Itâ€™s hard to believe itâ€™s October already. It seems like just yesterday we were talking about what may happen this upcoming cross season. This past weekend was another action-packed weekend throughout the cross world. In Europe, all eyes were on Kalmthout, which brought all of the top Europeans together for one last tune up before their season begins in earnest with next weekend’s Superprestige race.
Cyclo-cross Interternational Podbrezova (C2) and Trofeo Rigoni di Asiago (C2)
We continued our trend of incorrectly picking the winners of races nobody knows about this past weekend. The race in Podbrezova, Czech Republic was won by Slovokian Robert Gavenda. Our pick, Martin Zlamalik, made an unexpected start in Klamthout, where he finished a disappointing 28th. In Asiago, Italy Enrico Franzoi finished second to Cristian Cominelli in a four-man sprint.
Vlaamse Industrieprijs Bosduin (C1)
One week before the Superprestige series kicks-off, it was the Belgian national champion, Niels Albert, who soloed to victory a head of Bart Wellens and Tom Meeusen. Meeusen, a young up-and-comer with several wins to his name in 2010, outsprinted Frenchmen Francis Mourey for that final podium spot. Mourey showed his good form, finishing in all too familiar fourth place, while Sven Nys, who will go for his 11th Supreprestige title this season, finished 6th, well off the pace following a last-lap tangle with young rival Kevin Pauwels. Pauwels clipped a tree on one of Kalmthout’s twisting, off-camber hairpin turns while Nys was right behind him, while Wellens slipped by to resume the chase of Albert. Wellens finished a mere thirteen second behind Albert, showing that his North American trip was clearly worth it.Â
The big news over the weekend were some inappropriate remarks made by Blegian road and cross legend Roger De Vlaeminck towards Niels Albert at the Suprestige presentation on Thursday. The 64-year-old former cyclo-cross world champion and quadruple winner of Paris-Roubaix was quick to praise Sven Nys, but proceeded to call Albert unprofessional. After a bizarre exchange of champagne and mixed messages, the two left the presentation leaving everyone a bit confused.
The bottom line is that De Vlaeminck feels that Albert and Jurgen Van den Broeck (whom he also made negative remarks toward) arenâ€™t respectful of their elders, including de Vlaemnick. Thereâ€™s appears to be some sort of personal grudge De Vlaeminck is carrying against some of the sports young top-tier riders. Meanwhile, the rest of the cross world, including Nys, have Albert’s back. Reactions indicated that they were pretty much disgusted by the whole thing. Albert definitely got the last word with his victory in Kalmthout. Hopefully thatâ€™s the end of this little soap opera.