Albert leads Belgian domination

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. It 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-7 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.

After his first-lap attack Albert was nearly caught back by World Cup winner Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) who trailed him by only four seconds at the end of the second lap.

“Then I started making small mistakes and you pay the price for that,” Pauwels said.

The gap with Albert grew up to 16 seconds and then Pauwels was joined by favorite Sven Nys (Belgium). The duo weren’t able to move a single second closer to Albert who kept pacing through the dunes of Koksijde. Halfway through the race Albert enjoyed a lead of 38 seconds and clearly Nys and Pauwels weren’t getting any closer.

On the contrary a few laps later they were caught back by the four remaining Belgians, while trailing Albert by fifty seconds.

The battle for second place was won by outsider Rob Peeters (Belgium), capturing the best result of his career. He sped away in the last lap from Pauwels and Tom Meeusen (Belgium).

“During the race I started to believe in it. During the world championships on home soil I was able to rise above myself,” Peeters said.

Another favorite, Kevin Pauwels, profited from a late mistake from Tom Meeusen to claim the last podium spot. “He went over the handlebars which was good for me. I came here for the podium and I’m satisfied with that,” World Cup winner Pauwels said.

Fellow favorites Sven Nys and defending champion Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic) didn’t have an answer against the sand skills from Albert and slowly faded back, finishing seventh and thirteenth. After the race Nys stated that it might have been his last world championships race.

“It might have been the last one I rode. Maybe I’m not made for this. I pulled it off one time and it’ll remain the only one,” Nys said on Sporza.

Behind the Belgian top-7 it was Radomir Simunek who finished as best of the rest, more than one minute behind Nys, the last of the Belgians. Due to a strict appliance of the 80% rule only 24 riders were allowed to finish the race with German rider Christoph Pfingsten finishing dead last at 5:10 from winner Albert. Only one American rider managed to finish in the same lap of the winner. Ryan Trebon (USA) finished 18th, four minutes behind the winner.

“I’m not proud of that. I want us all to perform well,” Trebon said. After a great start he quickly faded outside the top 15. “Actually I could’ve taken the holeshot but didn’t want to lead it out in the sand so I would not screw things up. I aimed for a top 15 but the running pushed me over the limit,” Trebon said.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Belgium)1:06:07
2Rob Peeters (Belgium)0:00:24
3Kevin Pauwels (Belgium)0:00:30
4Tom Meeusen (Belgium)0:00:34
5Bart Aernouts (Belgium)0:00:35
6Klaas Vantornout (Belgium)0:01:09
7Sven Nys (Belgium)0:01:11
8Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic)0:02:15
9Philipp Walsleben (Germany)0:02:25
10Simon Zahner (Switzerland)0:02:31
11Steve Chainel (France)0:02:37
12Francis Mourey (France)0:02:48
13Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)0:03:17
14Aurelien Duval (France)0:03:41
15Niels Wubben (Netherlands)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland)0:03:42
17Gerben De Knegt (Netherlands)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Ryan Trebon (United States Of America)0:04:02
19Marcel Meisen (Germany)0:04:06
20José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spain)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Twan Van Den Brand (Netherlands)0:04:07
22Mariusz Gil (Poland)0:04:22
23Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands)0:04:40
24Christoph Pfingsten (Germany)0:05:10
-1lapChristian Heule (Switzerland)Row 24 - Cell 2
-2lapsJeremy Powers (United States Of America)Row 25 - Cell 2
-2lapsMarcel Wildhaber (Switzerland)Row 26 - Cell 2
-2lapsEnrico Franzoi (Italy)Row 27 - Cell 2
-2lapsJohn Gadret (France)Row 28 - Cell 2
-2lapsJiri Polnicky (Czech Republic)Row 29 - Cell 2
-2lapsMartin Zlamalik (Czech Republic)Row 30 - Cell 2
-3lapsMitchell Huenders (Netherlands)Row 31 - Cell 2
-3lapsVladimir Kyzivat (Czech Republic)Row 32 - Cell 2
-3lapsTimothy Johnson (United States Of America)Row 33 - Cell 2
-3lapsIsaac Suarez Fernandez (Spain)Row 34 - Cell 2
-3lapsIan Field (Great Britain)Row 35 - Cell 2
-3lapsPetr Dlask (Czech Republic)Row 36 - Cell 2
-3lapsClément Bourgoin (France)Row 37 - Cell 2
-3lapsSascha Weber (Germany)Row 38 - Cell 2
-3lapsMarco Ponta (Italy)Row 39 - Cell 2
-3lapsJavier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spain)Row 40 - Cell 2
-3lapsJames Driscoll (United States Of America)Row 41 - Cell 2
-5lapsChristopher Jones (United States Of America)Row 42 - Cell 2
-5lapsMirko Tabacchi (Italy)Row 43 - Cell 2
-5lapsYu Takenouchi (Japan)Row 44 - Cell 2
-5lapsMagnus Darvell (Sweden)Row 45 - Cell 2
-5lapsMartin Haring (Slovakia)Row 46 - Cell 2
-5lapsGusty Bausch (Luxembourg)Row 47 - Cell 2
-5lapsChristian Helmig (Luxembourg)Row 48 - Cell 2
-5lapsCristian Cominelli (Italy)Row 49 - Cell 2
-6lapsCraig Richey (Canada)Row 50 - Cell 2
-6lapsAitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spain)Row 51 - Cell 2
-6lapsVaclav Metlicka (Slovakia)Row 52 - Cell 2
-6lapsDaniel Geismayr (Austria)Row 53 - Cell 2
-6lapsKeiichi Tsujiura (Japan)Row 54 - Cell 2
-7lapsKarl Heinz Gollinger (Austria)Row 55 - Cell 2
-7lapsLewis Rattray (Australia)Row 56 - Cell 2
-7lapsRobert Gehbauer (Austria)Row 57 - Cell 2
-8lapsDavid Quist (Norway)Row 58 - Cell 2

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1