Posted by Editoress on 01/27/08
CycloCross World Championships Treviso, Italy
The 2008 Cyclo-cross Worlds concluded today with the elite men and women. While a veteran claimed one crown and a newcomer to the elite ranks the other, both were considered the favourite in their respective races. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) took her fourth 'Cross title in the women's race, while Lars Boom gave the Dutch plenty to cheer about when he followed up last year's U23 victory with an Elite men's title. Canadian national champion Wendy Simms was in the top-5 for most of the women's race, until fading slightly in the final lap to take a very respectable seventh. Men's national champion Mike Garrigan was the top Canadian in the men's event at 48th.
The women's race had a little excitement in the first lap when defending champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands) went down in the slippery mud in the first corner, and Kupfernagel had problems in the same place. Kupfernagel managed to power up to the leaders in the first kilometre, where she immediately took charge. She set the fastest time for the first lap, with only Cristal Ferrier-Bruneau (France) willing to follow her lead.
The pair took a few metres lead on a chase group containing Simms, Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands) and Pavela Havlikova (Czech Republic), with Rachel Lloyd (USA) almost catching on. Vos was still chasing back up, along with Laurence Leboucher (France), defending champion Maryline Salvetat (France) and Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Netherlands).
Simms actually took the race lead halfway through the first lap. "I had a good start and was in the top five going into the first corner. I was feeling pretty comfortable and then Hanka caught up to us and started driving the pace."
"Then all of a sudden Marianne Vos [it was actually Van Den Brand - ed.] went down in one of the corners, and I found myself leading the world championships! All of a sudden I had a gap and was out front. Then Hanka caught back up."
Kupfernagel and Ferrier-Bruneau slowly increased their lead on the chasers until Vos and Leboucher bridged up in the third lap (of 5). Vos' accident proved to be beneficial to Kupfernagel, since the Dutch rider proceeded to set the fastest laps in three of the four remaining laps.
The German rider dropped Ferrier-Bruneau in the final lap to solo in 14 seconds in front of a hard charging Vos, with Leboucher a few seconds behind for the bronze. Vos collapsed after crossing the finish line and was half carried off the course.
"I think it was one of my hardest races for the Worlds," commented Kupfernagel. "I had a bad start so I was back in maybe 20th, but I knew the race would be long and hard, so I kept cool and managed to make it back [to the front]. In the second lap I decided to go hard, and then I had a little crash in the third lap and had to straighten my handlebars and change bikes, so I was only sure for the victory in the final corner, because many things could still have happened in the final lap."
In the men's race, Boom flung down the gauntlet immediately, with an attack off the line. The top contenders all responded promptly, and a large lead group of 30 formed, containing favourites such as defending champion Erwin Vervecken (Belgium), world number one Sven Nys (Belgium), former title holder Bart Wellens (Belgium), local hope Enrico Franzoi (Italy), Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic) and Francis Mourey (France). At the back were Americans Jonathan Page (silver last year) and national champion Tim Johnson.
The front group kept the pace high enough to discourage any serious break attempts, although both Nys and Stybar launched mid-race efforts that forced Boom and Vervecken to chase hard at the front. With two laps to go Mourey went down hard, and Wellens crashed into him. While the Belgian was able to rejoin the leaders, Mourey was out of the race.
It wasn't until the final lap that Boom was able to get away, and that was brought about with the assistance of his team mate Richard Groenendaal, who attacked, taking Boom with him and enabling the young Dutch rider to establish a gap. It was only a few metres to start, but that was enough, since everyone was going as hard as they could, and Boom managed to maintain a five second gap to the finish line, ahead of Stybar and Nys.
"I was not feeling super at the start, and after Sven had attacked a few laps earlier I waited a bit." explained Boom. "When Groenendaal helped me I was able to get a gap and after that I went full speed. We had talked the night before about helping each other, so I was very pleased that he was able to do this."
"I had to be alert, and stay in the first four or five all the time because the group was so big. You had to stay at the front if you wanted to win. But it wasn't until after passing the second pit stop that I knew I had it"
Nys commented "It might have been possible for me to follow Groenendaal except that I had done an attack before and after I was caught I had dropped back a bit in the group, so I was too far back when [Boom] got his gap. But I was also riding at my limit and it was not possible for me to do more. The course did not maybe suit me the way it suited Lars. Now it was a bit more dry then it was in the morning, when it was more technical and better for me."
"Maybe it was a mistake to attack in the middle rather than waiting for one attack at the end, but this is the world championships, and you are a little bit nervous, and doing something maybe you shouldn't."
- both Kupfernagel and Vos had only raced one previous 'Cross race this season (to qualify for the Worlds), as they prepare for Beijing. Kupfernagel (the current Time Trial World Champion) will race the road race and the time trial, and left the door open to competing in the mountain bike race. "We go to Beijing in a week to look at the courses, and will see if the mountain bike course suits me. It is very difficult to qualify in both disciplines, but maybe if it is possible."
Vos will race on the track (she was in Los Angeles last weekend to qualify for Worlds in the Points Race) and road (road race and time trial).
- Simms' seventh place is the highest ever by a Canadian in the elite category. Simms says that she is still learning more and more about 'Cross - "I finally am starting feel like I belong up there."
- Boom was asked if he will go back to the road, or stick with cyclo-cross? I will stay focussed to cyclo-cross. The world championships are in my country for 2009, and it is special to race Worlds in your own country. I also will stay with cyclo-cross after that I think, because in my country it is a very important part of the sport and it suits me very much.
- Normon Thibault pointed out that this is the first time that none of the Canadian riders were lapped in the elite races, and that this is likely the largest cyclo-cross team (11) that Canada has ever brought to the Worlds. "Pretty good after only four years."
|1. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)||0:45:15.55|
|2. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)||at 0:13.98|
|3. Laurence Leboucher (France)||0:17.72|
|4. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France)||0:26.31|
|5. Maryline Salvetat (France)||0:52.48|
|6. Mirja Melchers-Van Poppel (Netherlands)||0:58.08|
|7. Wendy Simms (Canada)||1:04.01|
|8. Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands)||1:09.92|
|9. Rachel Lloyd (United States Of America)||1:23.64|
|10. Caroline Mani (France)||1:42.40|
|11. Saskia Elemans (Netherlands)||1:45.07|
|12. Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Netherlands)||2:12.59|
|13. Stephanie Pohl (Germany)||2:14.45|
|14. Nadia Triquet-Claude (France)||2:18.65|
|15. Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands)||2:24.91|
|16. Pavla Havlikova (Czech Republic)||2:39.06|
|17. Susanne Juranek (Germany)||2:54.15|
|18. Helen Wyman (Great Britain)||2:58.59|
|19. Vania Rossi (Italy)||3:18.43|
|20. Kerry Barnholt (United States Of America)||3:18.83|
|21. Amy Dombroski (United States Of America)||3:44.62|
|22. Susan Butler (United States Of America)||3:53.66|
|23. Elke Riedl (Austria)||4:44.47|
|24. Sanne Cant (Belgium)||4:54.28|
|25. Francesca Cucciniello (Italy)||5:01.50|
|26. Daniela Bresciani (Italy)||5:02.92|
|27. Loes Sels (Belgium)||5:10.80|
|28. Milena Cavani (Italy)||5:15.06|
|29. Veerle Ingels (Belgium)||5:50.70|
|30. Kelly Jones (Canada)||6:07.05|
|31. Mika Ogishima (Japan)||6:19.26|
|32. Gabriella Day (Great Britain)||6:40.51|
|33. Lise MÃƒÂ¼ller (Switzerland)||7:18.55|
|34. Masumi Sakai (Japan)||8:05.81|
|35. Veronica Alessio (Italy)||8:21.02|
|36. Ayako Toyooka (Japan)||9:56.24|
|DNF Birgit Hollmann (Germany)|
|DNF Katherine Compton (United States Of America)|
|1. Lars Boom (Netherlands)||1:05:27.79|
|2. Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)||at 0:05.17|
|3. Sven Nys (Belgium)||0:06.15|
|4. Erwin Vervecken (Belgium)||0:09.03|
|5. Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic)||0:10.03|
|6. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy)||0:10.08|
|7. Sven Vanthourenhout (Belgium)||0:10.76|
|8. Christian Heule (Switzerland)||0:12.20|
|9. John Gadret (France)||0:12.30|
|10. Klaas Vantornout (Belgium)||0:12.86|
|11. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium)||0:18.62|
|12. Richard Groenendaal (Netherlands)||0:18.68|
|13. Enrico Franzoi (Italy)||0:19.60|
|14. Bart Aernouts (Belgium)||0:20.43|
|15. Bart Wellens (Belgium)||0:21.93|
|16. Simon Zahner (Switzerland)||0:22.43|
|17. Gerben De Knegt (Netherlands)||0:27.29|
|18. Marek Cichosz (Poland)||0:27.41|
|19. Milan Barenyi (Slovakia)||0:28.50|
|20. Wilant Van Gils (Netherlands)||0:31.50|
|21. Marco Bianco (Italy)||0:37.71|
|22. Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spain)||0:40.87|
|23. Jonathan Page (United States Of America)||0:41.29|
|24. Steve Chainel (France)||0:49.52|
|25. José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spain)||1:00.34|
|26. Timothy Johnson (United States Of America)||1:02.75|
|27. Jeremy Powers (United States Of America)||1:11.31|
|28. David Derepas (France)||1:19.90|
|29. Pirmin Lang (Switzerland)||1:26.15|
|30. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Belgium)||1:37.50|
|31. Malte Urban (Germany)||1:51.22|
|32. Kamil Ausbuher (Czech Republic)||2:07.86|
|33. Alessandro Gambino (Italy)||2:24.67|
|34. Robert Glajza (Slovakia)||2:24.69|
|35. Luca Damiani (Italy)||2:30.48|
|36. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spain)||2:34.28|
|37. Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland)||2:41.08|
|38. Finn Heitmann (Germany)||2:52.66|
|39. Maros Kovac (Slovakia)||3:24.79|
|40. Magnus Darvel (Sweden)||3:25.97|
|41. Nicolas Bazin (France)||3:36.64|
|42. Gusty Bausch (Luxembourg)||3:46.72|
|43. Julien Belgy (France)||4:02.88|
|44. Thijs Al (Netherlands)||4:09.77|
|45. Michael Muller (Switzerland)||4:20.48|
|46. Mariusz Gil (Poland)||4:21.51|
|47. René Birkenfeld (Germany)||4:32.35|
|48. Mike Garrigan (Canada)||4:33.77|
|49. Johannes Sickmueller (Germany)||4:36.89|
|50. Vaclav Metlicka (Slovakia)||4:45.19|
|51. Robert Jebb (Great Britain)||4:45.52|
|52. Paul Oldham (Great Britain)||4:54.20|
|53. Fredrik Ericsson (Sweden)||5:10.13|
|54. Joachim Parbo (Denmark)||5:20.21|
|55. Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spain)||5:57.00|
|56. Aaron Schooler (Canada)||6:45.51|
|57. Keiichi Tsujiura (Japan)||7:16.35|
|58. Jens Westergren (Sweden)||7:39.30|
|59. Osmond Bakker (Canada)||7:39.65|
|60. Zdenek Mlynar (Czech Republic)||-1LAP|
|61. Martin Vestby (Norway)||-2LAP|
|62. Masanori Kosaka (Japan)||-3LAP|
|DNF. Francis Mourey (France)|
|DNF. Maarten Nijland (Netherlands)|
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