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Czech Paprstka gives home nation dream start at Worlds

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Junior men's podium: Julian Alaphilippe (2nd, France), World Champion Tomas Paprstka (1st, Czech Republic) and Emiel Dolfsma (3rd, Netherlands)

Junior men's podium: Julian Alaphilippe (2nd, France), World Champion Tomas Paprstka (1st, Czech Republic) and Emiel Dolfsma (3rd, Netherlands)
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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The icy course softened as the race went on

The icy course softened as the race went on
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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France gets the hole-shot through Emilien Viennet

France gets the hole-shot through Emilien Viennet
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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David van der Poel (Netherlands) heads through the first corner

David van der Poel (Netherlands) heads through the first corner
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The lead group included riders from the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium and France

The lead group included riders from the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium and France
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Emilien Viennet (France) takes a wide line on a corner

Emilien Viennet (France) takes a wide line on a corner
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Pre-race favourite David van der Poel (Netherlands) leads Julian Alaphilippe (France) into a corner

Pre-race favourite David van der Poel (Netherlands) leads Julian Alaphilippe (France) into a corner
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Gianni Veermersch (Belgium) holds a narrow lead on the second lap

Gianni Veermersch (Belgium) holds a narrow lead on the second lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Gianni Veermersch (Belgium) was on the attack, but didn't feature in the finale

Gianni Veermersch (Belgium) was on the attack, but didn't feature in the finale
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Gert-Jan Bosman (Netherlands) leads many of the French team over the hurdles in the early laps

Gert-Jan Bosman (Netherlands) leads many of the French team over the hurdles in the early laps
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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France's Emilien Viennet and Julian Alaphilippe hurdle together

France's Emilien Viennet and Julian Alaphilippe hurdle together
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lars Forster (Switzerland) has his nation's game face on

Lars Forster (Switzerland) has his nation's game face on
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lucas Muller (Switzerland) cant seem to decide whether to run or ride around this corner

Lucas Muller (Switzerland) cant seem to decide whether to run or ride around this corner
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Riders tackle the stairs on the course

Riders tackle the stairs on the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Tomas Paprskta (Czech Rupublic) was solo for almost two laps before being joined by France's Alaphillipe

Tomas Paprskta (Czech Rupublic) was solo for almost two laps before being joined by France's Alaphillipe
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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David Menut (France) was part of a strong French contingent

David Menut (France) was part of a strong French contingent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Fabio Alfonso Todaro (Italy) wasn't in the mix today

Fabio Alfonso Todaro (Italy) wasn't in the mix today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) and Julian Alaphilippe (France) lunge for the line

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) and Julian Alaphilippe (France) lunge for the line
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) edges out Julian Alaphilippe (France)

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) edges out Julian Alaphilippe (France)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The flags of the nations taking part in the 2010 Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic

The flags of the nations taking part in the 2010 Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Penny Farthing + snow and ice = tricky

Penny Farthing + snow and ice = tricky
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Swiss fans out in force to support Lars Forster and Lukas Muller

Swiss fans out in force to support Lars Forster and Lukas Muller
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Mike Teunissen (Netherlands) clears the hurdles of the junior men's race

Mike Teunissen (Netherlands) clears the hurdles of the junior men's race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Matej Lasak (Czech Republic) was part of the early selection

Matej Lasak (Czech Republic) was part of the early selection
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Tim Merlier (Belgium) unclips as he heads into an icy corner

Tim Merlier (Belgium) unclips as he heads into an icy corner
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Cody Kaiser (USA) carries his bike during the junior men's race

Cody Kaiser (USA) carries his bike during the junior men's race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The supporters of Sven Nys are already out even though his race is one day away.

The supporters of Sven Nys are already out even though his race is one day away.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The Belgian team was shut out of the podium.

The Belgian team was shut out of the podium.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The Belgian riders quickly got into warm clothes after an icy cold race.

The Belgian riders quickly got into warm clothes after an icy cold race.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The Belgian riders are consoled after missing the podium

The Belgian riders are consoled after missing the podium
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) celebrates his new rainbow bands.

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) celebrates his new rainbow bands.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The junior men's podium in Tabor.

The junior men's podium in Tabor.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Laurens Sweeck's (Belgium) bib number presaged his placing.

Laurens Sweeck's (Belgium) bib number presaged his placing.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Tim Merlier (Belgium)

Tim Merlier (Belgium)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The Tabor mascot.

The Tabor mascot.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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David Van der Poel (Netherlands) was a strong favorite before the race.

David Van der Poel (Netherlands) was a strong favorite before the race.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Icy conditions led to plenty of crashes in the junior men's race.

Icy conditions led to plenty of crashes in the junior men's race.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The junior men's podium

The junior men's podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) takes the close sprint for the victory.

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) takes the close sprint for the victory.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Radek Polnicky (Czech Republic)

Radek Polnicky (Czech Republic)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Emiel Dolfsma (Netherlands) was happy with third.

Emiel Dolfsma (Netherlands) was happy with third.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Dark clouds but no snow for the races on Saturday

Dark clouds but no snow for the races on Saturday
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The skies cleared up for the Junior race.

The skies cleared up for the Junior race.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Emiel Dolfsma (Netherlands)

Emiel Dolfsma (Netherlands)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic)

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) puts the pressure on Julian Alaphilippe (France)

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) puts the pressure on Julian Alaphilippe (France)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) takes the sprint over Julian Alaphilippe (France)

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) takes the sprint over Julian Alaphilippe (France)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) shows his new hardware.

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) shows his new hardware.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) salutes the crowd.

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) salutes the crowd.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) runs up the steps.

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) runs up the steps.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Traffic jam as a Belgian falls on the corner

Traffic jam as a Belgian falls on the corner
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Junior Men's podium

The Junior Men's podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) zips up his rainbow jersey

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) zips up his rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) remounts during his winning ride.

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) remounts during his winning ride.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) gave his home crowd the perfect start to the 2010 Cyclo-cross World Championships, winning a sprint finish to claim the junior men's title in Tabor on Saturday. Paprstka edged out France's Julian Alaphilippe by half a bike length at the finish after the two dropped final-lap companion Emiel Dolfsma (Netherlands) in the closing stages of the race. Dolfsma finished third, nine seconds down on the leaders.

"I'd like to thank all spectators," said Paprstka after his win. "They were unbelievable and supported me so much. I enjoyed the conditions on the course today. This is my biggest win ever and hopefully there will be more like that in the future."

An exhausted Paprstka admitted that the sprint finish had played perfectly to his pre-race plan. "Last night my coach and I talked about the finish. He said the rider who hit the pavement first would win the sprint," he said. "It turned out like that and thus I knew I could win."

"We haven't made plans for a party, but for sure we will celebrate this victory."

Despite being narrowly edged out at the finish, Alaphilippe was pleased with second place. "I'm not really disappointed. On a course like this after a tough race I'm happy with the result that I've got. I was surprised to battle for the win but I came for the best possible result," he said.

"During the last laps I was in a group with three Dutch riders and then one crashed out of there. I attacked in an effort to get back to the leader. Once I got there I had sore legs and opted to wait for the sprint, which he won."

Of the Dutch riders, David van der Poel had been touted as the strongest contender for the win, but it was Emiel Dolfsma who led the team home with a bronze medal performance.

"During the last lap I was getting very close to the leader and one always tries to win but in the drop after the last bridge I crashed when my front wheel slid away. Then I was too far but I had run out of gas anyway. I opted to hold on for third instead of taking too many risks in an effort to get back to the front," he said.

While clearly happy with his own result, Dolfsma admitted that the team had expected a stronger showing in Tabor. "We had a few very strong riders so having only one rider on the podium isn't fantastic; we expected more from it. I wasn't the Dutch rider with all the expectation and that got me motivated. I didn't perform to the expectations at the European championships because of illness so then I focussed everything on the Worlds."

Slippery start

The Junior men's World Championship race began with the much-talked about conditions of the Tabor course playing havoc with the 46 rider field. Scrambling in the icy conditions, the opening kilometre quickly became a procession of riders - some on their bikes, some running - in search of clear track.

Those best able to avoid the carnage were the French, Dutch and Belgian squads, who had started on the front of the grid. France's Emilien Viennet was the first rider to push away from a quickly formed group of leaders that included pre-race favourite David van der Poel (Netherlands), Gert-Jan Bosman (Netherlands), Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium), Julian Alaphilippe (France) and Matej Lasak (Czech Republic). Viennet's slim advantage was short-lived however as he slipped over, with Vermeersch able to avoid the Frenchman and assume the lead.

At the end of the first lap, the group remained largely intact, with Bosman and Vermeersch leading Lasak, Van der Poel and Viennet across the line in 8:15 for the first of the five 3.2 kilometre laps.

On the second lap, Vermeersch went in search of the outright lead, but despite his best efforts could not shake his companions as the lead group gained confidence on the course and remained together to cross the line largely intact.

Paprskta mounts a Czech charge

Lap three created the first real shake-up of the leaders as Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) shot through the group and grabbed pole position at the front of the race. Using the barriers to navigate the tight corners of the course, Paprstka quickly built a six second lead over a chase led by Dutch and French jerseys.

Consolidating his lead throughout the penultimate lap, Paprstka looked strong as Dolfsma (Netherlands) and Alaphilippe (France) re-doubled their efforts to catch him from behind. Meanwhile, Bosman and Van der Poel's challenge appeared all but over.

Closing a 14 second gap at the start of the final lap, Alaphilippe was the first to reach Paprstka, with Dolfsma linking up as the trio passed the first of the back-markers. Despite having held the lead alone for two laps, Paprstka surged once more, with Alaphilippe the only one able to respond. Dolfsma slid out in a corner to spoil his final chance of a return to the front end of the race.

Swinging around the final corner side-by-side, Paprskta left nothing to chance as he opened the sprint over Alaphilippe. The Czech's power was too much for the Frenchman as he finished half a bike length behind the new junior World Champion.

Dolfsma crossed the line nine seconds later, but was clearly satisfied with his performance, pumping his fists in celebration of his podium position.

Cody Kaiser was the best placed of the US riders, finishing in 33rd, 3:05 down on Paprstka.
 

Results
1Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic)0:40:30
2Julian Alaphilippe (France)
3Emiel Dolfsma (Netherlands)0:00:09
4Matej Lasak (Czech Republic)0:00:19
5Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium)0:00:20
6Gert-Jan Bosman (Netherlands)0:00:39
7David Menut (France)0:00:48
8David Van Der Poel (Netherlands)
9Laurens Sweeck (Belgium)0:00:56
10Michiel Van Der Heijden (Netherlands)0:01:00
11Radek Polnicky (Czech Republic)0:01:01
12Tim Merlier (Belgium)0:01:09
13Clément Le Bras (France)
14Yannick Eckmann (Germany)0:01:11
15Clément Venturini (France)0:01:14
16Michael Boros (Czech Republic)0:01:31
17Bob Jungels (Luxembourg)0:01:32
18Vojtech Nipl (Czech Republic)0:01:40
19Emilien Viennet (France)0:01:49
20Diether Sweeck (Belgium)0:01:53
21Lars Forster (Switzerland)0:01:54
22Jannick Geisler (Germany)0:02:00
23Janusz Lessnau (Poland)
24Danny Van Poppel (Netherlands)0:02:14
25Fabio Alfonso Todaro (Italy)
26Lukas Müller (Switzerland)0:02:27
27Eduard Michael Grosu (Romania)0:02:28
28Wenzel Böhm-Gräber (Germany)0:02:32
29Jens Vandekinderen (Belgium)
30Julian Lehmann (Germany)0:02:42
31Jon Ander Insausti (Spain)0:02:50
32Francesco Acqvaviva (Italy)0:02:56
33Cody Kaiser (United States Of America)0:03:05
34Bartosz Pilis (Poland)0:03:06
35Nicolas Samparisi (Italy)0:03:17
36Thomas Moses (Great Britain)0:03:24
37Luke Gray (Great Britain)0:03:28
38Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spain)0:03:43
39Chris Wallace (United States Of America)0:04:08
40Kris Dahl (Canada)0:04:11
41Paulo Gonzalez Fontan (Spain)0:04:14
42Scott Thiltges (Luxembourg)0:04:16
43Fabian Lienhard (Switzerland)0:04:20
44Jeff Bahnson (United States Of America)0:04:21
45Mackenzie Carson (Canada)
46Pietro Santini (Italy)0:04:27
47Jaroslav Chalas (Slovakia)0:04:47
48Rudy Lorenzon (Italy)0:05:18
49Lex Reichling (Luxembourg)0:05:31
50Luke Grivell-Mellor (Great Britain)0:05:55
51Peio Goikoetxea (Spain)0:06:18
52Kiernan Orange (Canada)0:06:24
53Skyler Trujillo (United States Of America)0:06:27
54George Stancu (Romania)0:06:53
55Tom Schwarmes (Luxembourg)0:07:17
56Marek Michalec (Slovakia)0:07:38
57Matt Spinks (United States Of America)0:07:48
58Conor O'brien (Canada)0:08:22
59Lukas Gebrlin (Slovakia)0:08:34
60 -1lapDaniel Hula (Slovakia)
61Jonas Pedersen (Denmark)

 

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