The World Champion, Mark Cavendish, opened his European account in style with a repeat win at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne today in Belgium. In a bunch sprint the rainbow jersey utilized a perfect lead out from Bernard Eisel and the entire SKY team to beat FDJ – Big Mat rider Yauheni Hutarovich with Vacansoleil-DCM’s Kenny Van Hummel in third. The showdown between Cavendish and Greipel did not emerge as the Lotto-Belisol rider finished only 10th.
Team SKY took control of the field after a break, including Sylvan Chavanel and Nico Eeckhout, went clear with 50k to ride. Controlling the gap and the entire filed, SKY caught the break with 10k to go and continued to ride the front bringing Cavendish and Eisel inside the final kilometer in perfect condition. Cavendish was forced to begin his sprint outside of 250 meters, despite the stiff wind, and while Hutarovich began to close on the SKY rider in the final 50 meters he ran out of race, giving Cavendish the win.
The entire performance by Cavendishs SKY team was flawless and reminiscent of team HTCs dominance in similar situations last season. It was made all the more impressive by the fact that Cavendish claimed to be vomiting the entire day. Up next major target for the World Champion is Milan – San Remo.
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling
2. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
3. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
5. Alexander Serebryakov (Rus) Team Type 1-Sanofi
6. Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1t4i
7. Sbastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
8. Stefan Van Dijck (Ned) Accent Jobs – Willems Veranda’s
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
10. Andr Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol