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2005 Cyclo-cross World Championships - CM
St. Wendel, Germany, January 29-30, 2005
January 30 - Elite Men: 60 Minutes
No surprises: Nys takes World's
By Hedwig Kröner in St. Wendel
Belgian Sven Nys, leader of the World Cup and winner of the most races this season, completed his career today as he topped it off with the World champion's title. The race was dominated by the Belgians and ended with an all-Belgian podium, Erwin Vervecken and Sven Vanthourenhout finishing second and third.
Nys expressed his considerable joy at the finish. "It's unbelievable! I will come to Germany to race for the rest of my life, I always win here!" Nys won his first World Championships in Munich in the Espoir category, and also a World Cup race in St. Wendel on practically the same course.
"It was a terrible race. All the riders don't begrudge me the title. But you have to achieve it yourself in that hour. I tried to attack often. But Erwin Vervecken was a tough opponent. I should thank Sven Vanthourenhout for his help. We'll certainly go to a chic restaurant to eat."
"I came so close," said a disappointed Erwin Vervecken. "How ever many times Nys attacked, I always came back to his wheel. But on the last lap I really had to let go. But in the end I preferred it that way. If I lost in a sprint, that would hurt more. I gave everything...this hurts. I'm disappointed with second place."
Vanthourenhout's third place was the icing on the cake for the Rabobank boys, who had worked together within the context of a World Championship to ensure Nys' victory. "This is the confirmation of my successful season," he said. "Winning wasn't on the cards. I am still happy for Sven Nys. If he hadn't won, I would have felt bad."
How it unfolded
The Belgian team had ten riders at the start, but the first to take the lead of the pack was surprisingly the Swiss Michael Baumgartner, followed by the Belgian armada. Soon after, Davy Commeyne and Sven Nys took over, with Sven Vanthourenhout just behind. With Czech riders Petr Dlask and Kamil Ausbuher in seventh and eighth position, Nys took the command of the race as he entered the stadium, crossing the line for the first time after 6:24.
Italian Enrico Franzoi had also made his way into top five, and in one strong effort took over the lead in front of the Belgian superpower Commeyne, Nys, Vanthourenthout and Vannoppen. However, the peloton was still very compact at the front of the race, and nothing was decided just yet. To commence the third lap, Jonathan Page from the United States raced in front, until French Francis Mourey increased the pace to lead. Although Belgians dominated, a lot of the leading riders still were international, including the riders from the Czech Republic and Poland's Dariusz Gil. Sven Nys turned up the gas to create a small head group including Bart Wellens, Sven Vanthourenhout and Martin Zlamalik, but the chasers were too close behind for a decisive move. On a straightforward false flat, Nys put some pressure on his rivals again, and dropped the peloton together with Vanthourenhout and Vervecken, Mourey and Zlamalik, but the gap was still too small.
With six laps to go, the Belgian train was still leading the race with Nys, Vannoppen and Vanthourenhout in front, but the rest of the top riders were difficult to drop. Zlamalik came back, the Italians and French were still close behind, as well as Jonathan Page. Vannoppen worked hard, but it was difficult to break away on this fast and slippery parcours. After 31:06, five laps were still left to go, and with five Belgians in front, the French Mourey and Gadret, Zlamalik, Swiss Baumgartner and Page right behind, the race was still wide open.
That's when the first rider got overlapped by the speeding Nys, and for the first time a real gap was created when himself, Vanoppen, Vanthourenhout, Commeyne and Vervecken as well as French Francis Mourey broke away. A ten seconds lead separated them from the chasing crowd as they crossed the line for the sixth time. But again, Groenendaal, Zlamalik, Franzoi and Baumgartner managed to catch up with them, and the suspense continued.
Tom Vannoppen, who did a very good job leading the field, had a small problem with the stairs where he tripped and lost some time. Nys tried again to get away on the straight false flat part of the parcours, but without success, as Vervecken held his wheel, Vanthourenhout caught up to them and Mourey close behind, but it seemed that at least the other contenders were finally out of the game. As they entered the last lap, the Belgian trio was talking, with Frenchman Mourey chasing them and Davy Commeyne seven seconds behind. Nys then placed himself in front where he likes it best this season, and attacked to take 2-3 seconds off his teammates. He obviously didn't want to risk a sprint finish with Vervecken.
The World Cup leader repeatedly turned his head to see if Vervecken was beaten, and finally he realised it was done. Sven Nys crossed the finish line after 1:01:35 and celebrated at last.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Birke Ulrich/www.alakarte.de
Images by cyclocrossprosport.be
1 Sven Nys (Belgium) 1.01.34 2 Erwin Vervecken (Belgium) 0.02 3 Sven Vanthourenhout (Belgium) 0.13 4 Francis Mourey (France) 0.31 5 Davy Commeyne (Belgium) 0.32 6 Tom Vannoppen (Belgium) 7 Petr Dlask (Czech Republic) 0.42 8 Enrico Franzoi (Italy) 9 Michael Baumgartner (Switzerland) 10 Wilant Van Gils (Netherlands) 0.43 11 Arnaud Labbe (France) 0.45 12 John Gadret (France) 1.01 13 Martin Zlamalik (Czech Republic) 1.02 14 Jonathan Page (USA) 1.03 15 Ryan Trebon (USA) 1.05 16 Richard Groenendaal (Netherlands) 1.15 17 Maarten Nijland (Netherlands) 1.33 18 Zdenek Mlynar (Czech Republic) 1.40 19 David Derepas (France) 1.41 20 Gerben De Knegt (Netherlands) 2.02 21 Bart Wellens (Belgium) 2.18 22 Camiel Van Den Bergh (Netherlands) 2.19 23 Vaclav Jezek (Czech Republic) 2.31 24 Dariusz Gil (Poland) 2.36 25 Fabian Brzezinski (Germany) 2.38 26 Maros Kovac (Slovakia) 2.44 27 Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spain) 28 Jan Ramsauer (Switzerland) 2.45 29 Jens Schwedler (Germany) 2.47 30 Barry Wicks (USA) 2.50 31 Milan Barenyi (Slovakia) 2.56 32 Wim Jacobs (Belgium) 3.01 33 Kamil Ausbuher (Czech Republic) 3.07 34 Steffen Weigold (Germany) 3.12 35 Marco Bianco (Italy) 3.21 36 Daniele Pontoni (Italy) 3.37 37 Robert Glajza (Slovakia) 3.38 38 Gusty Bausch (Luxembourg) 3.39 39 David Seco Amundarain (Spain) 4.12 40 Bart Aernouts (Belgium) 4.13 41 Stefano Toffoletti (Italy) 4.39 42 Johannes Sickmueller (Germany) 4.43 43 Beat Morf (Switzerland) 5.40 44 Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spain) 6.03 45 Eric Tonkin (USA) 6.18 46 Santiago Armero Sanchez (Spain) 1 lap 47 Jody Crawforth (Great Britain) 48 Ben Turner (USA) 49 Keiichi Tsujira (Japan) 50 Robin Seymour (Ireland) 51 Greg Reain (Canada) 2 laps 52 Peter Presslauer (Austria) 4 laps