Belgian National Championships - CN

Halle, Belgium, July 1, 2001

2000 Results

Elite Men's road race

Capelle wins, De Waele and Vanhaecke don't

By Jeff Jones

The emotional contrast at the finish of today's 230 km Belgian Championships in Halle was stark. After winning the 15 man sprint for the title, the new champion Ludovic Capelle (Ag2r-Prevoyance) punched the air in jubilation several times. On the other hand, second place finisher Fabian de Waele (Lotto-Adecco) punched the handlebars in frustration after he led out too early and succumbed to Capelle's superior speed. Third place finisher Michel Vanhaecke (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) was also anything but happy, after a near collision with the barriers with 300m to go.

These three sprinters were the obvious picks from the final 15 man selection, that started to form with 75 kilometres to go of the 13 lap giant kermesse. The parcours was not tough enough to break the leading group up on the 9 percent climb, although defending champion Axel Merckx (Domo-Farm Frites) certainly gave it his best effort. The race came back together and Lotto-Adecco attempted to lead out De Waele for the win, but were foiled by 'lone ranger' Capelle.

It was a perfect summer's day in Halle for this, one of the more prestigious national championships. Normal team loyalties seem to shift in favour of internal friendships, as everybody wants to win the distinctive jersey. The two strongest teams were Lotto and Domo, but the former had to start without Kurt van de Wouwer (bronchitis) and Rik Verbrugghe (training accident).

The race did resemble a kermesse in many ways, with plenty of early attacks keeping the pace around 42 km/h on the 17.7 kilometre lap. However, it wasn't until 75 kilometres to go when the race finally started to take shape. Glenn d'Hollander (Lotto) and Jurgen Vermeersch (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) attacked, and were joined by Johan Verstrepen (Lampre), Paul van Hyfte (Lotto), Dave Bruylandts (Domo), and Erwin Thijs (Collstrop) a short while later as the pace lifted to over 47 km/h.

This was a critical time for the still compact peloton, and with 67 kilometres left there was a pursuit by Marc Streel (Collstrop), Axel Merckx (Domo), Bjorn Leukemans (Vlaanderen), Stive Vermaut (Lotto), and Ludovic Capelle (Ag2r). These riders joined the front group to form an 11 man leading bunch, with a 20-30 seconds advantage over the peloton that still had most of the other big names - Tchmil, Museeuw, Van Petegem, and Dierckxsens included.

But the race wasn't over yet, as more Lotto riders (Serge Baguet and Fabian De Waele) chased along with Nico Mattan (Cofidis), Marc Wauters (Rabobank), and Michel Vanhaecke (Landbouwkrediet). With 17 men in front and most of the major teams well represented the gap grew out to more than a minute quite quickly.

With two laps (35 km) to go, the lead was 1'36 and it was time for action in front. Baguet and Vanhaecke mounted a strong attack up the hill, followed by Merckx and De Waele. But it was not enough to stay away and they were chased down on the descent. Lotto lost Glenn D'Hollander to a fall (and one other rider) and the leaders became 15.

A crowd pleasing attack by Nico Mattan past the start/finish line with one lap to go was just that, and everyone began watching each other as the kilometres wound down. With 9 kilometres to go, Merckx tried one last time on the hill, putting in a huge effort to try and shake the bunch to pieces. He succeeded momentarily, but was chased again by De Waele and then the remainder.

There were a few more attacks after this, but it seemed as though everyone was resigned to a sprint finish. Lotto planned to lead out De Waele, as Paul Van Hyfte wound it up with 1 kilometre to go. It came unstuck as Wauters moved to the right hand side, almost taking Vanhaecke into the barriers. Then De Waele leapt out with 250m to go but it was much to soon. Ludovic Capelle (the only Ag2r rider in the break) came around him and won by over a bike length, and a distraught De Waele had to settle for second.

It was the chance of my life to win the Belgian championships," he said afterwards. "I couldn't lose...I started the sprint too early. In the last 300 metres I had no more teammates to help me in the sprint."

But Capelle was adamant: "My victory is no fluke," he said. "I have ridden well this year in support of Kirsipuu. After the Tour of Luxembourg I trained for two weeks in place of competition. I marked the breaks in the race with good legs."

Results - 230.1 km

1 Ludovic Cappelle (Ag2r-Prevoyance)               5.35.54 (41.1 km/h)
2 Fabian de Waele (Lotto-Adecco)
3 Michel Vanhaecke (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
4 Serge Bauget (Lotto-Adecco)
5 Johan Verstrepen (Lampre-Daikin)
6 Bjorn Leukemans (Vlaanderen-T-Interim)
7 Dave Bruylandts (Domo-Farm Frites)
8 Axel Merckx (Domo-Farm Frites)
9 Nico Mattan (Cofidis)
10 Stive Vermaut (Lotto-Adecco)
11 Marc Streel (Collstrop-Palmans)
12 Stive Vermaut (Lotto-Adecco)                       0.12
13 Marc Wauters (Rabobank)                            0.16
14 Paul Van Hyfte (Lotto-Adecco)                      0.18
15 Jurgen Vermeersch (Landbouwkrediet)                0.23
16 Kris Gerits (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)        3.02
17 Christophe Detilloux (Collstrop-Palmans)
18 Eric De Clercq (Collstrop-Palmans)                 3.09
19 Andrei Tchmil (Lotto-Adecco)                       3.10
20 Mario De Clercq (Domo-Farm Frites)
21 Bart Heirewegh (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
22 Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
23 Kristof Trouvé (Collstrop-Palmans)
24 David Debremaeker (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
25 Renaud Boxus (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
26 Staf Scheirlinckx (Collstrop-Palmans)
27 Geert Omloop (Collstrop-Palmans)
28 Nico Sijmens (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
29 Chris Peers (Cofidis)
30 Tom Stremersch (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
31 Bert Roesems (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
32 Thierry De Groote (Collstrop-Palmans)
33 Christophe Brandt (Lotto-Adecco)                   3.20
34 Tom Desmet (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)         4.30
35 Marc Chanoine (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
36 Davy Daniels (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)       4.38
37 Gert Vanderaerden (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)  4.48
38 Ief Verbrugghe (Lotto-Adecco)                      8.37
39 Andy Cappelle (Saint-Quentin-Oktos)
40 Wilfried Cretskens (Domo-Farm Frites)
41 Hendrik Van Dijck (Lotto-Adecco)
42 Kurt Van Lancker (Lotto-Adecco)
43 Geert Verheyen (Rabobank)
44 Steve De Wolf (Domo-Farm Frites)
45 Sébastien Demarbaix (Ag2r-Prevoyance)
46 Koen Beeckman (CSC-Tiscali)
47 Glenn D'Hollander (Lotto-Adecco)
48 Jurgen Vandewalle (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
49 Yoeri Beyens (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
50 Peter Van Petegem (Mercury-Viatel)
51 Wim Vansevenant (Mercury-Viatel)
52 Geert Van Bondt (Mercury-Viatel)
53 Steven Kleynen (Domo-Farm Frites)
54 Tom Steels (Mapei-Quick Step)
55 Jo Planckaert (Cofidis)
56 Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre-Daikin)
57 Peter Farazijn (Cofidis)
58 Jehudi Schoonacker (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
59 Tom Vannoppen (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
60 Stijn De Schoenmaecker (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
61 Jurgen Van Roosbroeck (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
62 Hans De Clercq (Lotto-Adecco)
63 Mario Aerts (Lotto-Adecco)

Start List

1 Axel Merckx (Domo-Farm Frites)
2 Dave Bruylandts (Domo-Farm Frites)
3 Wilfried Cretskens (Domo-Farm Frites)
4 Mario De Clercq (Domo-Farm Frites)
5 Steve De Wolf (Domo-Farm Frites)
6 Leif Hoste (Domo-Farm Frites)
7 Steven Kleynen (Domo-Farm Frites)
8 Johan Museeuw (Domo-Farm Frites)
9 Wilfried Peeters (Domo-Farm Frites)
10 Karel Vereecke (Domo-Farm Frites)
11 Ludovic Capelle (AG2R)
12 Sébastien Demarbaix (AG2R)
13 Steven De Neef (Bankgiroloterij-Batavus)
14 Tom Desmet (Bankgiroloterij-Batavus)
16 Peter Farazijn (Cofidis)
17 Nico Mattan (Cofidis)
18 Chris Peers (Cofidis)
19 Jo Planckaert (Cofidis)
20 Dirk Aernouts (Collstrop-Palmans)
21 Danny Baeyens (Collstrop-Palmans)
22 Tony Bracke (Collstrop-Palmans)
23 Eric De Clercq (Collstrop-Palmans)
24 Thierry De Groote (Collstrop-Palmans)
25 Hans De Meester (Collstrop-Palmans)
26 Stijn De Peuter (Collstrop-Palmans)
27 Christophe Detilloux (Collstrop-Palmans)
28 Marc Janssens (Collstrop-Palmans)
29 Laurenzo Lapage (Collstrop-Palmans)
30 Thierry Masschelein (Collstrop-Palmans)
31 Geert Omloop (Collstrop-Palmans)
32 Karl Pauwels (Collstrop-Palmans)
33 Bert Scheirlinckx (Collstrop-Palmans)
34 Staf Scheirlinckx (Collstrop-Palmans)
35 Marc Streel (Collstrop-Palmans)
36 Erwin Thijs (Collstrop-Palmans)
37 Kristof Trouvé (Collstrop-Palmans)
39 Koen Beeckman (CSC-World Online)
40 Ronny Assez (Flanders-Prefetex)
41 Olivier Genicot (Flanders-Prefetex)
42 Tim Lenaers (Flanders-Prefetex)
43 Kris Matthijs (Flanders-Prefetex)
44 Christoph Roodhooft (Flanders-Prefetex)
45 Georg Van Oudenhove (Flanders-Prefetex)
46 Patrick D'Hont (La Française des Jeux)
47 Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre-Daikin)
48 Frank Vandenbroucke (Lampre-Daikin)
49 Johan Verstrepen (Lampre-Daikin)
50 Gunther Cuylits (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
51 Bert De Waele (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
53 Bert Roesems (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
54 Jurgen Vandewalle (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
55 Kurt Van Landeghem (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
56 Michel Vanhaecke (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
57 Jurgen Vermeersch (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
58 Nico Weynants (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago)
59 Mario Aerts (Lotto-Adecco)
60 Serge Baguet (Lotto-Adecco)
61 Christophe Brandt (Lotto-Adecco)
62 Hans De Clercq (Lotto-Adecco)
63 Fabien De Waele (Lotto-Adecco)
64 Glenn D'Hollander (Lotto-Adecco)
65 Nico Eeckhout (Lotto-Adecco)
66 Gorik Gardeyn (Lotto-Adecco)
67 Thierry Marichal (Lotto-Adecco)
69 Andrei Tchmil (Lotto-Adecco)
70 Kurt Van de Wouwer (Lotto-Adecco)
71 Hendrik Van Dijck (Lotto-Adecco)
72 Paul Van Hyfte (Lotto-Adecco)
73 Kurt Van Lancker (Lotto-Adecco)
74 Wesley Van Speybroeck (Lotto-Adecco)
75 Ief Verbrugghe (Lotto-Adecco)
76 Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto-Adecco)
77 Stive Vermaut (Lotto-Adecco)
78 Kevin Hulsmans (Mapei-Quick Step)
79 Bart Leysen (Mapei-Quick Step)
80 Tom Steels (Mapei-Quick Step)
81 Geert Van Bondt (Mercury-Viatel)
82 Peter Van Petegem (Mercury-Viatel)
83 Wim Vansevenant (Mercury-Viatel)
84 Franky Vanhaesebroucke (Navigators)
85 Andy Cappelle (Saint-Quentin-Oktos)
86 Sven Nys (Rabobank)
87 Geert Verheyen (Rabobank)
88 Marc Wauters (Rabobank)
89 Erwin Vervecken (Record Bank-RVS Verzekeringen)
90 Peter Van Santvliet (Spaarselect)
91 Bart Wellens (Spaarselect)
92 Manu L'Hoir (Team Fakta)
93 Koen Das (Team Nurnberger)
94 Renaud Boxus (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
95 Marc Chanoine (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
98 David Debremaeker (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
99 Geoffrey Gremelpont (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
100 Bart Heirewegh (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
101 Nico Indekeu (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
102 Jurgen Landrie (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
103 Sébastien Matozza (Ville de Charleroi-Newsystems)
104 Ben Berden (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
105 Yoeri Beyens (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
106 Davy Daniëls (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
107 Stijn De Schoenmaecker (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
109 Kris Gerits (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
110 Matthew Gilmore (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
111 Jurgen Guns (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
112 Björn Leukemans (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
113 Jehudi Schoonacker (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
114 Nico Sijmens (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
115 Tom Stremersch (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
116 Wesley Theunis (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
117 Danny Van Capellen (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
118 Jurgen Van Roosbroeck (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
119 Gert Vanderaerden (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
120 James Vanlandschoot (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
121 Tom Vannoppen (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
122 Jan Verstraeten (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
123 Andy Vidts (Vlaanderen-T Interim-E Merckx)
124 Danny Daelman (Zetelhallen)
125 Didier Deceuninck (Zetelhallen)
126 Björn Rondelez (Zetelhallen)