Neils Albert (Belgium) with two laps to go
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25-year old wins second world title
With an irrefutable performance in the dunes of Koksijde 25-year-old Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) completed a race-long solo to capture his second win at the Cyclo-cross World Championships. No other rider combined his excellent technical skills through the sand stretches with the brutal power he had on the sections in between the two unforgiving dunes.
The race in Koksijde, a coastal town at the North Sea in Belgium, was attended by a crowd of more than 60000 ‘cross crazy fans which included the Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and – he must be an Albert-fan – the King of Belgium, Albert II. After the first world championship race was held in Koksijde back in 1994 a dune was named after winner Paul Herygers. The organizers promised to name the now-called X-dune after the winner of Sunday’s race.
“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 succeeded,” Albert said.
In mid-November the cyclo-cross season of Albert was brutally interrupted when he broke his trapezoid bone during a training ride. An overall win in one of the three major series was no longer possible since he missed rounds in all of them. Despite wins in Ruddervoorde and Zonhoven it was clear that Albert needed to come up with a big win to save his season. There were two options, the Belgian national championships and the world championships.
“After the Belgian championships I gathered with my entourage and told them I would put all my money on the world championships,” Albert said. Together with his BKCP-Powerplus manager and friend Christoph Roodhooft, he headed to Spain to prepare in the best possible conditions. “We created a bond there and the people close to me live along with that. If you can pull of a win after these sacrifices then it’s no wonder that there
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