Posted by Editoress on 01/27/07
Cyclo-cross World Championships Hooglede-Gits, Belgium
A great start for the host Belgians with a win in the Junior Men's race at the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hooglede-Gits, by their top prospect, Joeri Adams. American Danny Summerhill battled back from a crash with two laps to go, to take second, followed by pre-race favourite Jiri Polnicky (Czech Republic) in third.
Although forecasts had called for rain, the sun poked through the clouds an hour before the start of the men's 40 minute race, and strengthened throughout. Rain the previous evening (and week) meant the ground was soaked, and warming temperatures led to very slippery conditions.
Alessandro Calderan (Italy) attacked before the first set of stairs, opening up a 10 metre lead on the field. Summerhill was the first to respond, followed by Polnicky, Adams, Ramon Sinkeldam (Netherlands), Ole Quast (Germany) and Arnaud Jouffroy (France).
As Calderan faded in the second lap, the six leaders gradually opened a gap on the rest of the field. Jouffroy was the first to go, after Polnicky attacked when Adams and some others decided to switch bikes. After a lap of chasing, the group - now consisting of Adams, Summerhill, Quast, Sinkeldam and Polnicky - was all back together.
It was in the fifth lap that disaster struck for Summerhill, when he went down hard in a corner after a descent. "I crashed when my wheel washed out, like was happening to a lot of people" explained Summerhill. "I didn't think that I would be coming back. I hit a post pretty hard, knocked my helmet and bent my bars ... I figured that was it. But I just got myself up, straightened my bars and got going."
Working with Jouffroy, the duo caught back on for the last lap. Jouffroy was dropped almost immediately, but Summerhill hung on. Polnicky, knowing that he would be at a disadvantage in a sprint, attacked in the early part of the lap, but could not drop the rest of the leaders. The Dutch rider, Sinkeldam, decided to make his move on the first climb, and did open a small gap, which Polnicky closed, taking Adams and Summerhill with him.
When the riders turned onto the asphalt 200 metres from the line, Adams attacked, and only Summerhill was able to respond, although he could not come by the Belgian.
"It was interesting ... maybe there could have been a different result without the crash" said Summerhill. "It definitely took a lot out of me, because I banged my leg pretty good. But to get a medal at the worlds is good; I happy to prove that America can do something here."
- Canada's lone entry - Spencer Smitheman - finished 52nd, on the same lap as the winner. "It was fun, this was a great course. Starting on the third row meant that there was a lot of traffic to go through. I set my own pace, and it was the best way, because on the last lap I brought back a group that had been in front of me."
1. Joeri Adams (Belgium) 41:18
2. Danny Summerhill (USA) at s.t.
3. Jiri Polnicky (Czech Republic) 0:01
4. Ramon Sinkeldam (Netherlands) 0:02
5. Ole Quast (Germany) 0:11
6. Arnaud Jouffroy (France) 0:32
7. Alessandro Calderan (Italy) )44
8. Rob Van Der Velde (Netherlands) 0:58
9. Marek Konwa (Poland) 1:06
10. Peter Sagan (Slovakia) 1:10
30. Nick Keough (USA) 3:25
33. Carson Miller (USA) 3:36
44. Jerome Townsend (USA) 5:08
49. Sean Worsech (USA) 5:48
52. Spencer Smitheman (Canada) 5:56
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