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GP de Ster Sint-Niklaas - C2
St. Niklaas, Belgium, January 2, 2007
Nys' star keeps shining in GP de Ster
Maxime Lefèbvre almost upsets cyclo-cross world
By Brecht Decaluwé in Sint-Niklaas
UCI-leader and Belgian champion Sven Nys (Rabobank) won his third 'cross in three days in Sint-Niklaas. Although the startlist didn't feature the likes of world champion Erwin Vervecken, Bart Wellens and Sven Vanthourenhout, the 'cannibal of cyclo-cross' did need to work hard to get the victory.
Somewhat unknown French rider Maxime Lefèbvre (Josan) managed to push Nys to the limit - Lefèbvre rode in front all race long and Nys needed an ultimate acceleration to get rid of the Frenchman. "It wasn't an easy race and I tried to control a bit from the back; I came to the front when I noticed Lefèbvre was going really hard and my team mate Groenendaal looked unable to get him back," Nys explained.
The organisers may have been surprised to see Lefèbvre at the start after he missed a doping control at the Middelkerke cross last week, but the French rider didn't seem care much about that. "I did all I could to get rid of Nys but I couldn't get away from him. Nys was really strong, but he has been very strong all season long," said Lefèbvre. Asked about the missed doping control in Middelkerke, Lefèbvre said, "I didn't see or hear anything."
American Jonathan Page continued his impressive comeback from injury with another fine performance. "It was good...fifth is good, although fourth is better so I'm a little disappointed for that," Page said.
Barry Wicks (Kona) and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) rode together for most of the race and managed a decent eleventh and twelfth place. "It was back and forward between he and I; we were just racing together and we kept getting one guy here and there; we both had a good race," Powers explained. American Ryan Trebon was ill and didn't start in Sint-Niklaas.
How it unfolded
Zdenek Mlynar got the whole shot but disappeared from the front when Richard Groenendaal accelerated. The Dutch veteran got away with Lefèbvre, Radomir Simunek Jr (Palmans) and Jonathan Page (Morgan Blue). Nys needed more time to get to the front but managed to do so together with David Willemsens (Sunweb).
Willemsens and Simunek couldn't follow the group when Lefèbvre took the initiative; Page literally fell away in front. When Lefèbvre accelerated again only Nys could follow and Groenendaal got dropped. During the last lap Nys attacked for the first time and had a little gap on Lefèbvre at the finish. Groenendaal got third while Simunek beat Page for fourth.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Luc Claessen/www.ctm-images.com
Images by Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 2 Maxime Lefebvre (Fra) Josan Team 3 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 4 Radomir Simunek (Cze) Palmans Collstrop - Sapim 5 Jonathan Page (USA) Morgan Blue - BSI 6 David Willemsens (Bel) Sunweb-Projob Cycling Team 7 Arne Daelmans (Bel) Palmans Collstrop - Sapim 8 Zdenek Mlynár (Cze) Max Cursor 9 Stijn Penne (Bel) Onder Ons Parike 10 Ronald Mutsaars (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl 11 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona 12 Jeremy Powers (USA) Jelly Belly - Pool Gel 13 Bjorn Rondelez (Bel) Lingier-Versluys 14 Dariusz Gil (Pol) KS Scout 15 Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce 16 Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona 17 Marek Cichosz (Pol) Entente Cycliste Raismes 18 Kristof Roodhooft (Bel) Palmans - Collstrop 19 Greg Reain (Can) Stevens Racing Team 20 Nico Clarysse (Bel) Saey Deschacht 21 Todd Wells (USA) Slipstream Sports, powered by Chipotle 22 Ian Bibby (GBr) Trek UK 23 Bjorn Selander (USA) Alan Factory Team 24 Steven Decaluwe (Bel) Sunweb-Projob Cycling Team 25 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 26 Bjorn Traen (Bel) 27 Molly Cameron (USA) Vanilla Bicycles 28 Morgan Schmitt (USA) Hagens - Berman 29 Nic Ingels (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 30 Lukasz Mudyn (Pol) Bazta Bytow 31 Daniel Neyens (USA) Hagens - Berman 32 Nicholas Weighall (USA) Alan Factory Team 33 Chance Noble (USA) California Giant Strawberries 34 Johan Myngheer (Bel) De Zilverbergvrienden Rumbeke 35 James Driscoll (USA) Fiordifrutta 36 Ian Legg (GBr) Red Kite Cycles - Torq Bar 37 Tony Heirbaut (Bel) 38 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 39 Steven De Schoeisitter (Bel) 40 Sten Raeymakers (Bel) 41 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 42 Adam Bycka (Pol) 43 Shaun Adamson (Can) 44 Olivier Bordeleau (USA) 45 Mark Cotton (GBr) 46 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Gentse Velosport 47 Erik Myngheer (Bel) De Zilverbergvrienden Rumbeke 48 Kristof D'Hollander (Bel)
2006 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank