Friday, 28 February 2014

This weekend real season starts both for elite (in my opinion of course) and for juniors either. The first major race from the uci calendar is Kuurne Bruxelles Kuurne (1.1) the Belgian opener classic with long history in elite category and not so long in juniors (in 2014 it's going to be the 14th edition). But if you look at the list of previous winners you will see how big and important the race is:

2013 edition was cancelled due to the extreme conditions. The year before race was won by Niels Vanderaerden who had some decent results in track at the end of 2013 (including 2nd place in Individual Pursuit in National Championships). He won a sprint from a group of four including Felix Pouilly, Piotr Havik and Richard Dijskhoorn. The peleton was just two seconds behind, led by Jon Dibben.

Race map:

Junior edition is 124km long and will feature nine heilingen. The first one will be Edelare Top (1,5km long, avg. 4,2%, max 7%) after 33km of racing. Eight kilometers later starts the most important part of the race with five hills in 25 km of racing and after that riders will feature three last hills before the flat run to Kuurne: Tiegemberg (48km from the finish, 750m long, avg 7%, max 13%), Holstraat (44km, 1000m long, avg 5.2%, max 12%) and the last is Nokereberg (35km, 350m, avg. 5,7%, max 7%).

Last 35km are flat with two circuits around Kuurne and there will be a chance for sprinters to came back to the group which will possibly split up during the hilly part. I won't write about the favorities because it's absolute beginning of the international races for juniors and it's hard to predict who will be in good shape in the first major race of the season.

You can find the startlist here:KBK Startlist

Directvelo will have a liveticker for the race: Directvelo liveticker