National championships throughout Europe
By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004
Reigning world champion Bart Wellens added another victory to an alreadyimpressive streak this season as he won the Belgian nation cyclo-crosstitle on Sunday in the Belgian/French border town of Lille.
The 25-year-old Wellens finished well ahead of fellow Belgian super‘crossers Mario De Clercq and Sven Nijs on the day when all of Europe holdsits national cyclo-cross championships.
Wellens was the first to attack on the 2.7km loop that consisted 710meters of asphalt, 440 of meadowlands, 735 of wood and a tough 895-meterstretch of sand.
The course also included three bridges and a staircase to cross. Only De Clercq managed to stay the attack, but the younger Wellens accelerated hard on the final lap and finished with a 10-second advantage on De Clercq and a minute on Nijs.
The win was Wellens 19th major victory of the season and gives Wellensa major boost heading into the world championships in three weeks in Pont-Château, France.
“My season is continuing well and this gives me a lot of confidencegoing to world’s,” Wellens said of what has to be the toughest nationalchampionship race in the world. Belgian riders have swept the podium atworld’s for the past two years.European National championships
Sunday, January 11, 2004Belgium
1. Bart Wellens (Spaarselect), 1:01:22
2. Mario De Clercq, at 0:10
3. Sven Nijs, at 1:07
4. Arne Daelmans, at 1:17
5. Sven Vanthourenhout, at 1:28
6. Peter Van Santvliet, at 1:44
7. Erwin Vervecken, at 2:55
8. Ben Berden, at 3:22
9. Davy Commeyne, at 3:43
10. Tom Vannoppen, at 4:23Women
1. Anja Nobus
2. Loes Sels
3. Kathleen Vermeiren.Netherlands
1. Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank) in 1:03:33
2. Wilant Van Gils, at 1:47
3. Maarten Nijland, at 2:43
1. Mirjam Melchers, in 35:42
2. Daphny Van den Brand, at 0:21
3. Kathleen Vink, at 2:12
1. John Gadret (Oktos), 18.198km in 53:10.
2. Arnaud Labbe (Poitou-Charentes), at 0:06.
3. Christophe Morel (Poitou-Charentes), at 0:30
4. Emmanuel Magnien (OrlŽanais), at 0:35
5. Dominique Arnould (Lorraine), at 0:53Denmark
1. Kim Pedersen
2. Tommy Moberg Nielsen
3. Joachim ParboCzech Republic
1. Kamil Ausbuher (Budvar Tabor), in 58:47.
2. Martin Zlamalik (Budvar Tabor), at 0:17.
3. Radomir Simunek Jr. (MEZ Belgium), at 0:23Slovakia
1. Robert Glajza, at 55:48.
2. Milan Barenyi, at 56:09.
3. Vaclav Metlicka, at 56:27.Italy
1. Daniele Pontoni (Selle Italia)
2. Alessandro FontanaGermany
1. Malte Urban, 53:54
2. Jens Schwedler, at 0:09
3. Reto Matt, at 0:45Spain
1. David Seco, in 58:45.
2. Ismael Esteban, at 1:16
3. Fernando Fernandez, at 1:29
4. Haitz Ortiz, at 1:38
5. Isaac Suarez, at 2:32Switzerland
1. Christian Heule
2. Thomas Frischknecht, at 0:03
3. Jan Ramsauer, at 0:15
4. David Rusch, at 0:23
5. Michael Baumgartner, at 0:25