This past weekend, cyclo-cross national champions were crowned in , Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland
Many of the champions from the 16 countries will be toeing the line at the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, on February 2-3, 2013.
Here's a brief recap of a few of the races.
Belgium. Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) created quite the surprise when he dropped the favorites on the final lap, using a sandy section to his advantage, he was able to create and hold a small gap to the finish line where he had time to celebrate his first national title. A surging Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) was second and Vantornout 's teammate Kevin Pauwels was third.
With five laps to go on the fast course in Mol, six riders were still together at the front, Vantornout, Pauwels and defending champion Nys were joined by Niels Albert (BKCP – Powerplus) and teammate Rob Peeters and Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea). Attacked fused until Pauwels and Wellens managed to get a small gap. Albert quickly jumped to give chase with Vantornout on his wheel with two laps to go while Nys was moving up. With one lap to go, the five came back together.
“I still almost can't believe it.” 30-year old Vantornout told reporters a few minutes after his win.
Sanne Cant won her fourth championship title in the elite women's race. The 22-year old Enertherm - BKCP rider soloed to the win, crossing the line one minute ahead of her closest competitor Ellen van Loy (Melbotech). Joyce Vanderbeken (Vermeeren) was third.
France. After a slow start, Francis Mourey (FDJ) quickly made his way up to the front on the muddy race in Nommay and then proceeded to power away solo to reclaim the French cyclo-cross champion title for the seventh time in his career. Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) dropped the other chasers to take second place, crossing the line over one minute after his teammate. John Gadret (Ag2r La Mondiale) was third, a further two minutes later.
Lucie Chainel claimed her second consecutive title in the elite women's race, also in a solo fashion. Building on her gap of 40 seconds after one lap to 1:40 by the time she crossed the line a winner. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabobank) was second and Christel Ferrier-Bruneau, third.
The Netherlands. No surprise in the Dutch elite women's championship race in Tilburg where Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) soloed to take her third consecutive cyclo-cross title. Her teammates Sanne Van Paassen and Sabrina Stultiens rounded off the podium for a team sweep.
What seemed to be a duel quickly turned into a one-man show when Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Offroad) accelerated away from Lars Boom (Blanco) in the Dutch Cyclo-cross Championships. Half-way through the race, the 21-year old had 30 seconds on the chasers. Never looking back, van der Haar claimed his first title as an elite racer. Boom was second while Thijs van Amerongen (AA Cycling Team) was third.
Great Britain. Nikki Harris (Young Telenet Fidea) managed to stop Helen Wyman (Kona)'s streak of seven consecutive national titles in West Yorkshire. On the third lap, Harris caught and passed Wyman who crashed on the softening course. From that point on, Harris built up her lead to 50 seconds by the time she crossed the finish line a winner. Wyman had to settle for second and Annie Last (Trek Factory Racing) was third.
“Three 2nd places, and I was getting tired of second place and I really wanted to win today! I’ve definitely set my stall out this year and every race I’ve been getting better. When I came to look at the course it was heavy and hard and that’s good for me, so I’m made up – really happy!” Harris told BritishCycling.
Ian Field (Hargroves) successfully defended his elite men's title beating with Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis) taking second and David Fletcher (Orange Monkey), third.
In Italy, Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale) had such a big gap that he had time to dress up as Captain America to celebrate his national title before crossing the finish line. Enrico Franzoi (Selle Italia Guerciotti) was second and Mirko Tabacchi, third. After the race, Fontana announced on twitter that he would race at Louisville 2013.
|Country||Elite Women||Elite Men||Under23 Men||Junior Men|
|Austria||Nadja Heigl||Daniel Geismayr||Florian Gruber|
|Belgium||Sanne Cant||Klaas Vantornout||Laurens Sweeck||Yannick Peeters|
|Canada||Mical Dyck||Geoff Kabush||Evan McNeely||Peter Disera|
|Croatia||Antonela Ferencic||Filip Turk||Filip Cengic|
|Czech Republic||Pavla Havlikova||Zdenek Stybar||Adam Toupalik|
|Denmark||Margriet Helena Kloppenburg||Kenneth Hansen||Sebastian Carstensen Fini|
|Finland||Maija Rossi||Samuel Pökälä||Marco-Tapio Niemi|
|France||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre||Francis Mourey||Julian Alaphilippe||Clément Russo|
|Germany||Trixi Worrack||Philipp Walsleben||Markus Schulte-Luenzum||Marco König|
|Great Britain||Nikki Harris||Ian Field||Grant Ferguson||Billy Harding|
|Italy||Eva Lechner||Marco Aurelio Fontana||Bryan Falaschi||Gioele Bertolini|
|Japan||Sakiko Miyauchi||Yu Takenouchi||Kota Yokoyama|
|Luxembourg||Christine Majerus||Christian Helmig||Ken Mueller|
|Netherlands||Marianne Vos||Lars van der Haar||David van der Poel||Mathieu van der Poel|
|Poland||Magdalena Pyrgies||Marek Konwa||Bartosz Pilis||Michal Paluta|
|Portugal||Isabel Caetano||Vitor Santos||Roberto Ferreira||João Pereira|
|Slovakia||Tereza Medvedova||Martin Haring||Simon Vozar|
|Spain||Lucía Gonzalez||Aitor Hernández||Jonathan Lastra||Felipe orts|
|Sweden||Asa Maria Erlandsson||Magnus Darvell|
|Switzerland||Jasmin Achermann||Julien Taramarcaz||Lars Forster||Dominic Grab|
|United States||Katie Compton||Jonathan Page||Yannick Eckmann||Logan Owen|