But that’s just the theory. Half of the last eight editions were won by attackers. Kasper Asgreen (2020), Bob Jungels (2019) and Jasper Stuyven (2016) powered to solo triumphs, while Peter Sagan won a five-up sprint in 2017. The other four editions resulted in ‘traditional bunch sprints’ with Fabio Jakobsen (2022), Mad Pedersen (2021), Dylan Groenewegen (2018) and Mark Cavendish (2015) turning out on top.
Two hills were added to the route of Kuurne-Brussels-Brussel is the last three years, and the number of climbs now exceeds the Omloop with a 13-12 ratio. The last of the thirteen ‘hellingen’, Kluisberg, is crested with 50 kilometres remaining. So sprinters have ample time to regain contact with the peloton.
Given the time of year, inclement weather often adds an extra element of excitement to the race, but the forecast promises friendly weather this time. Which should suit the fast men.
Favourites 2023 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
***** Fabio Jakobsen, Jasper Philipsen, Arnaud De Lie, Christophe Laporte
**** Matej Mohoric, Taco van der Hoorn, Kaden Groves, Alexander Kristoff
*** Pascal Ackermann, Jasper Stuyven, Nils Eekhoff, Magnus Sheffield
** Mike Teunissen, Tim Wellens, Stefan Küng, Florian Sénéchal, Jordi Meeus
* Yves Lampaert, David Dekker, Giacomo Nizzolo, Fred Wright, Davide Ballerini