07 March 2011

March Trivia Contest: Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

Photo (above): 2011 top three (l-r): Yauheni Hutarovich, Chris Sutton and André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Photo: © www.ispaphoto.com

March roared in like a lion just in time for season opener for “The Classics Season” with the Belgian Cobbled Duo of Het Nieuwsblad (formerly Het Volk) and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. KBK is of special interest to American cycling fans as it is one of the few Classics won by an American--George Hincapie--in 2005. In an exciting field sprint, Tyler Farrar came close this year. It is, remarkably one of the few races never won by the great Eddy Merckx!

This month we focus on a slightly more obscure Belgian Classic, founded in 1945, but one that since 2005 has been designated UCI 1.1 and is thus hotly contested by all the World’s Best Teams: the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. (Photo left courtesy of Flickr.com.)

Q1. Like all of the Belgian Classics, knowledge of home roads in paramount in these winding, twisting, cobbled, windy, and often treacherous roads. Thus, the home nation has won the most editions. However, in the last decade, Belgians have triumphed ONLY THREE TIMES and WITH ONLY TWO RIDERS. Name them!

Q2. As mentioned, in the introduction, Belgians tend to dominate their home Classics. In KBK, so much so that in the first THIRTY-FIVE years of this event (1945 to 1979) only ONE Non-Belgian triumphed here! Can you name him and the year of his victory?

Q3. Who was the first back-to-back winner of KBK and when did he achieve this? HINT: He is one of the few riders in cycling history to have triumphed in ALL FIVE of the Monuments!

WAS I RIGHT? Answers below.

A1. Nick Nuyens (2006) and Tom Boonen (2007 and 2009). With Two wins, Boonen is part of a group of twelve quite elite riders to have triumphed here twice, and no rider has ever won three KBKs.

Photo, left: Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur - Sojasun) try to hold off the peloton in the final kilometres. Photo: © Bettini

A2. Piet Rentmeester, of Holland, and the famous Gitane team in 1962.

A3. Roger De Vlaeminck, with the legendary Flandria Team in 1970 and 1971.

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