Posted by Editoress on 01/31/04
Cyclo-cross World Championships Pont-Château, France
Ewan Nicholson sent us a "whole wack" of great shots from today's Junior and Espoir races and a brief synopsis of each race.
The beautiful, clear weather seemed too good to be true and last night things well and truly got in line with the European Cyclocross tradition. During the night we woke to howling winds and torrential rain. By the time the girls got out to train on the course it was muddy & destined only to get worse. The wind was tearing apart umbrellas and tents but it didn't stop the Swiss from clanging their bells all along the course. For once, the Belgian national uniform of rubber boots and impermable jackets was absolutely the way to go.
Some riders' race was pretty much set right from the start: the trailing riders cleared the finish line a good 30 seconds behind the lead group and by the end of the first lap the race for gold was down to two riders with Niels Albert in a commanding position.
Junior Men photos
Rain went away and it was a relatively nice day. The race got off to a spectacular start with flying bike frames in a crash on the first corner. Don't know who it was but it was at least 2 of the lead riders. There was a pack right through to the last moments of the last lap. Exciting racing and a bigger crowd than the earlier race. Tomorrow promises to be a "zoo". Hope they have more tractors for extracting cars from the parking lot.
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