Albert and Vos unstoppable at cyclo-cross worlds

Belgians dominate on home turf of Koksijde

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In the presence of the King of Belgium, Albert II, it was home rider Niels Albert who captured the rainbow jersey at the cyclo-cross world championships. His triumph in Koksijde, Belgium was the second world title of his career. The six other Belgians at the start captured the following six positions, claiming a unique Belgian top seven at the world championships.

Albert blasted away halfway through the opening lap for an long solo ride in the Koksijde dunes. A massive crowd of more than 70,000 spectators – according to the police – saw the 26-year-old cross the finish line in disbelief. Just like the winner of the 1994 cyclo-cross world championships, Paul Herygers, the 2012 winner will have a dune on the course named after him.

“I thought about that the last time I rode it, thinking that he was now mine. This feeling is unbeatable. It’s the biggest win of my career. Now my season is a success,” Albert said.

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Vos unstoppable in retaining rainbow jersey

Vos celebrates a commanding victory in Koksijde
Vos celebrates a commanding victory in koksijde: vos celebrates a commanding victory in koksijde
Dave McElwaine

In the women’s race, Marianne Vos out-powered the rest of the field to take her fifth world title. Almost forty seconds later Daphny van den Brand (The Netherlands) won the sprint for second place ahead of local favorite Sanne Cant (Belgium). At 24, Vos overtakes Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) as record holder with five ‘cross world titles.

“It was not my goal to overtake her but five titles is fantastic,” Vos said.

On the technical course Vos clearly struggled to get through the sand stretches but that didn’t keep her from quickly earning a comfortable lead. Vos built up a lead of a minute and plowed her way through the sand to a well-deserved win.

“Technically it wasn’t good today. I wouldn’t deserve getting a dune named after me like the Elite Men’s winner will enjoy. Getting a mud section or a stretch of pavement named after me would be more correct,” Vos said.

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Men’s top 10 results

  1. Niels Albert (Belgium) 1:06:07  
  2. Rob Peeters (Belgium) 0:00:24  
  3. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) 0:00:30  
  4. Tom Meeusen (Belgium) 0:00:34  
  5. Bart Aernouts (Belgium) 0:00:35  
  6. Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) 0:01:09  
  7. Sven Nys (Belgium) 0:01:11  
  8. Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic) 0:02:15  
  9. Philipp Walsleben (Germany) 0:02:25  
  10. Simon Zahner (Switzerland) 0:02:31 

Women’s top 10 results

  1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 0:41:04  
  2. Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands) 0:00:37  
  3. Sanne Cant (Belgium) 0:00:38  
  4. Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands) 0:00:49  
  5. Katherine Compton (United States Of America) 0:00:53  
  6. Nikki Harris (Great Britain) 0:01:03  
  7. Sophie De Boer (Netherlands) 0:01:05  
  8. Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) 0:01:11  
  9. Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland) 0:01:12  
  10. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France) 0:01:54