Dutch domination on Zolder circuit
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dutch domination on Zolder circuit

by VeloNation Press at 3:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
While the victory of Marianne Vos (Netherlands) in the Women's category wasn't a major upset, the win from her compatriot Thijs Al in the Elite Men's category surprised many spectators along the Zolder car circuit in Belgium where another round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup presented by Safety Jogger was held. Philipp Walsleben (Germany) and Sean De Bie (Belgium) won respectively in the U23 and Juniors category.

Al surprises Belgians

The key moment in the Elite Men's race occurred during the third lap when a stack-up behind Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Projob), Thijs Al and Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy) resulted in a first split in front of the race. Before that more than twenty riders had been speeding up around the race track in Zolder.

One lap later Kevin Pauwels (Fidea Cycling Team) was able to close the gap with the leaders on his own. From then on nobody could get the chase going and the four riders extended their lead over the big chasing group up to half a minute.

Halfway the race Fontana crashed out of the leader's group on a tricky descent. The three leaders seemed to be heading for a sprint when Al suddenly powered away in the final minute of the race. The Dutchman had a couple of meters on the two fast Belgians and that proved to be enough for the victory.

World Champion Lars Boom (Rabobank) had left the main chasing group behind him with one lap to go and he reached the finish line in fourth place. World Cup leader Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Tonissteiner) finished sixth and reinforces his lead in the World Cup rankings.

Vos sprints to victory

The women's race was dominated by Katherine Compton (USA) and Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) but the duo didn't succeed in getting rid of Marianne Vos, Daphny van den Brand (Netherlands) and Maryline Salvetat (France).

In the penultimate lap Kupfernagel launched another attack and she ended up riding in the front with Compton. But the duo was reeled back with only one lap to go. The fast legs from Marianne Vos decided the race. Despite returning only recently to cyclo-cross the Dutch woman already succeeded in grabbing her first victory in the World Cup this season.

Vos started the sprint from far out and she won ahead of Kupfernagel and Van den Brand, with Compton clearly having nothing left for the sprint on the car circuit. Kupfernagel extended her lead in the World Cup ranking over Van den Brand and Compton.

Walsleben racks up World Cup

The race in the U23 category was won by Walsleben (Germany) who racked up the World Cup with his third consecutive victory.

This time Walsleben didn't succeed in dropping his rivals during the race but in Zolder he showed that he is a good sprinter as well. Walsleben won the sprint ahead of Cristian Cominelli (Italy) and Aurélien Duval (France).

De Bie beats Dutch duo

Sean De Bie (Belgium) held off the strong opposition from Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) and World Cup leader Tijmen Eising (Netherlands) in the Juniors category. De Bie dropped the Dutch duo in the final lap and won his first ever World Cup round.

The next World Cup round will be organized on the legendary vélodrome of Roubaix, France, on January 18th.

For more information visit www.uci.ch

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