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Cyclo-Cross World Cup #3 - CDM

Pijnacker, Netherlands, November 11, 2007

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Race 1 - November 11: Elite Men, 60 minutes

Boom grabs first in the goo

By Brecht Decaluwé

Lars Boom (Rabobank)
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Dutch champion Lars Boom has won the third World Cup race of the season, capturing his first ever win on the elite World Cup circuit. The young Rabobank rider dominated today's race, held in wet, muddy conditions similar to yesterday in Niel, although with less actual running required. And not only were the conditions similar, the protagonists proved to be the same, with Boom and Bart Wellens (Fidea) going head-to-head before Boom eventually got rid of the strong Belgian champion to finish solo on home soil in Pijnacker.

"This is super," the delighted winner told sport.be. "Both Niel and Pijnacker are courses that suit me perfectly. Of course I wanted to do well in a World Cup race on home soil, so I wanted to finish on the podium so bad."

The Dutchman rode in front all race and at half distance he even dropped UCI leader Sven Nys. "I still realised some guys could come back though," said Boom. "That Wellens returned didn't bother me, I just continued to go hard and it resulted in my first World Cup win."

Before the cyclo-cross season began, Boom, the current under 23 world time trial champion, wanted to become a serious challenger to Nys and Wellens, and kept his word today. "It's a real boost for me," he said. "It strengthens me in the choice that I made before the season to focus on cyclo-cross during the coming years."

Wellens goes in pursuit
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Yesterday's winner in Niel, Wellens overcame a poor start and came back to the front just before the last lap, but unlike yesterday, Boom proved to be the strongest of the duo. "With two laps to go things looked very good but once I joined Lars the best was gone," Wellens told Sporza Radio. "Second place is good and the crowds were offered a nice duel today, which is great.

"When Boom attacked the first time he immediately had 30 seconds on me. I rode my own race and continued to do so, even when I was passing Nys, and eventually I managed to come back on him."

On the final lap Boom got away on one of the toughest sections and the Belgian couldn't respond to his attack. "I couldn't do anything more than I did," said Wellens. "He was already at 10 metres and I tried to keep him there, but on that tough strip I couldn't hold on to it."

Klaas Vantornout (Fidea)
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Asked whether he focused on Nys rather than Boom today, Wellens acknowledged that the rivalry with his fellow Belgian could be a thing of the past. "Actually I'm never looking at Nys," he said. "Boom rode impressively strong this weekend. Whoever saw him ride knows that we can no longer speak about Sven Nys and Bart Wellens alone."

A surprising face on the podium's third step was Klaas Vantornout (Fidea), who didn't start yesterday's race in Niel due to illness. The Belgian decided to focus on the World Cup instead and it clearly paid dividends today. "Friday I woke up with a sore throat, it proved to be inflamed," said Vantornout. "I choose to skip Niel and go for Pijnacker. I'm third in the UCI rankings and that's the most important ranking.

"I arrived here with pounding heart because I felt really bad on Saturday. To finish third after that misery is like a dream coming true. I'm proving that if I'm ok, I can do well on every type of course. Surely, if I would've ridden yesterday, I wouldn't have been good today."

Sven Nys didn't have a successful weekend
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UCI leader Sven Nys went through an unusual weekend, not winning a single race and even missing out on the podium today. "I was just slightly less good this weekend, that's something you can't afford on a tough course like this," Nys said.

Asked the reason for his weaker than usual performance, Nys pointed towards his back. "After a run training my muscles were cramped and that's why I couldn't transmit the force from my legs," he explained. "It doesn't make sense to force yourself - I just tried to reduce the losses to a minimum this weekend. It's too bad I punctured because otherwise I would've finished fourth."

Winner Boom made a good impression on Nys, but the world number one wasn't prepared to surrender his crown just yet. "I'm still too young to retire and I didn't feel that Boom was so impressive; we all finished within a minute of him. He has got a lot of talent of course and we'll have to take him into account during the coming weeks, months and years," Nys said.

How it unfolded

The Pijnacker podium
Photo ©: Isosport
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It took two laps before four men managed to get away from the main peloton; Klaas Vantornout, Lars Boom, Sven Nys and Francis Mourey had a good gap on a group including world champion Vervecken, Petr Dlask, Wilant Van Gils, Zdenek Stybar, Gerben De Knegt, Richard Groenendaal and the slow starting Wellens. Mourey got dropped in front and completely disappeared from the picture, while Wellens and Vervecken were getting closer to the leaders.

At half distance Boom's power work resulted in a first victim as Klaas Vantornout had to let go of the two Rabobank riders. A few moments later, nobody was able to follow the U23 cyclo-cross and TT world champion as team-mate Nys dropped back to Dlask, Vantornout and Wellens who got better throughout the race.

The winner from yesterday tried to close the gap to the leader on his own. The Belgian champion had to work hard but Wellens impressively got back to Boom in the penultimate lap and together they hit the last lap where the same riders that dominated in Niel would battle for the victory. Side by side, Wellens and Boom rode along the course, and despite the impressive return from Wellens it seemed like Boom had spared something for the finale.

In the last lap Nys tried to get rid of Dlask and Vantornout to go for third place, but he wasn't allowed the distance. The first attack from Boom was matched by Wellens, but when Boom kept going hard in the final sections, forcing the Belgian champion had to let go of his Dutch rival.

Boom had time to salute the home crowds when he reached the finish, claiming his first ever World Cup victory. Klaas Vantornout grabbed third place while Nys punctured in the last lap and lost the sprint for fifth to Czech champion Dlask.

Vervecken grabbed sixth place at 50", with Stybar and De Knegt also finishing within a minute of the winner. Italian champion Enrico Franzoi and Richard Groenendaal completed the top 10.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Isosport

Images by Mark Legg


1 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank                                       1.06.54
2 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team                             0.14
3 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team                         0.32
4 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team                               0.42
5 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank                                           0.45
6 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team                          0.50
7 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team                            0.55
8 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank                                    1.00
9 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                              1.22
10 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Sport Drinks                        1.43
11 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.nl                                    2.02
12 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job                         2.49
13 Radomír Simunek (Cze) Palmans-Cras                               3.30
14 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team                           3.40
15 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank                                     4.16
16 Jonathan Page (USA) Sunweb Pro Job                               4.26
17 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux                          4.40
18 Thijs Al (Ned) BeOne CRC Team                                    4.44
19 David Derepas (Fra)                                              4.50
20 Christian Heule (Swi) Stevens Racing Team                        5.04
21 Steve Chainel (Fra) Auber 93                                     5.20
22 Maarten Nijland (Ned) Ruiter Dakkapellen Wielerteam              5.26
23 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita)                                      5.40
24 Marius Gil (Pol)                                                 6.18
25 René Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvestehuder RSV v. 1909                  6.33
26 Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Harvestehuder RSV v. 1909              6.38
27 Jean-Pierre Leijten (Ned)                                        7.09
28 David Seco Amundarain (Spa)                                      7.20
29 Malte Urban (Ger) Heinz von Heiden Focus                         7.25
30 Simon Zahner (Swi) Bürgis Cycling Team                           7.39
31 Jan Chrobák (Cze) Johnson Controls AS                            8.06
32 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Easypay Cyclocross Team                     8.22
33 Marek Cichosz (Pol)                                              8.35
34 Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor                     8.52
35 Václav Metlicka (Svk) Team Kral R.C. Pfeil                       9.16
36 Jonathan Baker (USA) Primus Mootry                               9.26
37 Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)                                     1 lap
38 Marco Bianco (Ita) Arcobaleno Carraro
39 Rafael Visinelli (Ita) GS Forestale
40 Christopher Jones (USA) Nerac Pro Cycling                        2 laps
41 Fabian Brzezinski (Ger)
42 Gusty Bausch (Lux)
43 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) US Domont
44 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned)
45 Alessandro Gambino (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Esercito                3 laps

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