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3rd GP Mario De Clercq - C2

Wortegem-Petegem, Belgium, December 25, 2002

2001 Results    Results     Past winners

World Champion wins hometown race for the third time

World Cyclo-cross Champion Mario De Clercq has continued his unbeaten record in his hometown race in Wortegem-Petegem. On Christmas Day, the Super Mario of 'cross won the 3rd GP Mario De Clercq, narrowly beating teammate Tom Vannoppen with Ben Berden (Vlaanderen-T Interim) taking third spot.

"It's a pity Sven Nys, Bart Wellens and Erwin Vervecken weren't at the party," said De Clercq. "That would given my victory a little more shine. But it is not my fault that they are here on not. It is their own choice. It's a pity for me, because with the condition I had today I would have gladly measured myself against them. In the previous races I always had to lay down to someone else's superiority. Today it could have been different because I felt really good, although I have to admit that the top condition still isn't there."

De Clercq has been doing a lot of racing recently, with his eye on the Belgian championships. "Eight 'crosses in 10 days, that is not for pussy-cats," he said. "Certainly not when the circuits are heavier than you first thought after all the rain. But that's OK, I have chosen to do it and I must go through with it. Road riders always ride the small races to get their condition up for an important event. You can call this my small race in preparation for the Belgian Championships."

From the start of today's race, De Clercq set such a high tempo that only seven riders were left: Ben Berden, Bj÷rn Rondelez, Peter Van Santvliet, Richard Groenendaal, Tom Vannoppen and Sven Vanthourenhout. By halfway, only Vannoppen and Berden could stay with the World Champion. Groenendaal had a chance to come back to them, but he suffered a flat tyre.

Eventual third place getting Ben Berden said that "The teammates De Clercq and Vannoppen finished me. "Each of them did turns that were so strong that I had to break."

That left only two riders in contention for the finale, and there was no doubt about who was going to win. De Clercq was both stronger and faster than Vannoppen in the sprint, and Palmans therefore finished 1-2 in the race.


1 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop           59.03
2 Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop              0.01
3 Ben Berden (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim              0.54
4 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) Spaar Select             1.03
5 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
6 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank                 1.56
7 Bjorn Rondelez (Bel) WG Beveren 2000               2.43
8 Enrico Franzoi (Ita)                               3.36
9 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop              3.38
10 Wim Jacobs (Bel)                                  4.10
11 Pedro Baelen (Bel)                                4.28
12 Geert Vandaele (Bel) KWC Geluwe
13 SÚbastien Minard (Fra)                            4.47
14 Tadeusz Korzeniewski (Pol)                        4.56
15 Geoffrey Clochez (Fra) Julie Nature               5.06
16 Wesley Van Der Linden  (Bel)
17 Pawel Cierpikowski (Pol)                          5.19
18 Robert Glajza (Svk)
19 Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)                             5.28
20 David Laenen (Bel) WSCJR Booischot                5.34
21 Wim De Vos (Ned) Spaar Select                     5.41
22 Geert Wellens (Bel)
23 Rudi Van De Sompel (Bel)                          6.02
24 Jaak Eeckhout (Bel)                               6.11
25 Jan Soetens (Bel)                                 6.46
26 Shaun Snodden (GBr)                               7.21
27 Steven Roach (GBr)                                7.43
28 Tom Pynaert (Bel)                               1 Lap
29 Ronn Poelvoorde  (Bel)
30 James Bryan (GBr)
31 Radoslav Czapla (Pol)
32 Gert De Vos (Bel)
47 Starters
1 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel)                       42.00
2 Rikkie Dijkshoorn (Ned)                            0.15
3 Maxim Debusschere (Bel)                            0.33
4 Alois Lievens (Bel)                                1.02
5 Toon Devenyns (Bel)                                1.34
6 Quincy Vens (Bel)                                  1.38
7 Reginald Wannijn (Fra)                             2.25
8 Valentijn Ponseele (Bel)                           2.52
9 Dieter Buyens (Bel)                                3.22
10 Ward Demets (Bel)                                 3.53
11 Romain Devos (Fra)                                4.15
12 Veerle Ingels (Bel)                               4.15
13 Greetje De Vos (Bel)
14 Sandi Verriest (Bel)
15 Wesley Roos (Bel)
15 Starters
1 Pieter Van Speybroeck (Bel)                       29.00
2 Davy De Scheemaeker (Bel)                          0.46
3 Stijn Joseph (Bel)                                 0.46
4 Anthony Calleau (Bel)                              2.21
5 Quentin Bertholet (Bel)                            2.25
6 Bruno De Poorter (Bel)                             3.05
7 Glenn Sluyts (Bel)                                 4.21
8 Wout Van Wijk (Bel)
9 Matthias Mingeroet (Bel)
10 Mathias Holvoet (Bel)
11 Wim Vandewalle (Bel)
12 Teun Dhondt (Bel)
12 Starters
1 Pascal Van Riet (Bel)                             39.00
2 Hans Wuyts (Bel)                                   0.24
3 Benny Van Staeyen (Bel)                            0.38
4 Ronny Couliez (Bel)                                0.44
5 B De Backer (Bel)                                  0.57
6 Koen Feys (Bel)                                    1.10
7 Gino Gheldof (Bel)                                 1.56
8 Andy Catteceur (Bel)                               2.24
9 Patrick Neufcourt (Bel)                            2.48
10 Jo Naert (Bel)                                    3.15
11 Benny De Busser (Bel)                             3.15
12 Franky Verschueren (Bel)
13 Mark Meys (Bel)
14 Fabien Hanssens (Bel)
15 Gianni Ponseele (Bel)
16 NoŰl Claerhout (Bel)
17 Mario Vos (Bel)
18 Carlo Allaert (Bel)
19 Patrick Wynants (Bel)
20 Johan Meeus (Bel)
21 Kris Roegiers (Bel)
22 Nico Joos (Bel)
23 Bart Demets (Bel)
24 Thierry Laurez (Bel)
25 Friederich Sels (Bel)
25 Starters
1 Marc Druyts (Bel)                                 39.00
2 Franky Van Tongelen (Bel)
3 Walter Marynissen (Bel)
4 Peter Stevenson (Bel)
5 Ronny De Vos (Bel)
6 Patrick Sluyts  (Bel)
7 Rik Moeyaert  (Bel)
8 RenÚ Swinnen (Bel)
9 Freddy De Meester (Bel)
10 Robert De Vos (Bel)
11 Ronny Mertens  (Bel)
12 Ron De Scheemaeker  (Bel)
13 Petrus Jacobs (Bel)
14 Rik Ponseele (Bel)
15 Lucien Heyde (Bel)
16 Marc Byn (Bel)
17 Romain Tuteleers (Bel)
18 Rik Moeyaert (Bel)
19 Carlos Temmerman (Bel)
20 Laurent De Vos (Bel)
21 Lucien Verschraegen  (Bel)
22 Julien Van Den Haesevelde (Bel)
22 Starters

Past winners

2001 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
2000 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites