Cyclo-Cross -- and Kees Van der Velde from the Netherlands won the Halford's International Grand Prix in London on Sunday (26 November).
Cyclo-Cross -- and Kees Van der Velde from the Netherlands won the Halford's International Grand Prix in London on Sunday (26 November). With West Germany's Dieter Ubing taking second place, and Alphonse Van Parijs from Belgium finishing third, it was a clean sweep for riders from the continent.
SYNOPSIS: The 3,000 pound sterling (6,000 U.S. dollar) Halford's International Cyclo-Cross Grand Prix attracted more than 100 contestants, including a large number of top european cyclists. Cyclo-cross with its tough courses does not enjoy the popularity of road and track cycling in Europe, and many riders are forced to travel afar for competitions. On this occasion the undulating grassland circuit proved hard going for some.
It was on the third lap of the 16-mile (25 kilometre) course that the non-British challenge began to assert itself. Number 10, Kees Van der Velde from the Netherlands in the lead, closely followed by West Germany's Dieter Ubing, and a string of other continental riders.
As the race progressed, the course took its toll, with some of the weaker riders forced to with some of the weaker riders forced to carry their machines up the steeper inclines. But Van der Velde, Holland's professional champion, forged ahead, demonstrating the power and pace that has gained victories in en events this season.
Van der Velde went on to increase his lead, and took the chequered flag 45 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
So, on the victor's rostrum it was Holland first, West Germany -- second -- and Belgium, third. It was a fine performance by Van der Velde who the previous evening had finished fifth in a major belgian race. And with Britain's highest-placed rider sixth, it was further evidence of superior continental cycling.