Gullickson and Johnson ‘in the mix’ in their Euro’ opener
By VeloNews Interactive Wire Services, Copyright AFP 2001
Belgian Erwin Vervecken won the Grand Prix of France on Sunday in Nommay, besting fellow Belgian Mario DeClercq by 11 seconds. Dutchman Richard Greonendaal was third. The race was the fourth stop in the cyclo-cross World Cup series.
Vervecken’s win continued his country’s dominance of the 2001-02 World Cup series, which has seen a Belgian (Sven Nijs, 2; DeClercq, 1; Vervecken, 1) win every race thus far. Nijs, held on to the top spot in the overall standings, though he finished 10th at the race in France. American Marc Gullickson finished in 14th place, while teammates Tim Johnson and Jonathan Page took 23rd and 30th respectively.
“Gully’s out there mixing it up with the best of them,” Johnson told VeloNews on Sunday. “This is a great start for us.”
Johnson who arrived in Europe with Gullickson two days after Christmas plans to compete in the remaining two World Cup events as a warm-up to the world championship in Zolder, Belgium on February 3.
U.S. Team manager Bruce Fina said that Johnson, too, was “in the mix” for most of the race, but crashed, losing valuable time.
“I like this,” said Johnson. “I finished okay, but I knew that I could do a whole lot better and that’s a lot different than two years ago when I was pretty much burned out by this point of the season.”
Canadian Lyne Bessette won the women’s event and is still hoping to get approval from the Canadian federation to compete at world’s.
Race 5 is scheduled for January 20 in Wetzikon, Switzerland. The series concludes on January 27, in Heerlen, The Netherlands.
Copyright AFP 2002
World Cup No. 4, Nommay, France. January 6, 2002
1. Erwin Vervecken, (B), 56:48; 2. Mario DeClercq (B), at 0:11; 3. Richard Greonendaal (Nl), at 1:44; 4. Jiri Pospisil (Cz), at 2:10; 5. Bart Wellens (B), at 2:17; 6. Gerben De Knegt (Nl), 2:21; 7. Maarten Nijland (Nl), at 2:28; 8. Dominique Arnould (F), at 2:48; 9. Wim De Vos (Nl), at 3:02; 10. Sven Nijs (B), at 3:08
14. Marc Gullickson USA;
23. Tim Johnson USA;
30. Jonathan Page USA;
World Cup standings
(after four of six events)
1. Sven Nijs (B), 192 points; 2. Mario DeClercq (B), 170; 3. Bart Wellens (B), 161; 4. Erwin Vervecken (B), 145; 5. Richard Greonendaal (Nl), 138