Following the start near Hippodrome Kuurne the first 80 kilometres serve four hills: Volkegemberg (1,000 metres at 5%), Tiegemberg (750 metres at 5.6%), Boembeek (1,100 metres at 4.7%), and Bossenaarstraat (1,300 metres at 5.6%).
These are the introductory climbs before the race begins to heat up around the midway marker. The riders cross the Mont Saint-Laurent (1,330 metres at 7.8%) and 15 kilometres later La Houppe (1,880 metres at 4.8%).
By now, the race is expected to really catch fire. Within 40 kilometres the riders tackle seven ‘hellingen’. Via the Kanarieberg (1,000 metres at 7.7%), Kruisberg (1,800 metres at 4.8%) and Hotond (2,700 metres at 3.1%) the route continues onto the Côte de Trieu (1,260 metres at 7%), Oude Kwaremont (2,200 metres at 4.4%) and Kluisberg (1,100 metres at 6%). Crested with 50 kilometres remaining, the latter is the last uphill test of the day.
Big question: Where are the fast men? Chances are that they have been dropped in the hilly zone, but will they be able to make it back to the main group? Obviously, the riders at the front will be motivated to keep the pace high.
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne has been named a sprinter’s classic, but only one out of the last five editions saw a traditional bunch sprint finish. Kasper Asgreen, Bob Jungels and Jasper Stuyven soloed to victory in 2020, 2019 and 2016, respectively, and Peter Sagan won a five-up sprint in 2017. In 2018, Dylan Groenewegen was the last pure sprinter to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2021: profiles, social media
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