World cross champs: Solo victory for Albert in Holland

Neils Albert cyclo cross worlds 2009

Cyclo-Cross World Championships photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>

Niels Albert rode a flawless attacking performance at Hoogerheide to win the World cyclo-cross Championship.

The 22-year-old Belgian, who suffered a ruptured spleen earlier this season, led the race from start to finish to add the senior rainbow jersey to last year?s under-23 title.

Despite a spirited chase from Czech Zdenek Stybar, Albert soloed to victory with ample time to celebrate the victory before Stybar crossed the line. Sven Nys completed the podium positions.

Albert looked untroubled throughout the hour-long race on the hard but bumpy ground, unlike one of the pre-race favourites Lars Boom. An early bike change saw the Dutchman lose contact with the 12-strong chasing group and he never recovered on this super-fast course.

With their man holding a 12-second lead over chaser Stybar, the Belgian squad held all the cards, with five riders sitting comfortably in the bunch before, first Nys, then Bart Wellens, peeled off the front to ensure at least two out of the three medals made the short trip back across the border to Belgium.

The three British riders battled away in this lightening-paced race, with Jody Crawforth finishing best of the Brits in 31st.

ELITE MEN: RESULTS
1. Niels Albert (Belgium)

2. Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)

3. Sven Nys (Belgium)

4. Bart Wellens (Belgium)

5. Francis Mourey (France)

6. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium)

7. Sven Vanthourenhout (Belgium)

8. Simon Zahner (Switzerland)

9. Steve Chainel (France)

10. Klaas Vantornout (Belgium)

British

31. Jody Crawforth

39. Ian Field

48. Paul Oldham

Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2009

Top British finisher Jody Crawforth

Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2009

A muddy Ian Field

Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2009

Paul Oldham

2009 CYCLO-CROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: LINKS

Cyclo-Cross World Championships photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>

Elite men: Solo victory for Albert in Holland

Elite women: Wyman crashes while Vos wins

Under-23 men: Fletcher shows promise

Juniors: Dutchman takes gold

World cross champs: blog from Hoogerheide

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