Peter Sagan tops the list of stars at Boonen and Friends charity cyclocross
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Peter Sagan tops the list of stars at Boonen and Friends charity cyclocross

by Ben Atkins at 11:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
Slovakian champion’s green jersey to be included in auction in aid of Move To Improve

peter saganPeter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) will be one of the big headline riders to be taking part in the Boonen and Friends Charity Cyclocross on December 1st, Het Nieuwsblad reports. The Slovakian champion, along with younger brother Juraj, will be among the 40-something-strong pack of road riders to be taking part in the fourth edition of the fun off-season race at Zilvermeer, Mol, just outside Antwerp.

The Boonen and Friends race is organised by Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), along with directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters, to raise money for the charity Move To Improve, which helps children with neuromotor problems.

"I met professor Guy Molenaers through my manager Paul Geyter," Boonen explained. "He was looking for a famous face to get his work with children with neuromotor problems into the spotlight. I was happy to agree and in three years we have had a nice time. Thanks to our contributions I have recently seen a child walk, who four years ago could not even take a step. Because we put our weight behind it, we have provided more than just our money. Thanks to the attention, there are other bodies that have come across with funding."

As well as money raised by admission to the event - which is €10 per adult on the gate - an auction will take place, which will include a number of exclusive items.

"Last year, our day some raised 80,000 euros," said Peeters. "This year there will be an auction after the ‘cross, which will include one of Tom Boonen’s bikes, his jersey from the Belgian championships, the World championship jersey from Philippe Gilbert and the Peter Sagan’s [Tour de France] green jersey going under the hammer.

“But the highlight of the auction is a table, made by students of TI St. Paul for [Sporza TV presenter] Karl Vannieuwkerke’s Vive le Velo show."

The Boonen and Friends race is open to road riders, under the alternative title “Van de weg naar t’veld” (from the road to the field); last year’s race was won by Rabobank’s Lars Boom, despite the Dutchman being held back a minute at the start due to his status as a former World cyclocross champion.

Boom is not expected be on the start line this time, but his place will be more than filled by fellow former cyclocross World champion Zdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), who has also switched to the road. Štybar too will be held back at the start - to give the less proficient roadies a chance - but he will doubtless meet a stiff challenge from Sagan, who is a former junior mountainbike World champion.

The Slovakian may even find himself also given a small time penalty, since he took the silver medal in the 2008 junior cyclocross Worlds; the year that Boom won his senior title.

As well as the race for roadies, there is an event for retired roadies held beforehand; the pack has included names such as Johan Museeuw, Jo Planckaert, former cyclocross World champion turned Sporza summariser Paul Herygers, and four-time World and ten-time Belgian cyclocross champion Roland Liboton.

Both of the previous editions of the “oud renners” race have been won by recently retired three-time World cyclocross champion Erwin Vervecken.


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