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UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2010

Date range:
January 30-31, 2010

January 31, Elite Men: Tabor - Tabor

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer
  1. 13:46:44 CET

    Welcome back!  The men are about to take to the ice, snow and general yuck out there on the course.

    Things will get underway in less than 15 minutes.
     

  2. 13:50:49 CET

    Will we see a repeat of last year's podium?  It's possible.  All three riders are not only here, but favourites.  In 2009, Niels Albert (BEL) won ahead of Zdenek Stybar (CZE) and Sven Nys (BEL).

  3. 13:53:06 CET

    There is at least one rider missing from the start today.  Philipp Walsleben of Germany, last year's U23 champion, had to withdraw.  He has been suffering from intestinal problems since the middle of the week, and decided it was pointless to try and ride.  He left for home this morning.

  4. 13:55:00 CET

    How many men per national team?  That depends on their national ranking from last season.  Nations 1-5 may nominate nine riders and start six.  That includes Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy.  The others may nominate eight riders and start five. 

    That doesn't necessarily mean that each country will automatically use all those places though.  For example, Switzerland is only starting three riders.

    And let us not forget the home team.   They have seven riders at the start today.

  5. 13:58:48 CET

    The men are getting ready now for the start, taking off their jackets and so on.  Our Rich Tyler says there are no clouds, and that the guys will take off under a beautiful blue sky.  Still pretty darned cold, though.

  6. 14:00:00 CET

    There they go!

  7. 14:00:00 CET

    The light blue Belgian jerseys dominated the front line, and lead the way around.

  8. 14:01:35 CET

    Problems at the first hairpin curve as too many riders try to go through simultaneously.

  9. 14:02:00 CET

    We had 65 starters.

    Klaas Vantornout got the hole-shot, and  Ryan Trebon (USA) didn't have the best of starts and has slipped towards the back half of the field.

  10. 14:03:24 CET

    The Belgians and Czechs lead the way.

  11. 14:04:20 CET

    Stybar and Vantornout have a small lead.

  12. 14:05:00 CET

    They are followed by Steve Chainel (FRA) and Nys.

  13. 14:05:43 CET

    Belgian got off to a great start, but it is Stybar who is in the lead.

  14. 14:06:21 CET

    Current World champ Albert is in roughly 15th place, with USA's Jonathan Page on his rear wheel.

  15. 14:07:11 CET

    Vantornout slips around Stybar and takes the lead.

  16. 14:07:00 CET

    Vantornout's taken the lead. Stybar is having a lot of trouble getting his foot back into the pedal after pulling it out for a corner. He's slipped to fifth already.

  17. 14:08:23 CET

    Stybar is in Pit Row looking for help.

  18. 14:08:57 CET

    Vantornout is first over the start-finish line in 7.49.  The rest are about 15 seconds back.

  19. 14:09:31 CET

    Albert is 14th at 21 seconds, Page still on his wheel. We'll let you know what was up with Stybar's first bike as soon as we can.

  20. 14:10:17 CET

    Much of the snow is gone from the course by now, leaving a nice mushy mud....

  21. 14:11:14 CET

    Radomir Simunek has assumed the lead from Vantournout. He's got 10 metres.

  22. 14:12:32 CET

    Radomir Simunek Jr. (CZE) is perhaps a long shot for the podium here, but he has a special motivation.  His dad, Radomik Simunek Sr., won the Worlds title in 1991.

  23. 14:13:24 CET

    Simounek is out of the saddle, Vantournout has closed on his back wheel.  There's a Swiss rider in the top five now, Christian Heule.

  24. 14:14:03 CET

    Chainel's disappeared from his earlier position near the front. France still has a presence, however, Francis Mourey's up with the leaders.

  25. 14:14:30 CET

    The Belgian riders are still well represented in the top ten, though.

  26. 14:15:42 CET

    The Belgian team came to these championships with the goal of three medals.  With half of the medals already awarded, the small European nation has none so far.  National coach Rudy De Bie has kept a close eye on things and notes that the changing conditions out on the course are the key to success, and that his elite men must be ready to adapt to whatever they face.

  27. 14:16:00 CET

    Group of six starting to form. Vantornout, Simunek, Nys, Heule, Mourey, De Knegt, Pauwels. Stybar's close.

    They go over the finish line with about a 10 second lead.

  28. 14:16:00 CET

    Six out in front, then a chase group of four. Albert is next over the line in 11th, with the rest of the field on his tail.

  29. 14:17:08 CET

    Albert was 23 seconds down.

  30. 14:17:00 CET

    Those of us who live or have lived in cold snowy areas know that sometimes the only way to get around is with studded tires.  The guys today won't have that option.  The UCI announced earlier this month that they are specifically prohibited.

    Sven Nys was testing a Dutch tire called “Diabolo” which had metal spikes in the tread, and they ould said to be very good on an icy course.  But neither he nor anyone else will be trying them out today.

  31. 14:18:13 CET

    Front group: Three Belgians (Vantournout, Nys, Pauwels) two Czechs (Simunek, Stybar) and France's Mourey.  We are in the third round.

  32. 14:19:00 CET

    Albert is leading the main field, which also contains the USA's Page and Tim Johnson.

  33. 14:19:00 CET

    Simunek changes bikes. Nys and Kevin Pauwels too.  Lots of mechanical dramas today, it looks like.

  34. 14:20:29 CET

    Did we say there is mud?  Well, there is, and lots of it.  Which means we are starting to see lots of muddy bikes and jerseys and faces!

  35. 14:20:00 CET

    Who has a clean face? Vantornout, of course, since he is leading!

  36. 14:21:18 CET

    We have yet another change at the front of the race. Heule (Switzerland) is in charge of the elite men's event for now.

  37. 14:22:19 CET

    The lead group just went slip-sliding around a corner.  Careful, guys!

  38. 14:22:40 CET

    Stybar has made his way back to the front. He led for a moment before slipping on a corner and letting Heule back through.

  39. 14:23:08 CET

    Over the years, Belgium has won by far the most medals – not that anyone is surprised by that!  It has 25 gold medals and 52 medals all together.  Second place in the ranking goes to France, with 10 gold and 34 total.  Switzerland is third, with 7 golds and 32 total.

  40. 14:24:01 CET

    Six laps to go, and Heule leads them over the finish line.  This was the fastest lap to date, 7,36.

  41. 14:24:35 CET

    The four leaders have a 10 second lead over their chasers.

  42. 14:25:33 CET

    Nys is in the first group of four, but his transponder seems to be faulty.  He is not being registered when he crosses the finish line.

  43. 14:26:48 CET

    Stybar jumps out to a 25 metre lead. Mourey now has to change bikes!

  44. 14:27:38 CET

    Nys has closed the gap, and we now have eight riders giving chase to Stybar, who looks to be pulling away.

  45. 14:28:23 CET

    Right now we have Stybar, then Vantornout, Heule, Nys, Martin Bina (Czech Republic).

  46. 14:29:06 CET

    Stybar appears to have chosen his moment. He hits the stairs with an eight second margin over Heule.

  47. 14:29:40 CET

    The Czech fans are going bananas for Stybar, as you would expect.

  48. 14:30:00 CET

    The gap is stretching, we'll get a time gap when they cross the start/finish shortly.

  49. 14:30:53 CET

    Stybar, of the Czech Republic, is 24 years old.  He won three World cup races this season on his way to taking the overall title.

  50. 14:31:32 CET

    Stybar crosses the line. Five laps to go.  Nys leads the chasers over, 18 seconds later.

  51. 14:32:05 CET

    Mourey, Simunek, Zlamalik (Czech Republic) are six seconds behind the Nys group-

  52. 14:32:43 CET

    Here's how it stands at the moment:  Stybar sole leader. Nys, Heule, Vantornout, Bina. Then Mourey, Simunek, Zlamalik

  53. 14:33:46 CET

    Nys, at 33, is the oldest of the three favorites.

  54. 14:34:44 CET

    Bart Wellens and Gerben De Knegt are the next riders on the course.

  55. 14:35:00 CET

    Nys shows his class, hopping the barriers. Cyclingnews checked them out this morning - they're not small and the riders hit them going uphil.

  56. 14:35:44 CET

    It has been a three-way duel all year between Stybar, Nys and Albert.  Stybar  won three races, with Albert taking four., and Nys only one. However, Nys has to be ranked at the top today.  He does especially well in this kind of weather.

  57. 14:36:33 CET

    Nys may be impressinve, but what Stybar's doing is even more impressive. He looks comfortable out in front.

  58. 14:37:13 CET

    Heule's dropping off the pace now.  Nys is closest to Stybar, with Vantornout and Bina next in line.

  59. 14:37:39 CET

    Heule's about to trade places with Mourey, who'll assume fifth position.

  60. 14:39:10 CET

    Stybar zips over the finish line, with no one near him.

  61. 14:39:48 CET

    Nys has now lost ground.  He went down on a corner but is going again and making repairs on the fly.

  62. 14:40:33 CET

    Stybar resembles Vos in the women's race this morning. He's pedalling at a furious cadence.

  63. 14:41:46 CET

    Vantornout's finally starting to display a little bit of mud now as he trades turns with Nys and Bina.

  64. 14:42:44 CET

    Nys shows less enthusiasm at the hurdles this time, he dismounts and hops them on foot.

  65. 14:43:55 CET

    Yes, there are doping controls here at the Wolrds.  The UCI “vampires” paid a visit to the Belgians last night, taking samples from Albert, Nys and Klaas Vantornout.

  66. 14:45:42 CET

    Stybar keeps building up his lead, quite a performance by the young Czech rider.

  67. 14:46:16 CET

    Stybar's getting more and more efficient. He's got most of the corners dialled in.

  68. 14:47:20 CET

    He just finished his sixth lap in 7:36.  Nys checks that Vantornout and Bina are still there as he leads the trio over, 30 seconds behind Stybar.

  69. 14:48:00 CET

    We had 66 riders sllated to start in the race today, from 22 different nations, ranging from the traditional 'cross nations of Belgium and Netherlands, to such exotics as Mongolia and Israel. Both Belgium and the Czech Republic have seven riders each in the race.

  70. 14:49:29 CET

    The men's 'cross world championships have been held since 1950.  If we use all our fingers and toes and borrow some from the cat, we think that comes up with 60 years now.

  71. 14:50:39 CET

    The two Belgian rider lead a furious chase.

  72. 14:52:17 CET

    There's no stopping Stybar -- he keeps on going and going, as strong as ever.

  73. 14:54:29 CET

    Stybar has hit the line again, and is only two laps away from claiming the world title.

  74. 14:54:50 CET

    Vantornout's now in pursuit solo, still some 30 seconds adrift. Nys leads Bina across the line, 10 seconds further back-

  75. 14:56:04 CET

    Obviously anything could still happen, but we think Stybar is a good bet to take the title here in his homeland.

  76. 14:56:48 CET

    Looks like Nys had some problems climbing the stairs, possibly he slipped.

  77. 14:57:26 CET

    Vantornout is definitely looking quite mud-splattered now.

  78. 14:57:54 CET

    Nys has dropped Bina, but now he stumbles on the barriers.  He looks tired.

  79. 14:59:27 CET

    Our situation now: Stybar, clear leader. Vantornout. Sven Nys. Martin Bina. All have varying gaps between them

  80. 15:00:21 CET

    Nys and Bina are back together, it look's like they'll sprint for third and fourth.

  81. 15:01:18 CET

    Stybar heads to the finish line once more, with a commanding lead.

  82. 15:01:35 CET

    The bell lap for Stybar!

  83. 15:02:29 CET

    Vanturnout has cut the gap to 20 seconds, but has he left it too late?  Can he catch and pass the leader?

  84. 15:04:22 CET

    Bina has now moved ahead of Nys.

  85. 15:07:00 CET

    Bina is doing his best to get rid of Nys, but now the Belgian is fighting back.  He turns it out and picks up a five metre gap.

  86. 15:07:48 CET

    The real fight of the day here is for bronze.  Bina and Nys are really going at it!

  87. 15:08:14 CET

    Looks like all top four positions will be in Czech and Belgain hands!

  88. 15:08:37 CET

    Stybar's powering, he doesn't want to give Vantornout any hope of coming back at this stage.

  89. 15:09:00 CET

    Stybar raises his arms in happiness and shakes his head in disbelief as he soloes across the finish line.  Yes, you are World Champion!

  90. 15:10:30 CET

    Vanturnout takes second and Nys is third.

  91. 15:11:42 CET

    Here are our top five:

    1 Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)
    2 Klaas Vantornout (Belgium)
    3 Sven Nys (Belgium)
    4 Martin Bina (Czech Republic)
    5 Francis Mourey (France)

  92. 15:12:10 CET

    Stybar beams through the mud encrusting his face.

  93. 15:13:20 CET

    Another exciting solo winner this afternoon!  And a hometown hero, to boot.

  94. 15:14:41 CET

    Congratulations to our podium, and of course, to everyone who took to the course today!

    And our condolences to those who now face the unpleasent task of washing those mud-covered clothes.

  95. 15:16:23 CET

    That's it for today, and that's it this year for the 'cross Worlds!  Thanks for joining us, and be sure to check back later in the year for some excting road action.