Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2018 odds
Who wins Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2018?
The Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (KBK) is a one-day road cycling race in Belgium. Hosted annually, it comes just one day after the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, rounding off the opening weekend of professional cycling racing in Belgium. This year, the race will be held on the 25th February 2018.
Despite the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad being upgraded to a UCI World Tour event in 2017, the KBK is part of the UCI Europe Tour. With three titles to his name, Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen has won the race more than any other rider, with victories in 2007, 2009 and 2014. And Belgian riders have had the most success. A Belgian rider has won the race a remarkable fifty three times!
Interestingly, no rider has ever won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the KBK on the same weekend.
The KBK 2018 race
The one-day race begins on the hippodrome of Kuurne, in the southern region of West Flanders. The route then takes the cyclists east, heading towards Brussels. Despite being in the name of the race, the cyclists don’t actually reach as far as Brussels, stopping around 20 km short of the city. The riders turn near Nivone, before taking on the rolling hills of the Flemish Ardennes. The riders will then also finish in Kuurne, with a total distance of around 198 km.
The race ends with a long, flat and fast finish, unlike the far more hilly Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which is why sprinters will be lining up to try and take the crown. Expect the top teams to navigate their sprinters through the hilly section, around 50 km from the finish line, and then try and position themselves at the head of the peloton. Unless there is a breakaway, the teams will then position their sprinters for the final dash to the finish line. Expect a fast and frantic end of the race!
The race winner
The KBK classic, now in its 70th year, is highly-favourable for sprinters. In 2017, the title was won by the Slovakian World Champion, Peter Sagan, who won a five-man breakaway. He was joined on the podium by Jasper Stuyven (Belgian) and Luke Rowe (British). Prior winners include Jasper Stuyven, who won the title in 2016, Mark Cavendish (British) in 2015 and Tom Boonen in 2014.
Peter Sagan has ruled himself out of the race but Mark Cavendish, who is the only cyclist with two race titles under his belt, could join Tom Boonen as the most successful cyclist in the history of the KBK.
Teams battling for the title include Bora - Hansgrohe (German), Quick Step Floors (Belgian), BMC - Tag Heuer (USA), Lotto-Jumbo (Dutch), Lotto - Soudal (Belgian), Katusha - Alpecin (Swiss), Sky (British), Dimension Data (South African) and UAE Emirates (UAE).