By Brecht Decaluwé in Pijnacker, The Netherlands
Youngsters Lars Boom (Rabobank) and Niels Albert (Palmans Cras) gave the "old" guys a beating on a true 'cross course during the third UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round of the season in Pijnacker, The Netherlands, on Sunday.
The two riders were a good match for each other and despite several attacks in the second half of the race, they entered the last lap together. World Champion Boom got rid of Albert in the last corners on his way to grabbing his second consecutive win on home soil in Pijnacker.
"Last year it was my first victory and now it's like that again," the Dutch world champion said to Cyclingnews after capturing his first win of the 2008-9 season. "This year I crossed the finish line with the jersey of the World Champion and that makes this win a bit more special. The race was tougher than last year because of the strong winds."
Albert kept his lead in the World Cup standings despite losing the battle for the victory for the day. "Lars could take that last corner a bit shorter than me, and thus he was able to find traction quicker than me," Albert said to Cyclingnews.
"He had a gap of 10 metres, and that made it impossible for me to win the race. I think there aren't many riders who can close that gap and overtake him on a road, so I can live with this defeat," said Albert.
Half a minute behind the two protagonists Bart Wellens (Fidea Cycling Team) made an impressive comeback from outside the top 20 to join up with Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner). The two arch rivals were left to sprint for the remaining podium spot.
Wellens clipped out of his pedal by accident and Nys seized the opportunity to take third.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the elite men's World Cup cyclo-cross race in Pijnacker.