The final event of the 2008 Cyclocross World Championships here in Treviso, Italy is about to begin. We’re here again to bring you the action live, a first for CXM. The front line of the race is a wall of Belgian Jerseys. Hit refresh on your browser for the latest update. We’ve only got three Americans today, Tim Johnson, Jonathan Page, and Jeremy Powers, now that Trebon is home healing.
0:00: They’re off! Lars Boom (Netherlands) takes the holeshot quickly, chargig up the nine percent grade. Francis Mourey (France), Ivan Fanelli and Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) are the front four.
4:00 Mourey takes to the front, and Vantornout is dropping back. Where are the Belgians?
6:20 Boom goes for a bike switch already, and comes out of the pits in fourth.
7:22 The leaders come through the start finish. The main Belgians have closed the gap, Vervecken has moved up, and we’ve got a pack of 20 riders up there. Tim Johnson looks close to the lead group.
9:40 Page made it up into the top 20. The race is like a crit in these early laps. The Czechs have moved up now, with Radomir Simunek and Zdenek Stybar near the front. Sven Nys is moving up as well. Page goes for a bike change.
12:15 Sven Nys is up to fourth. Simunek is still pushing the pace. Christian Heule is up there battling for the lead. Page sits around 15th, but that bike change he just did might have cost him a bunch of places. He’s wearing a yellow helmet. Johnson is inside the top 30.
15:00 Sven Nys is attacking the front, and rides the run-up, along with Alessandro Fontana (Italy) and Mourey, and those three opened up small gaps. The gaps are opening up. Page is falling back.
19:30 Nys stumbles on the stairs, and gets passed by Fontana and Mourey.
20:40 If you’ve never seen a World Cup or World Championship, you have to see one either in person or on video. The racers are sprinting out of every corner, and there are lead changes every few seconds.
21:45 The lead pack is now down to about twelve coming through at the end of the third lap. They’re surprisingly only now matching the pace of the U23 race yesterday. Johnson and Page come through in the third group, outside the top 20 and riding together.
25:00 Stybar moves to the front. The leading group is Nys, Boom, Stybar, Mourey, Boom, Wellens, Simunek, and Fontana . Home country favorite Enrico Franzoi has made it to the front group.
32:24 Franzoi goes to the front to show off to his fans, riding the steep climb, along with Boom, Mourey, and Nys. Vervecken is chasing.
36:00 The lead group has grown into a long, strung-out line of 30+ riders. Page is still there. This is not much different than the race last year, before the group shattered with crashes and attacks.
37:30 Boom and Nys are looking strong, and each just attacked, looking to see the reactions of others. The fourth lap was of a similar pace to the first and second. The slower pace has allowed the lead group to swell.
44:00 The rider just completed a 7:05 lap, the fastest of the race but still slower than Niels Albert’s fastest laps. Stybar and Boom are pushing the pace but there are no clear breaks in the lead 30. Vervecken seems relaxed, and always seems to peak for the world champs.
47:58 Bad Crash on the downhill! Mourey goes down and takes out a Belgian, perhaps Wellens. Looks like it might have been a broken stem or handlebar? hopefully it wasn’t a carbon one.
49:30 Sven Vanthourenhout (Belgium) used Mourey’s crash as a chance to attack, and it’s splintered the group. Nys moves up to the front. Johnson’s jersey is covered with dirt, indicating a crash.
51:13 The leaders come through, two laps to go, with Simunek leading and John Gadret (France) comes out of nowhere to share the lead. The French are really motivated for this weekend’s races. Page sits at the tail end of the lead group, but there’s a 15 second time difference between the front and rear of the lead group. The last lap was a 7:22 lap, so they’ve slowed down again.
53:00 Simunek keeps hammering at the front, but can’t distance himself from the others. Nys is covering the attacks. Fontana is still in the lead five, and is clearing getting the loudest cheers from his home fans.
57:15 Nys put in a furious attack, gaining some distance but Fontana pulls him back. The attack has broken the lead group though, and it’s down to a dozen. Page is sitting in around 20th.
59:33 Lars Boom puts in his attack. Vervecken chases with Gadret. Nys jumps on their wheel. Nys rides with Boom on Rabobank, although they are from different countries. Is there any collaboration?
1:00:30 Boom is flying with a five second gap! Vervecken and Nys ride the run-up, hoping to gain time on Boom, who just ran it. Stybar is in fourth. This could be the medal race.
1:02:02 Vervecken is doing all the work, with Nys sitting in. Boom is stretching out his lead, with seven seconds in hand. Now it’s eight. Looks like he’s gone. He’s absolutely flying. Vervecken looks cooked. Nys is not helping give chase. Stybar is just sitting in as well. Their gold medal hopes are going up the road.
1:04:41 Looks like Brian of Race.CX’s prediction of a Booming Win may come true!
It’s Boom followed by Stybar, then Nys and Vervecken!
Boom, a first-year elite racer, showed that the new generation of riders is here, and the first non-Belgian world champ since 200.
Were these guys were soft-pedaling the earlier laps? The last lap time was 6:52, 30 seconds faster than the penultimate lap. He’s now the U23 time trial World Champion and the elite cyclocross World Champion.
Boom described his victory, “It was a crazy race, because it was very big group, I wasn’t feeling well, but I tried to stay in the top 3. At the end, on the steep climb, I was strong…I didn’t plan to be World Champ yet, I was planning for next year, but this was crazy, crazy, crazy!”
Page finished just 41 seconds back, but in 23rd, a sign of how tight the race was with the course’s fast conditions. Johnson finished in 26th, 1:02 down on Boom, with Jeremy Powers another nine seconds back in 27th.
1. Lars Boom (Netherlands) 1:05:27 2. Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic) 0:05 3. Sven Nys (Belgium) 0:06 4. Erwin Vervecken (Belgium) 0:09 5. Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic) 0:10 6. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy) 0:10 7. Sven Vanthourenhout (Belgium) 0:10 8. Christian Heule (Switzerland) 0:12 9. John Gadret (France) 0:12 10. Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) 0:12 11. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) 0:18 12. Richard Groenendaal (Netherlands) 0:18 13. Enrico Franzoi (Italy) 0:19 14. Bart Aernouts (Belgium) 0:20 15. Bart Wellens (Belgium) 0:21 16. Simon Zahner (Switzerland) 0:22 17. Gerben De Knegt (Netherlands) 0:27 18. Marek Cichosz (Poland) 0:27 19. Milan Barenyi (Slovakia) 0:28 20. Wilant Van Gils (Netherlands) 0:31 21. Marco Bianco (Italy) 0:37 22. Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spain) 0:40 23. Jonathan Page (United States Of America) 0:41 24. Steve Chainel (France) 0:49 25. José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spain) 1:00 26. Timothy Johnson (United States Of America) 1:02 27. Jeremy Powers (United States Of America) 1:11 28. David Derepas (France) 1:19 29. Pirmin Lang (Switzerland) 1:26 30. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Belgium) 1:37 31. Malte Urban (Germany) 1:51 32. Kamil Ausbuher (Czech Republic) 2:07 33. Alessandro Gambino (Italy) 2:24 34. Robert Glajza (Slovakia) 2:24 35. Luca Damiani (Italy) 2:30 36. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spain) 2:34 37. Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland) 2:41 38. Finn Heitmann (Germany) 2:52 39. Maros Kovac (Slovakia) 3:24 40. Magnus Darvel (Sweden) 3:25 41. Nicolas Bazin (France) 3:36 42. Gusty Bausch (Luxembourg) 3:46 43. Julien Belgy (France) 4:02 44. Thijs Al (Netherlands) 4:09 45. Michael Muller (Switzerland) 4:20 46. Mariusz Gil (Poland) 4:21 47. René Birkenfeld (Germany) 4:32 48. Mike Garrigan (Canada) 4:33 49. Johannes Sickmueller (Germany) 4:36 50. Vaclav Metlicka (Slovakia) 4:45 51. Robert Jebb (Great Britain) 4:45 52. Paul Oldham (Great Britain) 4:54 53. Fredrik Ericsson (Sweden) 5:10 54. Joachim Parbo (Denmark) 5:20 55. Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spain) 5:57 56. Aaron Schooler (Canada) 6:45 57. Keiichi Tsujiura (Japan) 7:16 58. Jens Westergren (Sweden) 7:39 59. Osmond Bakker (Canada) 7:39 60. Zdenek Mlynar (Czech Republic) -1LAP 61. Martin Vestby (Norway) -2LAP 62. Masanori Kosaka (Japan) -3LAP DNF. Francis Mourey (France) DNF. Maarten Nijland (Netherlands)