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4th Scheldecross - C2
Antwerp, Belgium, December 19, 2008
Finally more than a good start for Al
By Brecht Decaluwé
Thijs Al has won the fourth edition of the Scheldecross in Antwerp on Friday. The Dutchman often enjoys the benefit of having a cannonball start but usually drops back halfway the race. In Antwerp, Al was able to stay near the front all race long and in the final lap he left Klaas Vantornout behind to capture only his second win of the season and the second of his career.
Last year's winner Radomir Simunek made a remarkable comeback from a poor start. The Czech didn't feature in the eight-man leader's group but managed to get back to the chasing group late into the race and eventually sprinted to third place ahead of his compatriot Zdenek Stybar. World champion Lars Boom finished ninth while leader in the UCI-rankings Sven Nys didn't bother to start in Antwerp, keeping an eye on the World Cup race in Nommay, France on Sunday.
"For me this is the season where I have to make the big step forward. This is my time of the year," said a beaming winner Thijs Al. "It was a busy week that included our team presentation and yesterday evening I had weird sensations. Today though I saw the course was better than last year when it was all frozen. I quickly noticed that I went smoothly through the sand and that's also where I got rid of Vantornout. I kept concentrating in the final lap," Al said.
Klaas Vantornout and Dieter Vanthourenhout were the first to attack in Antwerp. Halfway through the race the pace eased, and one by one riders began returning to the front. With four laps to go the Belgian duo was first joined by Dutchmen Thijs Al and later also Richard Groenendaal and World Champion Lars Boom, but also Zdenek Stybar, Rob Peeters and Gerben De Knegt to form a lead group of eight riders. Thijs Al continued his efforts and he got away together with Vantornout. Behind this new leader's duo no real chase was organized and as a result the race for victory was between the two leaders. In the final lap Al had an acceleration left in his legs which Vantornout could not respond to.
Kupfernagel holds off returning Vos
World champion Hanka Kupfernagel captured the victory in the women's category. The German woman had a small gap over Marianne Vos who made one of her first appearances in the cyclo-cross fields this season. Young local rider Sanne Cant finished on a strong third place.
Vos attacked the race early on and the Dutch woman was only joined by Kupfernagel. Behind this duo Daphny van den Brand, Sanne Cant, Wendy Simms and Helen Wyman were struggling to get to the front again. Vos and Kupfernagel dominated the race until the world champion started putting on the pressure during the penultimate lap. Vos seemed to be able to come back but then crashed. Still, Vos returned to the front but a second acceleration from Kupfernagel proved to be deciding. "It took a lot of effort to get rid of Vos but in the end it succeeded and that makes me happy. This was a good training for me ahead of the World Cup in Nommay this weekend," Kupfernagel said to Het Laatste Nieuws.
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Images by Niels De Wit/www.nielsdewit.be
Images by Tom De Meyer/www.CyclingView.be
Elite Men 1 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 1.01.02 2 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 0.19 3 Radomír Šimunek (Cze) Palmans - Cras 0.38 4 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 1.36 5 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans - Cras 1.46 6 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 7 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drink - Be One 1.49 8 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 1.55 9 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 2.03 10 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 2.23 11 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 2.43 12 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 2.56 13 Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 3.03 14 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Palmans - Cras 3.09 15 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Palmans - Cras 3.28 16 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 3.33 17 Martin Bína (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 4.04 18 David Willemsens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 4.21 19 Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Mega Saeco - Heist o/d berg 20 Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 4.29 21 Jan Van Dael (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 4.38 22 Tom De Kort (Bel) AVB Cycling Team 4.53 23 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 24 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 25 Nico Berckmans (Bel) DCM-GB Vorselaar Cycling Team 5.23 26 Kevin Cant (Bel) AVB Cycling Team 6.22 27 Kristof Cop (Bel) AVB Cycling Team 6.49 28 Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 7.10 29 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Columbia 7.36 30 Nico Clarysse (Bel) Cyclingteam Oost-West VZW 8.01 31 David Fletcher (GBr) Sport Trek 8.21 32 Wesley Van der Linden (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 8.53 33 Max Walsleben (Ger) Team Focus-Alpecin Cross 34 Andre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Cycling Club 35 Molly Cameron (USA) Organic Athlete 36 Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block 37 Ian Bibby (GBr) North West 38 Jorn van Veen (Ned) de Zwaluuwen 39 Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) 40 Steven Hunter (USA) Veloshop 41 Steven De Schoesitter (Bel) Rudyco Cycling Team 42 David Quist (USA) Team Clif Bar 43 Dries Cauwelier (Bel) Cycling Team Cauwelier Roeselare 44 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Rijschool AH - Gentse VS 45 Jochem Danckaers (Bel) Afdeling Antwerpen - WbV 46 Jan Willem Kamphof (Ned) Elite Women 1 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera 40.35 2 Marianne Vos (Ned) Team DSB Bank 0.08 3 Sanne Cant (Bel) 0.46 4 Daphny van den Brand (Ned) 5 Helen Wyman (GBr) 6 Wendy Simms (Can) 1.15 7 Sanne van Paassen (Ned) 1.40 8 Veerle Ingels (Bel) 2.10 9 Reza Hormes-Ravenstein (Ned) 2.40 10 Nikki Harris (GBr) 2.45 11 Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) 3.00 12 Gabriella Day (GBr) 13 Loes Sels (Bel) 3.25 14 Mika Ogishima (Jpn) 4.35 15 Sophie de Boer (Ned) 5.15 16 Annie Last (GBr) 17 Christine Vardaros (USA) 18 Nicole De Bie-Leijten (Bel) 19 Katrien Van Looy (Bel) 20 Nancy Bober (Bel) 21 Anne Arnouts (Bel) 22 Katrien Pauwels (Bel) 23 Vicki Thomas (Can) 24 Laure Werner (Bel) 25 Anja Nobus (Bel) 26 Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) 27 Katrien Thijs (Bel) 28 Dorien Raeymaekers (Bel) 29 Ilse Vandekinderen (Bel) 30 Jo Blanchaert (Bel) 31 Kimberly Buyl (Bel) 32 Sharon Defoor (Bel) 33 Audrey Werner (Bel) 34 Maaike Lanssens (Bel)
2007 Radomír Simunek (Cze) Palmans-Cras 2007 (January) Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Cras 2006 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank