Riding is Life


The good times keep on rolling for Visma as Van Aert wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Wout van Aert has officially won 100 percent of the time when he has raced Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 25.02.2024 More from Dane +

For all his Classics prowess, Wout van Aert had never made a start at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne until Sunday, but he wasted no more time in adding his name to the long list of big names who have taken the win in the Belgian one-day. On the heels of a third-place finish at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where his Visma-Lease a Bike teammate Jan Tratnik took the win, it was Van Aert’s turn to stand atop the podium the following day.

Van Aert jumped away from the pack with nearly 90 km still to race and was joined in his long-range move by Tim Wellens (UAE Team Emirates), Oier Lazkano (Movistar), and Laurence Pithie (Groupama-FDJ). Pithie was later dropped, but the surviving trio stayed clear all the way to the line, even as Visma’s squad of heavy hitters had riders in the chasing groups just in case things came back together.

Wellens and then Lazkano at least made it interesting in the finale, with the former trying to get clear inside the last 5 km and the latter winding up (perhaps a bit too obviously) for a surge in the last thousand meters, but Van Aert would not be denied and took a clear win ahead of Wellens with Lazkano in third. Van Aert’s teammate Christophe Laporte won the sprint for fourth out of the chasing bunch for good measure.

Wout van Aert, Tim Wellens, and Oier Lazkano in the lead group at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.
Wout van Aert, Tim Wellens, and Oier Lazkano in the lead group at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

With Van Aert’s win, Visma has swept both men’s events of Opening Weekend for the second straight year, as Dylan van Baarle and Tiesj Benoot won last year’s races. In other words, the team is off to yet another red-hot start to Classics season – and to the season in general, as Jonas Vingegaard took the final stage and the overall title at O Gran Camiño over in Spain on Sunday as well.

Van Aert, for his part, will now spend a few weeks away from Classics racing, as he is set to skip Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo before returning to action at the E3 Saxo Classic on March 22.

To put a bow on a thoroughly enjoyable opening weekend, please enjoy this video of Van Aert riding with a scooter man to the tune of Daddy Yankee’s 2004 smash hit, Gasolina.

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