If any further proof was needed that bike riders really are the world’s hardest sportsmen, look no further than Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

France declared a national disaster as violent storms blew across Western Europe and any sensible event should surely have been cancelled. Not this Belgian semi-classic of course, and the organisers only cut 20 kilometres from the route when a fallen tree blocked a climb.

With gusting winds and a slick covering of mud over many of the roads there were countless crashes but none more spectacular than Quick Step’s Stijn Devolder, who managed to collide with a large plastic dustbin.

So who revel in these extreme conditions? Brits of course, with 22-year-old Sky rider Ian Stannard pulling off the best result of his career so far, finishing third. Fellow Brit Jeremy Hunt led the chasing group and closed to 45 seconds but with 35km to go he’d had enough and abandoned despite being fourth rider on the road. And he wasn’t alone. Just 26 hardy souls made it back to Kuurne.

Elsewhere in the magazine you’ll find Dr Hutch decrying the toughness of bike riders.

Don’t believe a word of it, Ian Stannard certainly scores a 10 on our hardometer.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

 

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  • Ken Evans

    Some riders have bigger races to target .

  • Ben

    @ Craig – Remember Kiwi Hayden didn’t race on Saturday but JH did. Besides you must have tuned in late in the race because I saw JH working for Hushovd from well before 100k to go. He pulled out because he had absolutely nothing left in the tank. Don’t judge someone on the last 50k of his second 200k race in two days.

    I’m suprised no one in the media has pointed out that Stannard was the only one of the front three who rode Saturday’s race as well. That was massive performance in KBK. The Essex boy done good.

  • Craig Pitt

    “Fellow Brit Jeremy Hunt led the chasing group and closed to 45 seconds but with 35km to go he’d had enough and abandoned despite being fourth rider on the road”

    REALLY? From watching the live coverage Kiwi Hardman Hayden Roulston was driving that group and caused Hunt to blow spectacularly. Roulston then finished 4th overall. Where’s his mention? Oh, he’s not a Brit Hardman, just an average Hardman.

  • Ed

    What?

    We were out on Sunday at the Kentish Killer sportive in the same conditions but for fun not money or glory. We had fallen trees, multiple floods, a river bust it’s banks and followed the course with us for a bit. Dirty slippy pot-holed 20% decents. Torrential rain the whole time.

    Plenty of stories of people being taken out by invisible hazards in the murky flood waters. 300 hundred entries, 80 finishers.

    Ok, so we might have been slower, but their team cars wouldn’t have even made it round…