Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Roundup: Kenny Van Hummel satisfied with third place
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Roundup: Kenny Van Hummel satisfied with third place

by Kyle Moore at 7:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 
Greipel frustrated with poor positioning in sprint finale, capping rough weekend for Lotto-Belisol

Kenny Van HummelThough several breakaways gave it a shot, Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne once again came down to the expected sprint finish, which Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) took ahead of Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ-BigMat).  Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) rounded out the podium in third.

The way the finish shaped up, on a long wide road optimal for a drag race, only Hutarovich could match the speed of the Manx Missile.  For his part, Van Hummel did well to hang on to third place - the gregarious Dutchman showed all the signs of a long sprint on his face as he came over the line.

“I am very satisfied and happy with third place,” Van Hummel told reporters at the finish.  “It’s good to do well here in a Classic.  After a long sprint, this was the best I could do, and in Cavendish, the best won.”

After Cavendish took off and Hutarovich swept around as well, Van Hummel was left exposed and had to fight a long way to the finish.  He was just able to hold off under-23 World Champion Arnaud Demare (FDJ-BigMat) at the line.

With one of his highest profile podium finishes to date, Van Hummel is happy with his leadout and his own preparation in his first season with Vacansoleil-DCM.

“It was great that [Kris] Boeckmans was able to bring me to the last 300 meters,” he explained.  “I am satisfied with this result and I feel I’m stronger than in 2011.  Today was a good test, I am on schedule, and the team did a great job.”

Andre GreipelGreipel unsatisfied with 10th place

Many predicted a showdown in the finale between André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), who already has five wins on the season, and Cavendish, with other sprinters fighting for the minor placings. 

But Greipel rued poor positioning on his own part in the closing meters, and could come away with just 10th place on the line.

Inside the final kilometer, Greipel was able to take Cavendish’s wheel away from Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) on a left-hand bend.  He seemed well placed to try and come around the Sky rider, but Van Hummel swung to the left as he opened his own sprint, closing off Greipel. 

The German said that it was a moment’s hesitation on his part that allowed Van Hummel in, thus not allowing him to ever wind up his sprint.

“Before the sprint opened up, it was already over for me,” Greipel lamented.  “The team did well, but before I had gone, I suddenly had to wait because there was no room for me when Kenny Van Hummel pulled to the side.  With that it was over.  I waited two seconds too long and I paid the price.”

Greipel’s 10th place finish capped a rough weekend for his Lotto-Belisol squad, which lost Lars Bak to a wrist injury [now reported to be not broken – ed.] during Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.  Vincente Reynes was the team’s best finisher in that race, coming across 46th, five and a half minutes behind.

Meanwhile, Greipel heads next to Tirreno-Adriatico in early March.

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