. Durbridge and Trentin were present in the group for Mitchelton-SCOTT with Team Jumbo-Visma and Bora-Hansgrohe heading the chase from the bigger peloton behind.
Five make their move
It wasn’t long after, over more cobbles and climbs, that another group broke away. Five riders managed to gain a gap with 60kilometres to go and behind the peloton swelled in size, with groups gaining contact again.
Chris Juul-Jensen and later more Mitchelton-SCOTT riders helped with the chase behind but the five leaders worked together well and opened up a lead over one minute. The win was still possible until race leader, Trentin, suffered an unfortunate fall after a corner with less than 30kilometres to go. Despite his chase, the Italian never made it back in to contention and his race was over.
As the front peloton approached 10km to go, the leading group reduced to four riders before Jungles decided to launch a solo attack. Quickly putting time into the chasers he opened up a 30seconds advantage as the trio were swept up by the chasing peloton.
It was touch and go if he could hold on, but with the peloton split behind he held enough of a gap to take the victory.
"It was a solid race from the start. We missed the group of five so we committed to trying to ride it back but unfortunately Trentin crashed with 20kms to go which was really unfortunate.
"We can be happy as a team for the work that we have managed at opening weekend. We are in a good place heading into the rest of the classics and we will only aim to keep that momentum going."
1. Bob Jungles (Deceuninck-Quickstep)
2. Owain Doull (Team Sky)
3. Niki Terpstra (Direct-Energie)
49. Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
Photos courtesy of Getty Images