Kasper Asgreen attacked solo in the final kilometers to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in thrilling fashion.
The Danish rider powered away from the peloton with approximately 30 kilometers remaining, reeled in the day’s breakaway, and then attacked solo.
Asgreen then held off the surging peloton by a handful of seconds to take the biggest victory of his young career.
The win came one year after his teammate Bob Jungels won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in similar fashion.
“Bob told me this morning just do like I did last year,” Asgreen said. “On the small roads, after we came back to the big group, we knew it was possible to get away there because the roads were so small. That was the plan, to try and get away and make it to the finish.”
Italian Giocomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) led home the front group just ahead of Alexander Krisfoff (UAE-Team Emirates) just a few seconds behind Asgreen.
Asgreen’s attack came after a flurry of aggression from Deceuninck-Quick Step in the race’s winding, twisting finale. Yves Lampaert and defending champion Jungels both attacked inside 35km to go, and the aggression splintered the front group, dropping defending champion Mads Pedersen, among other riders.
Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) also made powerful digs in the finale, but only Asgreen was able to make his move stick.
Asgreen’s victory salvaged Deceuninck-Quick Step’s efforts at the opening weekend of the Belgian classics; on Saturday his teammate Yves Lampaert came agonizingly close to winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, only to lose in the sprint.
Before Asgreen went solo, he had to drop his breakaway companions, and that meant putting in additional efforts on the run-in to the finish.
“It was so hard. I had to drop the Alpecin rider [Tim Merlier] in the crosswinds,” Asgreen said. “He was not pulling it was a bit annoying for us, I had to try and get rid of him and that effort was really hard. After that I was really doubting if I could make it all the way to the line.”
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 201 kilometers
- Kasper Asgreen, Deceuninck-Quick Step
- Giacomo Nizzolo, NTT Pro Cycling
- Alexander Kristoff, UAE-Team Emirates
- Fabio Jakobsen, Deceuninck-Quick Step
- Jasper Stuyven, Trek-Segafredo
- Sonny Colbrelli, Bahrain-McLaren
- Ben Swift, Team Ineos
- Jurgen Roelandts, Movistar
- Kristoffer Halvorsen, EF Pro Cycling
- Fabian Lienhard, Groupama-FDJ