Changes to parcours before 2008 'cross world's
At the site of the 2008 'cross world championships in Treviso, Italy, 25 year-old Frenchman Francis Mourey upstaged his more fancied northern European rivals to win the fourth round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup.
After just over an hour's racing, Erwin Vervecken (Fidea Cycling Team) went into the finishing straight with World Cup leader Sven Nys (Rabobank) and Mourey on his wheel, with neither of the Belgians able to match the Frenchman's finishing speed.
"It was a very hard race today, very fast," explained Mourey after the finish. "I had a good position in the sprint, and I was able to come around Nys to win. I'm very happy with my result."
Mourey claimed it was a hard race, but UCI Cyclo-cross co-ordinator Mélanie Leveau told Cyclingnews the same parcours won't be used for the 2008 'cross worlds: "The course is too straight and too fast for a World Championship, so we will change the parcours for the Worlds and add more hairpin turns and perhaps some barriers," she said.
Old hands also saw a familiar name grace the sponsors' banners at Treviso, Italian building giant Mapei; a dominant force throughout the mid to late 90s, the company owned by cycling fan Georgio Squinzi ended their sponsorship in 2002 as a result of numerous successive doping cases. But with many ProTour teams and the UCI now taking active steps to combat doping, it appears Squnizi's had a change of heart, as Mapei will also sponsor the world cyclo-cross championships in 2008, and again the following year in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
Click here for full results, report & photos from Round 4 of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup.