European Cyclocross Nationals Roundup: Many titles change hands across the continent
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

European Cyclocross Nationals Roundup: Many titles change hands across the continent

by Ben Atkins at 10:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results, National Championships
Predictable results are matched by the upsets

Most nations in the northern hemisphere held their cyclocross championships this weekend, with a number of new names pushing the old guard off their perches. Several established names held on to their titles, however, as most titles went to the in-form riders.

Belgium: Klaas Vantornout holds off Sven Nys; Sanne Cant takes fourth straight title

klaas vantornoutKlaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) burst clear of the pack to take his first Belgian title on a fast, but sandy course around the Zilvermeer lake in Mol, near Antwerp. Escaping the rest of the big names on the final lap, Vantornout just managed to hold off eight-time defending champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony), with his Sunweb-Napoleon Games teammate Kevin Pauwels sprinting to third.

Continual accelerations from Vantornout pulled an elite group clear of the rest, then split it further as Albert pulled a fierce chase behind him. By the middle of the race the two riders had pulled a group of six clear, with Rob Peeters and Bart Wellens (both Telenet-Fidea), Pauwels and Nys; on such a dry, firm course though, neither was able to put in a decisive enough attack to escape.

Constant pressure from Albert eventually pulled Vantornout clear, with just over two laps to go, but the rest fought their way up to them one by one before they reached the bell. A huge attack from Vantornout on the final lap saw him burst clear; Nys escaped the rest in pursuit, but couldn’t quite do enough to catch the lone Sunweb-Napoleon Games rider.

Taking the lead from the very start - with sand very much her favourite surface - reigning women’s champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) rode away from the rest of the field. Despite a chase from Ellen van Looy (Melbotech), the 22-year-old made no mistakes and rode on alone to take her fourth straight title. 2009 champion Joyce Vanderbeken (Vermeeren) was third.

Result Elite Men
1. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
2. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games

Result Elite Women
1. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
2. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Melbotech Cycling Team
3. Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Cycling Team Vermeeren

Great Britain: Ian Field defends; Nikki Harris ends Helen Wyman’s seven year streak

Defending champion Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles-Specialized) led from the front to take his second straight British title on a firm, but muddy course in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The Belgian-based 26-year-old took the lead on the opening lap and, despite a hard chase from Ian Bibby (Madison-Genesis), managed to hold his clear - albeit slender - lead all the way to the finish.

Bibby held off the chasing pack to take second place, with David Fletcher (Orange Monkey-Cannondale) winning a group sprint for third.

Having been consistently been the strongest of the British women this season, Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) finally brought the seven-year winning streak of European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) to an end. Wyman led for most of the race, with Harris trying to hold on to the defending champion, but a late crash from the Kona rider saw Harris get by and ride on to take her first senior title. Annie Last (Trek) was third.

Result Elite Men
1. Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized
2. Ian Bibby (GBr) Madison Genesis
3. David Fletcher (GBr) Orange Monkey-Cannondale

Result Elite Women
1. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
2. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing
3. Annie Last (GBr) Trek Factory Racing

Netherlands: van der Haar beats Boom in the battle of the Lars; Marianne Vos is a class apart
Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Giant) ended the five year reign of namesake Lars Boom (Blanco) as he came out on top in the battle of the Lars. The 21-year-old under-23 World champion escaped the field with Boom in the first lap, with only Thijs van Amerongen able to maintain contact, but he escaped alone soon afterwards and rode solo to the finish.

Boom - who had raced just twice in the season as he prepared for the 2013 Spring Classics - then faced a battle with van Amerongen, but managed to hold off the AA Drink rider and take second place.

World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv Giant) was the class of the women’s field as usual, despite having won the tough Egmond-Pier-Egmond beach mountainbike race the day before. The 25-year-old soloed to victory at the head of a Rabobank-Liv Giant one-two-three, with Sanne van Paassen second, and Sabrina Stultiëns third.

Result Elite Men
1. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team
2. Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling
3. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink

Result Elite Women
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant
2. Sanne van Paassen (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant
3. Sabrina Stultiëns (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Giant

France: Mourey retakes his title with solo display; Lucie Chainel-Lefevre retains
Local boy Francis Mourey (FDJ) made use of his homefield advantage to take back his French title on a muddy course in Nommay, Doubs. The six-time champion was the class of the field and managed to ride away from the rest, who were left to fight for the rest of the podium places behind him.

Mourey’s FDJ teammate Arnold Jeannesson was the best of the rest, ahead of all-rounder John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) in third.

The women’s race went to reigning champion Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (BH - SR Suntour) who also used the support of a home crowd to totally dominate the rest of the field. The 29-year-old - who is married to AG2R La Moindiale rider Steve Chainel - steadily rode away from her rivals to finish 1’45” clear of Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank Giant), with perennial medallist Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Faren-Let’s Go Finland) in third.

Result Elite Men
1. Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ
2. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ
3. John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

Result Elite Women
1. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) BH - SR Suntour
2. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team
3. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Faren-Let’s Go Finland

Germany: Philipp Walsleben takes his fourth title as Trixi Worrack takes her first

Result Elite Men
1. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
2. Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
3. Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) De Rijke-Shanks

Result Elite Women
1. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon
2. Sabrina Schweizer (Ger)
3. Lisa Heckmann (Ger)

Italy: Marco Fontana and Eva Lechner both take fourth titles

Result Elite Men
1. Marco Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Team
2. Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti Elite
3. Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) GS Forestale

Result Elite Women
1. Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago-Farbe
2. Vania Rossi (Ita)
3. Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Colnago-Farbe


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