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Sylvester Cyclo-Cross - C2
Torhout-Wijnendale, Belgium, December 27, 2007
Vantornout takes convincing victory at home
By Brecht Decaluwé in Torhout
Klaas Vantornout has won the Sylvester cyclo-cross in Torhout in the domain d'Aertrycke. The home rider claimed victory after launching a solo attack halfway through the race. Ben Berden finished a surprising second in front of French champion Francis Mourey. It's Vantornout fourth victory of the season.
"I only pulled through once and it was Mourey who closed the gap. By looking at his face I noticed that he wasn't feeling good. From then on I believed in the victory. During the last laps I suffered a lot, because of yesterday's World Cup race in Hofstade," Vantornout said to Cyclingnews.
The young Belgian has suffered a back problem, which is still not cured. "It's a blocked vertebra which is not something you solve right away," Vantornout sighed. With the busy Christmas program these days Vantornout's back will be hurt even more. "It is a tough program, but I don't mind as this is still my hobby and that makes it less unpleasant," said Vantornout, despite the pressure of being ranked third in the UCI 'cross standings. "I could make a job from my hobby, and I'm still grateful for that."
Ben Berden wasn't really surprised with his second place as one would think. "On Sunday I already noticed that Mourey isn't in top condition. Then again, I'm pretty sure he didn't give all he had today. The competition wasn't really hard over here," Berden said to Cyclingnews.
French champion Francis Mourey was happy with his third place in Torhout. "I quickly felt that Vantornout would do all he could to win here today. He was better than me," Mourey admitted. "The other looked at me when he attacked the first time, so I reacted. When he attacked again, I didn't want to do it again but apparently nobody [else] wanted [to]," Mourey laughed. "The main thing for me was to get some rhythm as the most important goal is the French championship and the World Championships where the course suits me perfectly," Mourey explained.
How it unfolded
Vantornout didn't hide his ambitions; he took the hole shot and created the first leading group of six riders with Davy Commeyne, David Willemsens, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Francis Mourey and Gerben De Knegt. Later on the young Czech Lucas Kloucek, Jan Soetens and Ben Berden joined the men up front.
After a couple of laps Vantornout accelerated for the first time and everybody had to dig deep to follow the future Sunweb-Projob rider. It was Mourey who was forced to take the initiative in chasing Vantornout and only Berden, Willemsens and De Knegt were able to join him towards the leader.
Halfway the race Vantornout accelerated again and this time Mourey didn't respond his attack. De Knegt dropped away in front after a crash, not his first of the season. Vantornout quickly gathered a safe gap of twenty seconds on the chasers where Berden, Mourey and Willemsens were the best riders. With two laps to go the chasing group split apart and it was Berden who solely went in search of the leader. With one lap to go the gap was still twenty seconds and Vantornout had time to enjoy the victory in front of his home crowd.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Stijn Vercaemer
Images by Brecht Decaluwé / Cyclingnews.com
Images by Gino Segaert
1 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 57.15 2 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 0.24 3 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux 0.31 4 David Willemsens (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 0.47 5 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 1.20 6 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans-Cras 1.33 7 Lukás Kloucek (Cze) Selle Italia Guerciotti 1.41 8 Jan Soetens (Bel) Jartazi Promo Fashion 1.56 9 Kay Van Den Brande (Bel) Palmans-Cras 2.04 10 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 11 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 2.08 12 Paul Oldham (GBr) Hop Factory Racing 13 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) Chocolade Jacques Topsport Vlaanderen 2.16 14 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Easypay Cyclocross Team 2.30 15 Pedro Baelen (Bel) John Saey Cycling Team 3.02 16 Jirí Polnický (Cze) Empella Czech Team 3.37 17 Wim Jacobs (Bel) Van der Vorst CT 3.58 18 Florian Le Corre (Fra) Super Sport 35 4.03 19 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 4.09 20 Gianni Denolf (Bel) Palmans-Cras 4.14 21 Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) CWKS Legia Warszawa 4.26 22 Christophe Le Bouedec (Fra) UC Pays Plouay 4.36 23 Mike Thielemans (Bel) Cycling Team Thielemans & Co - Reynaers 4.44 24 Tomasz Repinski (Pol) CWKS Legia 4.56 25 Sebastien Le Naour (Fra) VS Quimperois 5.04 26 James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 5.57 27 Anders Klinkby (Den) Vejen Bicycle Club 6.07 28 Quincy Vens (Bel) Vzw Wielerpromotie Cycli Prom 6.14 29 Matthew Pacocha (USA) Velonews 30 Jurgen Vandewalle (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 6.20 31 Cyrille Prise (Fra) VC Rouen 76 7.24 32 Robin Seymour (Irl) Team Worc 7.56 33 Mickael Calvez (Fra) VS Quimperois 34 Valentijn Ponseele (Bel) WC De Molenspurters - Meulebeke 35 Jo Naert (Bel) Lingier Versluys Beachbikers Team 36 Piotr Antkowiak (Pol) UKS Jedynka 37 Yannick Laurent (Fra) VS Quimperois 38 Pascal Colaert (Bel) Bodysol- Lotto Cycling Team Menen 39 Keith Murray (GBr) Wheelspincycles 40 Roger Aiken (GBr) Banbridge CC 41 Florian Guillou (Fra) Unibet.com 42 Tony Le Bail (Fra) VC Pontivyen 43 David Chemille (Fra) VS Quimperois 44 Steven De Schoesitter (Bel) Rudyco Cycling Team 45 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) WC Soenens-Germond Ingelmunster 46 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Rijschool AH - Gentse Velosport 47 Xavier Vanhille (Bel) WC Soenens-Germond Ingelmunster 48 Philip Roche (Irl) Team Worc 49 Brian Weightman (USA) Cycle-Smart 50 Jackson Vijarona (Zim) Giant 51 Dries Cauwelier (Bel) Cycling Team Cauwelier Roeselare
2006 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Rabobank 2005 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) AA drink-Bejan 2004 Mario de Clercq (Bel) MrBookmaker.com - Palmans 2003 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Quick Step-Davitamon 2002 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 2001 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 2000 Bart Wellens (Bel) Spaar Select 1999 Bart Wellens (Bel) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com