Dutchman Steven De Jongh put the icing on the Quick Step cake by going free in the finale of the 61st Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and winning the two-up sprint against 23 year-old Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank).
The 34 year-old, winner in 2004, was part of the successful move that formed when six of his team-mates put the hammer down at 80 kilometres remaining of the 193-kilometre semi-classic. Australian Matthew Goss (Team CSC) finished third over last year's winner, Tom Boonen (Quick Step), and Italian Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas).
The finale was marked by attacks from Leif Hoste (Silence-Lotto) and De Jongh's teammate Gert Steegmans, but it was De Jongh who took advantage of a move by his younger compatriot and went at just over one kilometre to go. With Quick.Step members breathing down the duo's back, De Jongh played cool until the final 150 metres to open his sprint from off the left side of Brugsesteenweg.
"What could I do, but follow?" De Jongh said of the team tactics.
"We're used to that pressure in our team," De Jongh told Cyclingnews. "The last time I won here I was very nervous and I remember I was shouting to my teammates that they had to keep it all together because nobody would beat me; it was cold and wet day and eventfully I beat Bettini and O'Grady in a bunch sprint."
Second placed Langeveld admitted that it was the "highest result possible" in that situation. "I knew that De Jongh was faster in the sprint. I asked him once to take pulls, but he didn't want to, understandably. I decided to continue and go full out. Quick.Step could gamble on Boonen. Much more than this second place wasn't realistic for me, but I'm happy with my race and my weekend." He finished over six minutes back in yesterday's Omloop Het Volk.
World Champion Paolo Bettini was not there to help with the Quick Step team tactics due to a crash at kilometre nine. After the crash, the 33 year-old Italian abandoned the race; he is reported with pain on his left shin and an aching back, but nothing serious, according to the team's press agent, Alessandro Tegner.
|1 Steven De Jongh (Ned|Quick Step)||4:27:03|
|2 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned|Rabobank)||0:00:02|
|3 Matthew Goss (Aus|Team CSC)||0:00:04|
|4 Tom Boonen (Bel|Quick Step)|
|5 Enrico Franzoi (Ita|Liquigas)|
|6 Borut Bozic (Slo|Cycle Collstrop)|
|7 Bobbie Traksel (Ned|P3Transfer - Batavus)|
|8 Karsten Kroon (Ned|Team CSC)|
|9 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra|Agritubel)|
|10 Frédéric Amorison (Bel|Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner)|