by Bart Hazen of Daily Peloton
The Cyclocross scene gathered together in Igorre, Spain (December 7) for the fifth round of the 2008-2009 World Cup. On a tough course it was Sven Nys who won the race for a third year in a row. Klaas Vantornout was the only one to stay with Nys until the penultimate lap when he crashed but was still able to finish as second. Last week’s winner of the World Cup in Koksijde, Erwin Vervecken, completed the podium. The Fidea’s Bart Wellens, Kevin Pauwels and Zdenek Stybar finished as fourth, fifth and sixth.
The race was very tough due to the overnight rain that created a muddy, grassy course with a lot of running. Belgian Klaas Vantornout, last week winner of the Superprestige race in Gieten, had the best start followed by Kevin Pauwels, Sven Nys and Zdenek Stybar. Bart Wellens had once again had a slow start preventing him from battling for victory from the beginning.
Sven Nys was on good form and pushed the pace, narrowing the lead to six riders in front with eight laps to go. The six included Sven Nys, Erwin Vervecken, Zdenek Stybar, Klaas Vantornout, Thijs Al and Kevin Pauwels, and this group stayed in front most of the lap until Nys increased the pace again.
With seven laps to go, three laps into the race, four riders were left with Nys, Vantornout, Vervecken and Al. In the next laps Nys and Vantornout showed they were the strongest and lap by lap they increased their lead on the chasers.
With two laps to go Nys and Vantornout had already a 20 seconds lead on Vervecken and a 35 seconds lead on Wellens and Pauwels. Half way through the penultimate lap Vantornout went down in a muddy section and Nys was gone.
Vantornout wasn’t able to bridge up to Nys and would finish second at 16 seconds behind winner and World Cup leader Sven Nys. Due to his win, Sven Nys increases his lead in the World Cup ranking. After five races he has a total of 355 points, 76 points more than his arch rival Bart Wellens and 82 points more than Zdenek Stybar and Kevin Pauwels.
The next World Cup race will take place in Nommay (France) on December 21.
American Jonathan Page piloted his new BLUE bike to a 13th place, 3:37 down on Nys. With the help of his wife Cori, he switched bikes at least once every lap, often twice.
1 NYS Sven LANDBOUWKREDIET – TONISSTEINER 1:06:36
2 VANTORNOUT Klaas SUNWEB PRO JOB +00:16
3 VERVECKEN Erwin FIDEA CYCLING TEAM +00:27
4 WELLENS Bart FIDEA CYCLING TEAM +00:36
5 PAUWELS Kevin FIDEA CYCLING TEAM +01:10
6 STYBAR Zdenek FIDEA CYCLING TEAM +01:37
7 AL Thijs — +01:39
8 MOUREY Francis FRANÇAISE DES JEUX +02:12
9 DE KNEGT Gerben RABOBANK +02:21
10 VANTHOURENHOUT Sven SUNWEB PRO JOB +02:54
11 SIMUNEK Radomir PALMANS CRAS +03:20
12 ZABALLA GUTIERREZ Constantino LA-MSS +03:27
13 PAGE Jonathan Planet Bike +03:37
14 DLASK Petr FIDEA CYCLING TEAM +03:50
15 AERNOUTS Bart RABOBANK +03:55
16 BAZIN Nicolas DIFFERDANGE APIFLO VACANCES +04:03
17 BINA Martin — +04:22
18 CHAINEL Steve AUBER 93 +05:06
19 GROENENDAAL Richard — +05:33
20 ZLAMALIK Martin — +05:40
21 PEETERS Rob LANDBOUWKREDIET – TONISSTEINER +05:49
22 BELGY Julien BOUYGUES TELECOM +05:54
23 HEULE Christian — +06:05
24 BARENYI Milan — +06:11
25 VAN GILS Wilant — +06:31
26 SUAREZ FERNANDEZ Isaac — +06:43
27 LOPEZ Jonathan — +07:01
28 VAN LEEUWEN Patrick — +07:35
29 GIL Mariusz — -1LAP
30 RUIZ DE LARRINAGA IBANEZ Javier — -1LAP
31 VAZQUEZ CRESPO Oscar — -2LAP
32 KYZIVAT Vladimir — -2LAP
33 VAN HEESWIJK Roy — -3LAP
34 HARING Martin — -3LAP
35 DIEZ ARRIOLA Jose Antonio — -3LAP
36 GLAJZA Robert — -3LAP
37 JUAREZ ALDAY David — -4LAP