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Cyclo-Cross World Cup #7 - CDM
Zolder, Belgium, December 26, 2008
Race 4 - December 26: Elite Men, 65 minutes
Al motors away for unexpected result
By Brecht Decaluwé in Zolder, Belgium
The Flemish crowd at the World Cup round in Zolder, Belgium, witnessed an unexpected situation in the with a four-man move lacking the sport's big names. Former mountain biker Thijs Al powered from the move on the final lap held partly on the Formula 1 circuit to win his first ever World Cup over Kevin Pauwels and Sven Vanthourenhout.
"I can't believe what I just pulled off," Al said. "You know that you're in front with two [potential winners] so I had to do something. I was in a bad position during the last lap, but then I could move up and attack the dangerous downhill, offering me a couple of metres. I was able to hold that until the finish line."
World Champion Lars Boom finished fourth and World Cup leader Sven Nys was sixth.
Three laps into the race it seemed like the race would end in a bunch sprint as more than twenty riders were still riding together along the auto circuit. Suddenly Radomir Simunek and Simon Zahner collided and blocked the rest of the group, thus offering a small gap to Sven Vanthourenhout, Marco Aurelio Fontana and eventual winner Al. Only Kevin Pauwels was able to bridge up to the leaders, and when World Champion Lars Boom started pacing the chase group like a safety car, the gap suddenly ran up to half a minute.
Fontana crashed out of the leading group, and it was up to Dutchman Al to try his hand at opening a small gap in the final lap to avoid the sprint. His late attack proved successful, leaving the two Belgians with nothing but grief. "I thought I was in the perfect position as I had Pauwels on my wheel when we reached the downhill, but suddenly he [Al] sneaked past us when we didn't expect it. Thijs had a couple of metres and that was it," Vanthourenhout said.
Pauwels explained that he made a crucial mistake and lost contact in the final kilometre. "I had to set foot on the ground. I hoped to come back and finish close, but coming on the finishing straight I knew the gap was too big. I'm disappointed," said Pauwels.
Meanwhile Boom was happy to see that his compatriot Al finished the job. "We're not team-mates but we get along," Boom said with a smile on his face. "Didn't Nys have his friend in front as well," Boom referred to Belgian Vanthourenhout. "Personally, I rode a good race on a course that didn't suit me well." Boom eventually finished solo in fourth position after a late attack early on in the final lap.
World Cup leader Sven Nys finished sixth but the Belgian wasn't too happy with today's race. The start procedure got messed up as the Sporza crew was still standing in front of the riders when the green start light went on. "I wasn't concentrated as the camera man was still standing in front of us," Nys said. "Then I was hesitating whether to attack and battle for the victory or focus on defending my lead in the World Cup ranking. Meanwhile Lars preferred to have somebody else win the race rather than having us battle for the win. It was impossible to work together with Boom," Nys said.
The North American riders in the race weren't able to profit from Boom's slow pacing. James Driscoll was the first US finisher. The 22 year-old overtook US champion Ryan Trebon in the final laps and finished twenty sixth. Jonathan Page didn't take the start in the seventh round of the UCI's World Cup, as he has not yet returned to Europe after racing in the national championships.
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Images by Cyclingnews.com
Images by Niels De Wit/www.nielsdewit.be
1 Thijs Al (Ned) BeOne - Chain Reaction Cycles 1.02.10 2 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.02 3 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 0.08 4 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 0.22 5 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 0.24 6 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 7 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.29 8 Radomír imunek (Cze) Palmans - Cras 0.32 9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 0.38 10 Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida 0.39 11 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans - Cras 0.41 12 Steve Chainel (Fra) French National Team 0.48 13 Christian Heule (Swi) Swiss National Team 14 Simon Zahner (Swi) Swiss National Team 15 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Italian National Team 0.51 16 Marco Bianco (Ita) L'Arcobaleno Carraro Team 0.53 17 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Exe Jeans 0.58 18 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drink - Be One 1.07 19 Jonathan Lopez (Fra) French National Team 1.22 20 Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team 1.27 21 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 1.28 22 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans - Cras 1.32 23 Martin Bína (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 1.41 24 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) French National Team 2.11 25 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 2.15 26 James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com 2.16 27 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona 2.41 28 Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 2.49 29 David Káek (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 2.50 30 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof 31 David Derepas (Fra) Groupe gobert.com.ct 2.51 32 Bram Schmitz (Ned) 33 Milan Barenyi (Svk) CK P port As 3.00 34 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 3.01 35 Troy Wells (USA) Clif Bar 3.20 36 Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com 3.26 37 Fabio Ursi (Ita) Italian National Team 3.29 38 Jempy Drucker (Lux) Fidea Cycling Team 3.51 39 Joachim Parbo (Den) CCV Cyclo Cross Team 3.52 40 Julien Belgy (Fra) French National Team 3.53 41 Matt Shriver (USA) Jittery Joe's 3.56 42 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 4.06 43 Peter Presslauer (Aut) Volksbank - Corratec 4.21 44 Robert Glajza (Svk) CK P port A.S. Podbrezová 4.25 45 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel 4.32 46 Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder 4.46 47 Martin Haring (Svk) Ck p port Podbrezová 4.48 48 Kiichi Tsujiura (Jpn) 4.56 49 Aaron Schooler (Can) 6.53 50 Tommy Nielsen (Den) 7.13 One lap behind 51 Derrick St John (Can) Two laps behind 52 Molly Cameron (USA) Standings after seven rounds 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 475 pts 2 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 393 3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 392 4 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 362 5 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 321 6 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 306 7 Radomír imunek (Cze) Palmans - Cras 304 8 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 294 9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 290 10 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 286 11 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 285 12 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drink - Be One 272 13 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 271 14 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans - Cras 260 15 Martin Bína (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 236 16 Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 235 17 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux 224 18 Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida 213 19 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 206 20 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Differdange Apiflo Vacances 189 21 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 178 22 Simon Zahner (Swi) Bürgis Cycling Team 168 23 Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team 158 24 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Exe Jeans 154 25 Marco Bianco (Ita) L'Arcobaleno Carraro Team 146 26 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 137 27 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans - Cras 135 28 Jonathan Lopez (Fra) V.C.La Pomme Marseille 132 29 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti Elite 129 30 Steve Chainel (Fra) Auber 93 124 31 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas 116 32 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 112 33 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof 97 34 Fabio Ursi (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito 91 35 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike 82 36 Milan Barenyi (Svk) CK P port As 82 37 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel 81 38 Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) 73 39 Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls A MB 73 40 Jaroslav Kulhavý (Cze) Michelin - Specialized MTB Team 70 41 Julien Belgy (Fra) Bouygues Télécom 64 42 David Káek (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 62 43 Joachim Parbo (Den) CCV Cyclo Cross Team 62 44 Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Team Kral R.C. Pfeil Hof E.V 61 45 Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) Povoa Cycling Club 60 46 Rafael Visinelli (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale 59 47 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) 59 48 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Tower Sports - VC Eschenbach 58 49 Aurelien Duval (Fra) Française Des Jeux 56 50 Pirmin Lang (Swi) Delta Elite Team 49 51 David Derepas (Fra) Groupe Gobert.Com.Ct 43 52 Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona 42 53 Gusty Bausch (Lux) VC Diekirch 42 54 Robert Glajza (Svk) CK P port A.S. Podbrezová 42 55 René Birkenfeld (Ger) Stevens Racing Team 39 56 Oscar Vazquez Crespo (Spa) Aquagest Club Ciclista 35 57 Jempy Drucker (Lux) Fidea Cycling Team 33 58 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Palmans - Cras 32 59 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles 32 60 Martin Haring (Svk) Ck p port Podbrezová 29 61 Geoffrey Clochez (Fra) Bleus de France 28 62 Paul Voss (Ger) 27 63 James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com 27 64 Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa) 25 65 Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) 22 66 Laurent Colombatto (Fra) Amicale Cycliste Bisontin 21 67 Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) 21 68 Bram Schmitz (Ned) 19 69 Magnus Darvell (Swe) Rietumu Bank-Riga 18 70 Peter Presslauer (Aut) Volksbank - Corratec 18 71 Troy Wells (USA) Clif Bar 16 72 José Antonio Díez Arriola (Spa) Construcciones Navajeda 16 73 Alessandro Gambino (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Esercito 16 74 Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com 15 75 Luká Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 15 76 David Juarez Alday (Spa) Ibaigane Opel 14 77 Florian Le Corre (Fra) Super Sport 35 ACNC 13 78 Andre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Cycling Club 13 79 Martin Gujan (Swi) 12 80 Matt Shriver (USA) Jittery Joe's 10 81 Jody Crawforth (GBr) Arctic Premier 10 82 Luca Damiani (Ita) 7 83 Gerald Hauer (Aut) 6 84 Brian Matter (USA) 5 85 Adam Myerson (USA) Time Pro Cycling 5 86 Julien Pion (Fra) 4 87 Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn) 3 88 Andreas Moser (Swi) Team Hörmann-Kramer 3 89 Thomas Puhmer (Aut) Team Sport Nora 3 90 Aaron Schooler (Can) 2 91 Stefano Boggia (Ita) GS Daccordi 2 92 Tommy Nielsen (Den) 1 93 Derrick St John (Can) 1 94 Julien Laidoun (Fra) SCO Dijon 1