Cyclo-Cross...and albert Zweifel of Switzerland has won his third successive world professional title. This year's?
Cyclo-Cross...and albert Zweifel of Switzerland has won his third successive world professional title. This year's championships were held on Amorebieta in Spain on Sunday (22 January), and Zweifel defied appalling conditions to finish ahead of his team-mate Peter Frischknecht, with West Germany's Klaus Peter Thaler in third place.
SYNOPSIS: Conditions were so bad for the championships that officials reduced the number of laps for the race from eight to seven.
Each lap was two point nine kilometres long, and after heavy rain most of the circuit was a complete mudbath. For many of the competitors the conditions proved to be just too much. But not for the Swiss.
Zweifel, wearing number one, revelled in the mud. His strength and stamina were ideal qualities for the energy-sapping course, and with Frischknecht and Thaler he stormed ahead from the start. Zweifel's main rival was expected to be former World Champion Roger de Vlaeminck of Belgium, but he withdrew because of bronchitis.
Another Belgian, Albert Van Damme, also pulled out because of illness, and this left the Swiss virtually unchallenged in the team event.
It was difficult enough on the flat, but as Luxembourg's Lucien Zeimes found out the hills were really tough going.
Along the road, Frischknecht, number two, kept up the pressure on Zweifel.
Thaler, number 43, was there as well, looking for a break.
The mud covered most of the riders' numbers, but there was no hiding Zweifel's superiority. He finished the seven laps in one hour, seven minutes 21 seconds -- almost a minute ahead of Frischknecht.