Vos celebrates her European Championship with her close fans. © Bart Hazen
by Bart Hazen
The Netherlands’ Marianne Vos soloed to a dominant win to take the European Cyclocross Championships over her teammate Daphny van den Brand and Britain’s Helen Wyman. Slovakia’s Gavenda took the U23 title, and France’s Viennet took the Junior title.
The 2009 European Championships in Hoogstraten (Belgium) kicked-off this morning with the Juniors race. The gold medal went as expected to the leader in the World Cup, France’s Emilien Viennet. Home rider Laurens Sweeck finished as second and Dutch Michiel van der Heijden as third. Two other Dutch riders, Mike Teunissen and Gert-Jan Bosman, completed the top five.
Second year junior Viennet took the hole shot. The winner of the first World Cup in Treviso immediately took a lead of over ten seconds on a chasing group with Laurens Sweeck (Belgium), Michiel van der Heijden (The Netherlands) and Mike Teunissen (The Netherlands).
2009 Junior European Cyclocross Championships Podium. © Bart Hazen
After several laps Sweeck dropped the two Dutch riders and would gain back time on Viennet, but couldn’t quite bridge up to the French rider. For Viennet it’s his first international title in his career.
The new European champ said, “My season is already a success with this jersey. The Europeans were not my main target, that will be the World Championships in Tabor.”
U23 Men (Espoirs)
World Cup leader Robert Gavenda is the new U23 European Champion. The Slovakian of the Telenet-Fidea team was the best in a dramatic race over Poland’s Pawel Szczepaniak and Belgium’s Tom Meeusen. Poland’s Kacper Szczepaniak and Italy’s Elia Silvestri completed the top five.
The U23 race was fast but featured tight, exciting. New BKCP-Powerplus signing Arnaud Jouffroy (France) took the holeshot with Italy’s Elia Silvestri. The duo stayed in front for a few laps before Slovakian Champion Robert Gavenda and the Polish Szczepaniak brothers took over.
In the final lap, the trio was joined by Tom Meeusen, the surprising Elia Silvestri and reigning Junior World Champion, France’s Arnaud Jouffroy. With two laps to go, Gavenda, the strongest rider in the race, dropped the others to win solo with a small lead over his former break companions.
For Gavenda it’s his third big win of the season after the World Cup in Treviso and the win in the Koppenberg cross last week.
Vos Hoards Another Crown
Marianne Vos has added another title to her impressive palmares. The Dutch World Champion soloed to the gold medal after taking the lead in the second lap. Daphny van den Brand, who returned in competition after an illness, finished in second and Britain’s Helen Wyman as third. Czech duo Katerina Nash and the winner of the Koppenberg race Pavla Havlikova completed the top five.
The podium selection: Vos, Van den Brand, and Wyman. © Bart Hazen
Dutch Champion Daphny van den Brand took the holeshot and led the race for a lap and ahalf. Dutch star Reza Hormes had to abandon the race after a crash just a few hundred meters after the start. World Champion Marianne Vos, competing in her third race of the season, had to start in the back of the field once again due to a lack of UCI points. Vos quickly bridged up to the front before getting rid of Van den Brand and Wyman in the second lap.
For second place, the battle was tighter as Daphny van den Brand and Helen Wyman were caught by a chasing group containing Katerina Nash, Pavla Havlikova, Sanne van Paassen and Christel Ferrier-Bruneau. In the last lap Van den Brand and later also Wyman were able to drop the others to finish second and third, respectively, behind the unapproachable Marianne Vos.
For Vos the win in Hoogstraten is her second European title of her career and also her second win of the season after Woerden.
The reigning World Champion was clearly happy. “My second European title! This is beautiful, even after all my Olympic and World titles. This was my third race of the season, and my second win. On the Koppenberg last week I had bad luck while riding in the lead.”
Wyman was satisfied with her result, as it was her first major championship medal and comes in a fine run of form. “I came really close to a medal in the Euro’s a few years ago, but a double puncture stopped that attempt,” she explained. “I’m just so happy things have gone my way and I’m able to be on the podium in a major championship.”
Luna’s Katerina Nash (CZE) skipped the NACT’s Colorado weekend to make a run at the European title, but was one place off the podium in fourth. Full results below.
|2||Daphny VAN DEN BRAND||NED||32||39:17||100|
|6||Sanne VAN PAASSEN||NED||22||39:48||20|
|11||Linda VAN RIJEN||NED||22||40:46||8|
|14||Lucie CHAINEL LEFEVRE||FRA||27||41:12||2|
|19||Pauline FERRAND PREVOT||FRA||18||41:43|
|21||Sophie DE BOER||NED||20||41:58|
|8||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||22||50:53||15|
|11||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED||19||51:18||8|
|14||Twan VAN DEN BRAND||NED||21||51:45||2|
|21||Micki VAN EMPEL||NED||20||52:25|
|23||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED||19||52:48|
|44||Geert VAN DER HORST||NED||20|
|45||Domenico maria SALVIANI||ITA||19|
|3||Michiel VAN DER HEIJDEN||NED||18||41:14||15|
|10||Danny VAN POPPEL||NED||17||41:57||1|
|17||Fabio Alfonso TODARO||ITA||18||42:30|
|20||Clément LE BRAS||FRA||18||42:37|
|26||David VAN DER POEL||NED||18||43:30|
|33||Floris DE TIER||BEL||18||44:01|