An even better weekend for the Brits…

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Cav wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

Cav wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

It only seems like last weekend when I posted about the impact Brits have had so far this season, but they’ve done it again during the first week of the Spring Classics season winning both Omloop het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne Brussels Kuurne.

On Saturday, Ian Stannard managed to win Omloop het Nieuwsblad for the second year running and again managed to beat off favourites on the run-in to the finish. Despite being ganged up 3 to 1 by the Etixx-Quickstep team, he managed to have enough strength to respond to their late attacks and beat Niki Terpstra, Tom Boonen and Stijn Vandenbergh. In theory their team work should have seen them drop Stannard without too much trouble and they were heavily criticised afterwards.

Quickstep kept an eye on Stannard, but still lost

Quickstep kept an eye on Stannard, but still lost

Fellow Brit Luke Rowe also got a respectable 9th place, winning the bunch sprint.

Stannard wins Omloop het Nieuwsblad

Stannard wins Omloop het Nieuwsblad

My tips for the top 3 came in 6th, 5th and 11th in the end.

Stannard gets ganged up by Quickstep

Stannard gets ganged up by Quickstep

Sunday saw the Kuurne Brussels Kuurne race take place, a cobbled race for the sprinters. Mark Cavendish won to make up for Quickstep’s miss the day before. He took up Kristoff’s wheel and came round him for the win with Sky’s Elia Viviani in third place

The chasing pack at Kuurne - Brussels - Kuurne

The chasing pack at Kuurne – Brussels – Kuurne

Nacer Bouhanni was positioned well at the front but a close coming together saw him have to take evasive action and come in down in 18th. He’s not showing the same form as last year currently and it looks like Cofidis’ decision to keep Demare is still the right one.

Things we’ve learnt

Stannard is definitely a classics contender if he can stay injury-free

Cavendish has a decent shot at Gent-Wevelgem and Milan-San Remo

Kristoff is still a force this season

Vanmarcke is still consistent but doesn’t have the killer instinct

Van Avermaet will be in the mix but has off the bike issues fighting his corner against rumours he doped in 2011.

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