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Dudzele Cross - C1
Dudzele, Belgium, September 10, 2006
Vanthourenhout cruising in Dudzele
By Brecht DecaluwÚ
The opening race of this years cross season was held in Dudzele, a tiny village near Bruges in Belgium. The race was won by local favourite Sven Vanthourenhout. The circumstances for a cross were a bit unusual as it was pretty hot making the cross fields hard and dry. The Belgian rider of the Dutch Rabobank team cruised around the technical but fast circuit with all rivals being distanced after the first lap. Vanthourenhout risked some technical jumps over a ditch but never experienced any problems.
It must feel comfortable to end the first cross of the season with victory under his belt. After last year, theres a lot to make up. I hope I can succeed in that. The Belgian rider who will be riding for the new team of Jurgen Mettepenningen (the Sunweb Pro Job team) from January on, was stronger than the rest of the field. I was alone in the front quite early in the race. I kept the tempo very high, always checking the lap times. The last two laps I reduced the tempo as my advantage was comfortable. This cross was a good preparation for the new season although the level of competition wasnt really high. Im already strong, but Ill need to be a bit sharper. Ill never be distanced at a couple of minutes when the big names show up in the races. The cross in Ruddervoorde is one of the most important races for Sven Vanthourenhout, whos a rider from the region. Its true, it is an important cross to me, but Im already trying to win it for 3 or 4 years now. So Ill stop talking about it, maybe then I can win it.
How it unfolded
Davy Commeyne had the best start as the 39 riders stormed into the fields at sunny Dudzele. He leaded out the field during one lap but then Sven Vanthourenhout stormed forward. Nobody could follow the Rabobank rider. Every lap he extended his lead with about ten seconds and it was clear the others were fighting for second place. Behind Sven Vanthourenhout six riders were riding together in a tactical race. Davy Commeyne, Klaas Vantornout en Dieter Vanthourenhout could eventually drop Maxime Lefebvre, Belgian champion with the elite without contract David Willemsens, experienced Rudi Van De Sompel and his young team mate Bjorn Traen.
Davy Commeyne won the sprint for second place, just before Klaas Vantornout. Another Vanthourenhout Dieter this time arrived ten seconds later as fourth. First foreigner and fifth at the line was Maxime Lefebvre. The French rider was suspended and made his comeback in the cross world in Dudzele.
1 Sven Vanthourenhout 2 Davy Commeyne 1.17 3 Klaas Vantornout 4 Dieter Vanthourenhout 1.27 5 Maxime Lefebvre 2.05 6 David Willemsens 2.21 7 Rudi Van De Sompel 2.45 8 Bjorn Traen 2.47 9 Patrick Bassez 4.08 10 Pedro Baelen 4.32 11 Steve Gruwier 4.38 12 Nico Clarryse 4.41 13 Christoph Roodhooft 4.56 14 Bert De Wispelaere 15 Stijn Penne 5.09 16 Bjorn Rondelez 6.03 17 Harm Vandekerckhove + 1 lap 18 Dries Devenyns 1 19 Gianni Denolf 1 20 Steven Decaluwe 1 21 Kenneth Van Compernolle 1 22 Valentijn Ponseele 1 23 Gert De Vos 1 24 Wim Maes 1 25 Davy Depaepe 1 26 Jo Naert 1 27 Davy Traen 1 28 Freddy De Meester + 2 laps 29 Sebastien Durieu 2 30 Erik Myngheer 2 31 Stefaan Van Rompaey + 3 laps