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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, March 2, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

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Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne team reports

We posted the report from winner Kasper Asgreen's Deceuninck-Quick Step team with the results.

Here's the update from second-place Giacomo Nizzolo's NTT Pro Cycling team:

Giacomo Nizzolo claimed his 4th podium of 2020 after winning the bunch sprint for second place at Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne on Sunday.

Giacomo Nizzolo

Giacomo Nizzolo on the Mont Saint Laurent. Sirotti photo

A superb solo effort from Kasper Asgreen (DQT) saw the Dane solo to hold off the peleton bearing down on him to take the win in Kuurne.

For the Italian it was reward for an excellent day out as he covered all of the differing moves throughout, climbing well and taking advantage of the fact that some of his rivals had raced on Saturday, to finish in scintillating fashion.

That result brought an end to the ‘Opening Weekend’ in Belgium and set the tone for what promises to be an exciting Classics season to come.

Giacomo Nizzolo:
IT’S NEVER NICE WHEN YOU WIN THE SPRINT FOR THE SECOND PLACE BUT OVERALL I FELT GOOD TODAY SO WE CAN BE HAPPY ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE AND WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT RACES NOW.

I FELT GOOD ALL DAY SO THAT’S DEFINITELY A GOOD THING AND THERE WAS ANOTHER RIDER STRONGER THAN US TODAY BUT WE WILL KEEP GOING.

Here's the report from 3rd-place Alexander Kristoff's UAE Team Emirates:

Alexander Kristoff sealed off a successful opening classics weekend with 3rd place in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (1.Pro).

The reduced peloton failed to haul back winner Kasper Asgreen (DQS) with Kristoff opening up the sprint to the line early only being passed by Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT) in the final metres.

Mikkel Bjerg was victim of a puncture from the breakaway with 50km remaining, with a slow change by the neutral car costing the young Dane his place in the front.

Kristoff will now head to Paris-Nice with confidence and seeking his first win of the season.

Alexander Kristoff : “When I made the first selection over the Kwaremont climb I knew the legs were good. I went a bit early in the sprint but it’s still a good result for me. Yesterday didn’t go to plan so to get on the podium today is really nice.  Bjerg had a strong ride too but had some bad luck with the puncture. With the high level here I think a podium is a good result for the opening weekend.”

And here's the update from Ben Swift's Team INEOS with a note about Gianni Moscon's disqualification for bad sportsmanship:

Ben Swift finished seventh in a reduced bunch sprint as the peloton narrowly missed out on catching Kasper Asgreen (Deuceunick-Quick Step) who managed to win from an earlier breakaway at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

Swift battled to the front of the chase bunch after fine work from Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard, who combined well with other teams in order to reduce Asgreen's advantage on the final lap of the streets of Kuurne.

However, the Danish rider was able to hold off the pursuit from the peloton, winning the second race of the opening weekend by just three seconds from the chasing pack.

Earlier in the race, Gianni Moscon was disqualified for aggressive and unsporting conduct following an altercation after a crash on the cobbles.

Reaction:

DS Gabriel Rasch:
Following a meeting with the race commissaires, Rasch reflected on Moscon’s disqualification.

He told TeamINEOS.com: "The commissaires showed me the incident on the big screen as the TVs in the car are too small to really see it.

"I agree it's something that should not have happened. We will speak to Gianni about it later this evening. Ultimately we respect the decision made by the commissaries."

Ben Swift:
“Once we knew it was going to come down to a sprint, Luke and Ian fully committed straight away. I was up against strong sprint competition and I knew I had to attack from behind as there was a headwind.

"It was a really chaotic sprint with people swinging left, right, banging into each other with wheels rubbing. Once you found a bit of space you just ‘went’ and I knew I had to make up some places, my sprint could have been a little bit better, but I got a bit blocked in.

“Overall, I felt like I had the legs to move when I wanted to move around in the peloton, but on the other side of it, I wasted a lot of energy and opportunities by making a few little mistakes, but hopefully that’s just a bit of inexperience in these races.

“It’s only my second time doing opening weekend and these races are all about knowing when to relax, when not relax and that constant fighting for position. I need to find my feet in these races, take the positives from this weekend and move forwards.”

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