by Bart Hazen

(Dottingnies, BEL)- World Champion Niels Albert took his tenth season win in Dottignies today. The Belgian tops a complete international podium of champions with French Champion Francis Mourey in second and Italian Champion Enrico Franzoi claiming third. Albert’s teammates Dieter Vanthourenhout and Radomir Simunek completed the top five. American Jonathan Page finished in eighth position. Albert didn’t had much competition as Sven Nys and Zdenek Stybar didn’t take the start with an eye on the Superprestige race in Asper-Gavere tomorrow.

From the start a break of five with Enrico Franzoi, Francis Mourey, Baert Aernouts, Dieter Vanthourenhout and Niels Albert broke clear.  The wind made it tough to go it alone <!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>– those five stayed together for the beginning third of the race.

After twenty minutes, Dieter Vanthourenhout was the first to attack but Franzoi and Mourey kept the gap within a few seconds. Before the race’s midpoint they had chased Vanthourenhout down.

About halfway through the race the World Champion attacked but nobody was able to follow despite Mourey’s fierce attempts to hang on. In the meantime, Aernouts and Vanthourenhout dropped off the chase group as Franzoi rejoined Mourey in the battle for second place.

In the remaining minutes of the race, Albert stayed clear of any danger and took his tenth win in thirteen races this season.  Albert said, “The wind made it a tough race. But with tomorrow’s Asper-Gavere in mind, this was the ideal race for me. I didn’t have to give 100% to win. The efforts were just enough to have sufficient tension on my legs.”

Race note:
Rumors are that Enrico Franzoi will become a team mate of Niels Albert with BKCP-Powerplus at the start of the new year.

1  Niels Albert,  BKCP-Powerplus
2  Francis Mourey,  Francaise des Jeux
3  Enrico Franzoi,  Liquigas
4  Dieter Vanthourenhout,  BKCP-Powerplus
5  Radomir Simunek,  BKCP-Powerplus
6  Bart Aernouts,  Rabobank Continental Team
7  Rob Peeters,  Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
8  Jonathan Page,  Planet Bike
9  Jan Soetens,  Revor Cycling Team
10  Ben Berden,  Revor Cycling Team
11  Arnaud Jouffroy,  BKCP-Powerplus
12  Tom Van Den Bosch,  AA Drinks Cycling Team
13  Quentin Bertholet,  Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
14  Christoph Pfingsten
15  Mariusz Gil,  Baboco – Revor Cycling Team
16  Wim Leemans,  BKCP-Powerplus
17  Martin Zlamalik
18  Tim Van Nuffel,  Rendementhypo Cycling Team
19  Marcel Meisen,  Team Kuota – Senges
20  Sascha Weber
21  Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez
22  Gianni Denolf , BKCP-Powerplus
23  Unai Yus,  Kerejeta
24  Pawel Szczepaniak,  Baboco – Revor Cycling Team
25  Toon Devenyns,  C.T.- Dj.Matic-Kortrijk
26  Clement Lhotellerie
27  Frederik Herpol,  SDC – Rogelli Cycling Team
28  David Boucher,  Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
29  Stephane Bonsergent
30  Dennis Flahaut,    Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
31  Naran Khangarid,  Mongolian National Cyclocross Team
32  Baasankhuu Myagmasuren,  Mongolian National Cyclocross Team
33  Frédéric Amorison,  Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
34  Bolbaatar Bold-Erdene,  Mongolian National Cyclocross Team
35  Jorge Cantalicio Calero
36  Ariunbold Noaranbat,  Mongolian National Cyclocross Team
37  Jean Baptist Taleux