West German rider Klaus Thaler broke the Belgian domination of the World Cyclo-Cross Championship today (Saturday) when he won the amateur event, staged at London's Crystal Palace.
GV Start of race; Amateur World Championship
GV Riders round bend, dismount, pick up bikes & carry them up incline (4 shots)
SV Spectators, some waving flags (2 shots)
GV Winner across line & being congratulated (2 shots)
GV Start of professional race
GV Riders across fields & up inclines (4 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT Crowd
SV Winner receives bouquet
Initials ESP/0248 ESP/0309
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Background: West German rider Klaus Thaler broke the Belgian domination of the World Cyclo-Cross Championship today (Saturday) when he won the amateur event, staged at London's Crystal Palace.
The seven-lap cross-country race over parkland provided a tense and exciting finish. Thaler held off Belgian Robert Vermeire, the champion two years ago, to win by one length. It was the first time in five years that a Belgian rider has failed to win the event.
But there was compensation in the Belgian camp when their star rider Eric de Vlaeminck maintained his personal supremacy in the professional championship. He won the title for the sixth successive year in another close finish - beating French rider Andre Wilhelm by one second.
SYNOPSIS: At London's Crystal Palace track normally associated with motor-racing, the World Cyclo-Cross Championships got underway on Saturday with the start of the amateur event. This is the sport that mixes the best of cycle racing with a test of cross country endurance - and the riders from a dozen European countries, plus the United States and Australia, were soon slogging across undulating parkland. It's an event that has been dominated by Belgian riders recently. They have provided the winner for the last five years.
But it didn't prevent a Swiss contingent in the crowd from showing the flag in the hope of a major upset. At the finish line, the upset duly came - with West German rider Klaus Thaler just edging ahead of Belgian Robert Vermeire, who won the event two years ago. West Germany also took the team prize.
The start of the professional event, which has also been dominated by the Belgians for the past five years. In fact, the championship has been the personal preserve of Eric de Vlaeminck, who was bidding to win it for the sixth successive year. Only seven European countries were represented tin the professional race. And again, a West German, Wolfshohl, made a good showing until he lost time because of a puncture.
In the final sprint, de Vlaeminck just edged ahead of the sole French rider, Andre Wilhelm to take the title for the sixth time. The Belgians also won the team event.