The past weekend saw a number of European countries hold their national cyclo-cross championships. There were a few upsets, too, with the biggest being in the elite men's race in Belgium. For once, Sven Nys didn't walk away with the victory; instead it was his arch-rival Bart Wellens who took a clear win on a muddy course in Hamme-Zogge.
Nys was ultimately third behind Wellens and the young Klaas Vantornout, after a sub-par race on a course that did not suit him. The competitors had to run a hundred metres through the mud each lap, and that played into the hands of Wellens. The pair were together until the second last lap when Nys crashed in deep mud. Wellens didn't look back twice and went onto win by over a minute from Vantornout.
In the Netherlands, there were a few changes to the pecking order as 21 year-old Lars Boom (Rabobank) accounted for the vastly experienced Richard Groenendaal by 24 seconds, with Gerben De Knegt rounding out the podium in third. And in the women's race, Daphny van den Brand triumphed over multiple world champion Marianne Vos and Reza Hormes-Ravenstein.
The British men's championship produced something of an upset too, as Roger Hammond could not take a win in his brand new T-Mobile colours - that honour went to Philip Dixon. Hammond only finished fourth in the end, his cause not being helped by getting tangled up in the tap at one point. Nick Craig and Rob Jebb filled out the minor placings in Southampton, while in the women's race, Helen Wyman (Global RT) got the better of her teammate Gabriella Day and Isla Rowntree (Stourbridge CC/Wrap/Parker).
National championships results summary
Austria: 1 Peter Presslauer, 2 Roland Mörx, 3 Gerald Hauer
Belgium: 1 Bart Wellens (Fidea) 59'50, 2 Klaas Vantornout (Fidea) 1'11, 3 Sven Nys (Rabobank) 1'24
Czech Republic: 1 Petr Dlask (Fidea) 1'05'40, 2 Zdenek Stybar (Fidea) 1'17, 3 Radomír Simunek Jr (Palmans) 1'38
Denmark: 1 Joachim Parbo (CK Aarhus), 2 Tommy Moberg Nielsen (Værløse-Farum Cykelklub), 3 Christian Poulsen (Kolding Bicykle Club)
France: 1 Francis Mourey (Française des Jeux), 2 John Gadret (Ag2r Prévoyance), 3 Jérôme Chevallier (CC Etupes)
Germany: 1 René Birkenfeld (Harvestehuder RSV v. 1909) 1'07'24, 2 Johannes Sickmüller (Harvestehuder RSV v. 1909), 3 Thorsten Struch (RSV Stuttgart-Vaihingen 1901) 0'31
Great Britain: 1 Philip Dixon (Trek - SIS), 2 Nick Craig (Team Scott UK) 1'29, 3 Rob Jebb (Wheelbase/Ron Hill) 2'10, 4 Roger Hammond (T-Mobile) 2'54
Ireland: 1 Robin Seymour (Team WORC) 52'59, 2 Roger Aiken (Banbridge CC) 0'22, 3 Lewis Ferguson (Team BHB) 3'42
Italy: 1 Enrico Franzoi (Lampre Fondital) 1'03'05, 2 Marco Aurelio Fontana (GS Selle Italia Guerciotti) 0'01, 3 Marco Bianco (L Arcobaleno Carraro Team) 0'03
Netherlands: 1 Lars Boom (Rabobank) 1'00'32, 2 Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank) 0'24, 3 Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank) 1'25
Poland: 1 Marek Cichosz (Lider Slubice) 58'12, 2 Dariusz Gil (LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie) 0'44, 3 Mariusz Gil (LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie) 1'28
Slovakia: 1 Maros Kovác (Dukla Trencín Merida) 1'09'24, 2 Milan Barényi (CK ZP Sport A'S' Podbrezová) 1'30, 3 Robert Glajza (CK ZP Sport A'S' Podbrezová) 4'02
Switzerland: 1 Christian Heule (Stevens Racing Team) 1'03'29, 2 Simon Zahner (Bürgis Cycling Team) 0'24, 3 Florian Vogel (Swisspower MTB-Team) 0'39
Austria: 1 Stephanie Wiedner, 2 Monika Schachl, 3 Elke Riedl
Belgium: 1 Loes Sels 41'19, 2 Katrien Aerts 0'27, 3 Hilde Quintens 1'02
Denmark: 1 Karen Jacobsen (Cykling Odense), 2 Nikoline Hansen (Bov Cykle Club), 3 Janni V Nielsen (Hammel)
Germany: 1 Hanka Kupfernagel (Focus-worldsportstar) 38'54, 2 Birgit Hollmann (Team Getränke-Hoffmann) 0'49, 3 Susanne Juranek (RSC Oldenburg 1965) 0'56
Great Britain: 1 Helen Wyman (Global RT), 2 Gabriella Day (Global RT) 2'25, 3 Isla Rowntree (Stourbridge CC/Wrap/Parker) 3'18
Ireland: 1 Tarja Owens (Team WORC), 2 Ciara McManus (XMTB), 3 C. Patterson (Dromara CC)
Italy: 1 Vania Rossi (Italiana Carburanti) 41'43, 2 Milena Cavani (Team Ciclistico Paletti) 1'06, 3 Francesca Cucciniello (GS Selle Italia Guerciotti) 1'10
Netherlands: 1 Daphny van den Brand 39'05, 2 Marianne Vos 1'56, 3 Reza Hormes-Ravenstein 3'09
Poland: 1 Magdalena Pyrgies (GK Wheeler Sosnowiec) 28'03, 2 Marlena Pyrgies (GK Wheeler Sosnowiec), 3 Dorota Warczyk (LKK Start Tomaszów Mazowieck) 0'02
Switzerland: 1 Katrin Leumann (Sputnik Bikeshop) 36'27, 2 Franziska Röthlin (X'O'-Felt Team) 0'20, 3 Alexandra Bähler (GS Campione) 1'31