Niels Albert (BKCP) won one of cyclocross’ most coveted titles on Sunday, earning the first Belgian national championship title of his career.
The current World Cup leader attacked early and stayed off the front, finishing with comfortable margins over second-place Bart Wellens and third place finisher Kevin Pauwels.
Former world champion Sven Nys had a poor start, was not able to stay with the day’s contenders and eventually abandoned.
“It was just bad day,” Nys said. “I really had no strength. Niels deserved this win and I was pleased to see him do well.”
“I had good legs today,” Albert said. “My main concern today was to stay relaxed and calm. I managed to do that and focus on the race. It was fantastic. Now, I want to focus on the world championships.”
Albert’s win represents the first time the national title has not gone to either Nys or Wellens. Both men will join Albert at the world championship in St. Wendel, Germany, on January 30th. The three will be part of a five-man team aiming to unseat defending champion Zdeněk Štybar of the Czech Republic. Belgians have won 10 of the last 13 world elite men’s titles.
The Belgian championship is held on the same weekend other European national championships are scheduled. The United States will shift its national championship race from December to the January weekend in 2012.
Belgian National Cyclocross Championships
1. Niels Albert, in 59:35
2. Bart Wellens, at 0:22
3. Kevin Pauwels, at 0:25
4. Bart Aernouts, at 0:47
5. Klaas Vantornout, at 1:05
Former world cyclocross champion Lars Boom won his fifth successive Dutch national cyclocross championship on Sunday, soloing in to victory ahead of Gerben de Knegt and Eddy van
Three-time and reigning world champion Marianne Vos narrowly defeated 2003 world champion Daphny van den Brand in the women’s race.
Dutch National Cyclocross Championships
1. Lars Boom, in 1:05:14
2. Gerben De Knegt, at 0:12
3. Eddy Van IJzendoorn, at 0:41
1. Marianne Vos 43:15
2. Daphny Van den Brand, at 0:02
3. Sanne Van Paassen, at 0:23
Francis Mourey won the French national cyclocross championship in Lanarvily on Sunday, beating second-place finisher John Gadret by more than a minute.
Despite getting tangled up in a crash, Mourey’s teammate Arnold Jeannesson, managed to finish in third place.
French National Cyclocross Championships
1. Francis Mourey (FDJ), in 1:01:33
2. John Gadret (AG2R-La Mondiale), at 1:09
3. Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ), at 1:26
4. Steve Chainel (FDJ), at 2:21
5. Nicolas Bazin (Big Mat), at 2:25
1. Caroline Mani (CC Etupes), in 44:23.
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prvo (AC Bazancourt Reims), s.t.
3. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Béziers Méd. Cyc.), at 0:16
4. Nadia Triquet-Claude (UC Bassin Houiller), at 1:39
5. Camille Darcel (EC Mayenne), at 2:12
Marco Aurelio Fontana won his third national ‘cross title Sunday, when he and others contested Italy’s national championship on course in Rome’s historic hippodrome.
Vania Rossi, wife of once-banned rider Riccardo Ricco, also scored her third victory in the national title on Sunday.
Italian National Cyclocross Championships
1. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale), in 1:02:22
2. Marco Bianco (Esercito), at 0:02
3. Fabio Ursi (Esercito), at 0:04.
1. Vania Rossi (Esercito), in 43:34
2. Francesca Cucciniello (Guerciotti), at 0:01
3. Eva Lechner (Esercito), at 0:03
Christian Heule scored his sixth Swiss national cyclocross title since 2004 on Sunday, finishing 16 seconds ahead of Pirmin Lang on a tough course in Hittnau.
Swiss National Cyclocross Championships
1. Christian Heule, in 1:04:02
2. Pirmin Lang, at 0:16
3. Julien Taramarcaz, at 0:32.