Alex Hooper in Kruishoutem

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July 2nd, ’14.  Next up for New Zealand’s Alex Hooper was the 101.2km kermesse in the Belgium town of Kruishoutem.  The East Belgian area played host to 88 riders who took to the startline with Tom Devriendt of Team 3M emerging victorious at the end of the day’s racing.

July 2nd, ’14.  Next up for New Zealand’s Alex Hooper was the 101.2km kermesse in the Belgium town of Kruishoutem.  The East Belgian area played host to 88 riders who took to the startline with Tom Devriendt of Team 3M emerging victorious at the end of the day’s racing. 

The event went off at an extremely fast pace; averaging nearly 42kph for the duration of the event; and prompted a great many splits in the peloton.  In the end almost half of the field abandoned the race, but Alex wasn’t one of them.  We caught up with him after the race to see how the Morgan Blue rider had gotten on, “It was a really good hard course today, including an 800m cobbled climb and was just constant attacking and no real place to recover.”

The attacking was prominent right from the start and was actually what caused a crash at the very beginning of the race, “We had a crash 100m in today just because guys were all over the show trying to attack.  It’s a big shock compared to racing back home.”  This style of racing is typical of Belgian kermesse racing, with the comparative patience of a World Tour race not really featuring so strongly, “That’s pretty much how they race kermesses here, go from the gun and just keep going,” Alex said.  “It was crazy especially because it was quite a hilly course today and quite windy, I was on the rivet the whole time.”

Unfortunately Alex missed the breakaway that escaped to contest the win, but he did role in with a large group of 21 riders.  “I missed the winning break which was annoying because I felt really good today but it’s all experience,” he said later.  

Up ahead the winning breakaway fragmented and fragmented until there were six riders in the lead: Veranclassic-Doltcini’s Serge Dewortelaer, KSV Deerlijk-Gaverzicht’s Gianni Marchand, EFC-Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s David Desmecht, British rider Roberl Smail of Cycling Team Tomacc, Cycling Team Zuidwest’s David Geldhof and Tom Devriendt.  It was Geldhof and Devriendt who were able to shake off the rest as the finish line got closer.  In the finale it was a battle of older vs younger as 37-year old Geldhof looked to take on the 22-year old Devriendt; but youth won the day with Devriendt beating Geldhof to the line by two seconds.

 

Results:

Pos. Name Country Team Time
1 Tom Devriendt BEL Team 3M 2.24.55
2 David Geldhof BEL Cycling Team Zuidwest +0.02
3 David Desmecht BEL EFC-Omega Pharma-Quick Step +0.15
4 Gianni Marchand BEL KSV Deerlijk-Gaverzicht  
5 Serge Dewortelaer BEL Veranclassic-Doltcini  
6 Robert Smail GBR Cycling Team Tomacc +0.21
7 Lawrence Naesen BEL Van Der Vurst Development Team +0.45
8 Kevin Eeckhout BEL Smartphoto Cycling Team  
9 Jerome Kerf BEL Color Code – Biowanze  
10 Thomas Wertz BEL Color Code – Biowanze  
OTHER        
33 Alex Hooper NZ Morgan Blue +5.25

By:  Ed Wright

 

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