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Tom Boonen wins 2009 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

Quick Step's Tom Boonen claimed his first big spring classics win of the season at the Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne semi-classic on Sunday. A former world champion, Boonen finished ahead of Columbia-High Road's sprinter Bernhard Eisel of Austria and Britain's Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam ), who was third in a bunch sprint for the line. At Sunday's race, held over 194km, the 194-strong field stopped to pay tribute to Belgian racer Frederiek Nolf, 21, who died in his sleep at the Tour of Qatar on February 5.

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Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2009: Boonen nails it on the line.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2009: Boonen nails it on the line.

Photo: Graham Watson

Quick Step’s Tom Boonen claimed his first big spring classics win of the season at the Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne semi-classic on Sunday.

A former world champion, Boonen finished ahead of Columbia-High Road’s sprinter Bernhard Eisel of Austria and Britain’s Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo TestTeam ), who was third in a bunch sprint for the line.

At Sunday’s race, held over 194km, the 194-strong field stopped to pay tribute to Belgian racer Frederiek Nolf, 21, who died in his sleep at the Tour of Qatar on February 5.

A few hundred meters after the start the peloton stopped briefly outside the house of Nolf’s parents in Kuurne before getting the race under way.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2009: The peloton stops to pay tribute to the late Frederiek Nolf.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2009: The peloton stops to pay tribute to the late Frederiek Nolf.

Photo: Graham Watson

After finishing a lowly 10th in the first semi-classic of the season, Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Boonen made amends in style 24 hours later after some good work in the finale by new French teammate Sylvain Chavanel.

One of the pre-race favorites, emerging one-day rider Chavanel sacrificed his own victory chances by closing the gap to Juan Antonio Flecha of Rabobank after the Spaniard attacked inside the final three kilometers.

Once inside the final kilometer Boonen kept his cool and pulled ahead of Hunt to claim the win. A late surge by Eisel allowed him to finish second ahead of the fading Hunt.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2009: Hunt goes on the attack.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2009: Hunt goes on the attack.

Photo: Graham Watson

“The team was super strong today,” said Boonen, who won the race in 2007. “Maarten Wijnants and Sylvain Chavanel worked really hard for me.”

Recent Tour of Qatar winner Boonen said the win had given him an early season boost ahead of the tougher one-day classics like Milan-San Remo (March 21), and the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix in April.

“After this first weekend of classics racing in Belgium I feel I’m in far better form than I was at this time last year,” added Boonen, who won Paris-Roubaix for the second time last year, won the Tour of Flanders in 2005 and 2006 and came third in Milan-San Remo in 2007.

“After some good racing at the Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11-17), I think I will be in perfect condition going into the big spring classics, starting with Milan-San Remo.”

Results, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, 2009

1. Tom Boonen (Bel), Quick Step, 194km in 4:20:48 (44.4kph)
2. Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Columbia-High Road, same time
3. Jeremy Hunt (GB), Cervélo TestTeam, s.t.
4. Karsten Kroon (Ned), Saxo Bank, s.t.
5. Tom Leezer (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
6. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra), Agritubel, s.t.
7. Mathieu Ladagnous (Fra), Française des Jeux, s.t.
8. Nick Nuyens (Bel), Rabobank, at 0:04
9. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra), Quick Step, at 0:12
10. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa), Rabobank, at 0:15
11. Gianni Meersman (Bel), Française des Jeux, at 1:03
12. Heinrich Haussler (Ger), Cervélo TestTeam, at 1:03
13. Maarten Wynants (Bel), Quick Step, at 1:03
14. Thomas Voeckler (Fra), Bouygues Telecom, at 4:17
15. Anthony Ravard (Fra), Agritubel, at 4:17
16. Tom Veelers (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 4:17
17. Matti Breschel (Den), Saxo Bank, at 4:17
18. Hub Duijn (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, at 4:17
19. Stijn Hoornaert (Bel), Palmans-Collstrop, at 4:17
20. Baden Cooke (Aus), Vacansoleil, at 4:17
21. Gabriel Rasch (Nor), Cervélo TestTeam, at 4:17
22. Anthony Geslin (Fra), Française des Jeux, at 4:17
23. Stijn Devolder (Bel), Quick Step, at 4:17
24. Sergey Ivanov (Rus), Katusha, at 4:17
25. Bert Grabsch (Ger), Columbia-High Road, at 4:17
26. Gerald Ciolek (Ger), Milram, at 4:17
27. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned), Rabobank, at 4:17
28. Gert Steegmans (Bel), Katusha, at 4:17
29. Martin Mortensen (Den), Vacansoleil, at 4:17
30. Aurelien Clerc (Swi), AG2R-La Mondiale, at 8:18
31. Romain Feillu (Fra), Agritubel, at 8:18
32. Nikolas Maes (Bel), Topsport Vlaanderen, at 8:18
33. Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 8:18
34. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel), Topsport Vlaanderen, at 8:18
35. Arnaud Labbe (Fra), Bouygues Telecom, at 8:18
36. James Vanlandschoot (Bel), Verandas Willems, at 8:18
37. Yaonn Offredo (Fra), Française des Jeux, at 8:18
38. Michael Schär (Swi), Astana, at 8:18
39. Lloyd Mondory (Fra), AG2R-La Mondiale, at 8:18
40. Renaud Dion (Fra), AG2R-La Mondiale, at 8:18
41. Koen de Kort (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 8:18
42. Peter Wrolich (Aut), Milram, at 8:18
43. Marcel Sieberg (Ger), Columbia-High Road, at 8:18
44. Jos van Emden (Ned), Rabobank, at 8:18
45. Gert Dockx (Bel), Columbia-High Road, at 8:18
46. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel), Katusha, at 8:18
47. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor), Columbia-High Road, at 8:18
48. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Katusha, at 8:18
49. Leonardo Duque (Fra), Cofidis, at 8:18
50. Danilo Napolitano (Ita), Katusha, at 8:18
51. Tom Stamsnijder (Ned), Rabobank, at 8:18
52. Dominique Rollin (Can), Cervélo TestTeam, at 8:18
53. Borut Bozic (Slo), Vacansoleil, at 8:18
54. Sebastien Hinault (Fra), AG2R-La Mondiale, at 8:18
55. Wouter Weylandt (Bel), Quick Step, at 8:18
56. Kevin Hulsmans (Bel), Quick Step, at 8:18
57. Frederic Amorison: (Bel), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 8:18
58. Martijn Maaskant (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, at 8:18
59. Rick Flens (Ned), Rabobank, at 8:18
60. Sebastien Chavanel (Fra), Française des Jeux, at 8:18
61. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 8:18
62. Anders Lund (Den), Saxo Bank, at 8:18
63. Alex Rasmussen (Den), Saxo Bank, at 8:18
64. Frank Hoj (Den), Saxo Bank, at 8:18
65. Niko Eeckhout (Bel), AN Post-Sean Kelly, at 8:50
66. Stephen Gallagher (Irl), AN Post-Sean Kelly, at 8:50
67. Benny De Schrooder (Bel), AN Post-Sean Kelly, at 8:50
68. Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel), CC Bourgas, at 8:50
69. Paidi O’Brien (Irl), AN Post-Sean Kelly, at 8:50
70. Jef Peeters (Bel), AN Post-Sean Kelly, at 8:50
71. Koen Barbé (Bel), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 8:50
72. David Boucher (Fra), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 8:50
73. Dirk Bellemakers (Ned), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 8:50
74. Serhiy Matveyev (Ukr), ISD Cycling, at 8:50
75. Vytautas Kaupas (Ltu), Revor-Jartazi, at 8:50
76. Kenny Van Braekel (Bel), Revor-Jartazi, at 8:50
77. Dieter Cappelle (Bel), Palmans-Collstrop, at 8:50
78. Maxime Vantomme (Bel), Katusha, at 8:50
79. Tom Vanbecelaere (Bel), Palmans-Collstrop, at 8:50
80. Johan Coenen (Bel), Topsport Vlaanderen, at 8:50
81. Jonas Ljungblad (Swe), Silence-Lotto, at 8:50
82. Kenny van Hummel (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 8:50
83. Zakkari Dempster (Aus), CC Bourgas, at 8:50
84. Olivier Kaisen (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 8:50
85. Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra), Cofidis, at 8:50
86. Jan Bakelants (Bel), Topsport Vlaanderen, at 8:50
87. Roy Curvers (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 8:50
88. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel), Verandas Willems, at 8:50
89. Nico Sijmens (Bel), Cofidis, at 8:50
90. Erki Pütsep (Est), CC Bourgas, at 8:50
91. Ian Stannard (GB), ISD Cycling, at 8:50
92. Berik Kupeshov (Kaz), Astana, at 8:50
93. Klaas Lodewyck (Bel), Topsport Vlaanderen, at 8:50
94. Stijn Neirynck (Bel), Topsport Vlaanderen, at 8:50
95. Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr), ISD Cycling, at 8:50
96. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra), Bouygues Telecom, at 8:50
97. Roger Hammond (GB), Cervélo TestTeam, at 8:50
98. Andreas Klier (Ger), Cervélo TestTeam, at 8:50
99. Martin Reimer (Ger), Cervélo TestTeam, at 8:50
100. Arnaud Gerard (Fra), Française des Jeux, at 8:50
101. Michael Friedman (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 8:50
102. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 8:50
103. Stephane Poulhies (Fra), AG2R-La Mondiale, at 8:50
104. Geert Omloop (Bel), Palmans-Collstrop, at 8:50
105. Matthé Pronk (Ned), Vacansoleil, at 8:50
106. Cédric Pineau (Fra), AG2R-La Mondiale, at 8:50
107. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Cofidis, at 8:50
108. Floris Goesinnen (Ned), Skil-Shimano, at 8:50
109. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol), ISD Cycling, at 8:50
110. David Deroo (Fra), Skil-Shimano, at 8:50
111. Christophe Laurent (Fra), Agritubel, at 8:50
112. Matt Brammeier (Irl), AN Post-Sean Kelly, at 8:50
113. Rémi Cusin (Fra), Agritubel, at 8:50
114. Lars Bak (Den), Saxo Bank, at 8:50
115. Sébastien Portal (Fra), Cofidis, at 8:50
116. Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra), Cofidis, at 8:50
117. Arnaud van Groen (Ned), Vacansoleil, at 8:50
118. Wouter Mol (Ned), Vacansoleil, at 8:50
119. Bert De Backer (Bel), Skil-Shimano, at 8:50
120. Thomas Dekker (Ned), Silence-Lotto, at 8:50
121. Reinier Honig (Ned), Vacansoleil, at 8:50
122. Mitchell Docker (Aus), Skil-Shimano, at 8:50
194 starters