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Cyclo-Cross World Cup #9 - CDM
Hoogerheide, Netherlands, January 20, 2008
Race 2 - January 20: U23 Men
No opposition for Albert
By Brecht Decaluwé in Hoogerheide
As expected, there was no real competition in the U23 race where Niels Albert was clearly riding at another level compared to other riders in his age group. Right from the start, Albert powered away from the bunch, only to see some of them again when lapping much of the field and others after a long while at the finish line.
"I felt good today, despite having a tough training week under my belt," said Albert, who had a huge gap on second placed Luxemburger Jempy Drucker. "This course is extremely tough for us, even though it might seem easy from a spectator's point of view; the mud is sucking on the tyres."
The 21 year-old Belgian also claimed the overall win in the UCI World Cup with a 49-point margin on today's third place finisher Aurelien Duval, who's two years younger than Albert. The French rider was delighted with his second place in the overall rankings. "It is fantastic if you see that Albert, [Paul] Voss and Drucker are all riding their fourth year in this category," Duval told Cyclingnews.
Looking back to today's race, Duval seemed satisfied with his performance. "There was nothing possible against Albert, he was immediately gone," Duval explained. "Behind him Drucker was a quick attacker as well. I launched a counter-attack, but couldn't get back to him."
The man ahead of him, Drucker, was pleased he could pull off a podium finish one week before the World Championships in Treviso. "It was important to get on the podium with the eye on the Worlds. Not much will change from now on, and if I can finish on the podium that would be insane," Drucker smiled. "It's not forbidden to dream, is it?"
Only two North American riders finished in the same lap as winner Albert. Nicholas Weighall and Carson Miller should be happy with their performance; Weighall finished 26th and 19 year-old Miller 28th, almost nine minutes behind Albert.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Isosport
1 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Cras 56.46 2 Jempy Drucker (Lux) Fidea Cycling Team 1.46 3 Aurelien Duval (Fra) France 2.14 4 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Heinz von Heiden Focus 2.30 5 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) CT Van Vliet EBH Advocaten 2.40 6 Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 3.22 7 Paul Voss (Ger) Germany 3.42 8 Jonathan Lopez (Fra) France 4.00 9 Robert Gavenda (Svk) Selle Italia Guerciotti 4.08 10 Lukás Kloucek (Cze) Selle Italia Guerciotti 4.22 11 Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 4.32 12 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Rabobank 4.50 13 Guillaume Perrot (Fra) St Vulbas CC 5.11 14 Joeri Adams (Bel) Rabobank 15 Wim Leemans (Bel) AWS Cycling Team Kasterlee 5.26 16 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 5.41 17 Ole Quast (Ger) Team Palmberg-Stevens 5.46 18 Julien Pion (Fra) Charvieu Ch. IC 6.03 19 Marcel Meisen (Ger) German 6.08 20 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Rabobank 6.22 21 Clément Bourgoin (Fra) VC Rhôdanien 6.32 22 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Team Löwik Meubelen 6.42 23 Tomasz Repinski (Pol) CWKS Legia Warszawa 7.05 24 Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Netherlands 7.31 25 David Menger (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 7.54 26 Nicholas Weighall (USA) Rad Racing NW 8.09 27 Ivar Hartogs (Ned) Jan Van Arckel 8.41 28 Claudia Meyer (Ger) RSV Rosenheim 8.52 Behind one lap 29 Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) CWKS Legia Warszawa 30 Yannick-Johannes Tiedt (Ger) Harvestehuder RSV v. 1909 31 Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) 32 Guillaume Dessibourg (Swi) ACB Payern-Lucern 33 Nico Brüngger (Swi) 34 Pawel Szczepaniak (Pol) 35 Chance Noble (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized 36 Jordy Van Erp (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida 37 Jorn Van Veen (Ned) 38 Koen Van Grootel (Ned) 39 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 40 Kobus Hereijgers (Ned) 41 Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team 42 Lukas Prihoda (Cze) 43 Shaun Adamson (Swi) DNF Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) DNF René Lang (Swi) DNF Kyle Douglas (Can) 3 Rox Racing DNF Rik van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Palmans-Cras DNF Yudai Izawa (Jpn) Japan