After 11 years as a professional, Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) locked down the biggest win of his career as he out paced Rick Flens (Rabobank) and Ian Stannard (Sky Professional Cycling Team) to win the 63rd edition of Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne in Belgium on Sunday.
In classically brutal Belgian weather conditions, the 28-year-old had instigated what would turn out to be a long, but incredibly worthwhile breakaway. As the weather decimated the peloton behind him, Stannard and Flens were the only riders capable of bridging the gap left by Traksel, and it would come down to that trio to divide the podium.
Third placed Stannard was satisfied with his result on a tough day out for the entire peloton. “This morning I wasn’t losing motivation because of the weather forecast; I like this weather, it brings out the best in me,” he said.
You think you know pain? Check out my man Stannard on the front in that pic. He says he likes that weather.
It was miserably wet and windy for the 63rd edition of K-B-K, with temperatures in the 40s, and arm and knee warmers constituted the uniform of the day, with some opting to add a rain cape. Others decided no amount of clothing could cut the chill and abandoned, among them Tom Boonen (Quick Step), Nick Nuyens (Rabobank), Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky), winner of Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
All my pics didn’t even finish, never mind place in, the event. That’s why it’s better that I don’t wager real money on this kind of thing. It’s better that way.
Four and three quarter hours of riding on garbage roads in absolute shit weather. Sitting in this library has never felt so good. This guy got second. His name is Rick Flens. He is a very hard man.by