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January 30/00 10:39 am - Richard Groenendaal takes Home the Gold at Worlds

Posted by Editoress on 01/30/00

Richard Groenendaal World Cyclocross Champion
courtesy Chris Redden

Dutchman Richard Groenendaal gave his countrymen something to really scream about as he shut the door on the Belgian sweep of the gold medal podium in all of the men's categories at the World Championships. Belgian riders took the silver and bronze after a fast 8 laps, dominated by Dutch and Belgian riders who attacked from the gun.

Groenendaal spent most of the race off the front, but the chase pack behind the Dutchman was a battleground between the two rival nations who at times appeared to be discussing tactics across the battle lines.

The Dutch put everything they had into protecting Groenendaal and the Belgians spent all of their time attempting to counter them. In the final 2 of 8 laps the Belgians attacked hard and kept attacking until the Dutch had let them go. But it was too late and Groenendaal hung on to win by 10 seconds over Mario DeClercq with Sven Nijs taking the bronze.

8 laps 21.5km
1. Richard Groenendaal (NED)
2. Mario DeClercq (BEL)
3. Sven Nijs (BEL)
4. Wim de Vos (NED)

Notes: The American contingent of whom Gullikson & Bowen are the best known had no chance with the pace set by the euros, and finished well back.

The noise and size of the crowd was UNBELIEVABLE said Chris. "The infield was a sea of screaming fans packed in so tight that you could lift your feet off of the ground and you would not fall over".

The rain held off for the entire race and started again as the last of the finishers came in.


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