Belgium 's Emiel Puttemans and England's Dave Bedford, both world record-holders who missed the European championships in September, took the first and second places in the La Croix International cross-country race at Vanves, Paris, on Sunday (1 December).
GV PAN START OF RACE (2 shots)
MV COMPETITORS UP HILL THROUGH CROWD (2 shots)
SV AND MV COMPETITORS UP STEEP EMBANKMENT (2 shots)
SV PAN TO GV PUTTEMANS LEADING BEDFORD ROUND BEND AND ALONG ROAD SECTION WITH SPECTATORS WATCHING (3 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO MV PAN PUTTEMAN ACROSS FINISHING LINE AND CROWD CHEERING
MV PAN BEDFORD CROSSING FINISHING LINE
Initials CL/2021 CL 2038
SPORT: CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING
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Background: Belgium 's Emiel Puttemans and England's Dave Bedford, both world record-holders who missed the European championships in September, took the first and second places in the La Croix International cross-country race at Vanves, Paris, on Sunday (1 December). Puttemans crossed the finishing line first, with Bedford only 24 seconds behind.
It was Puttemans' third successive victory, and the Belgian showed that he had fully recovered from the blood disorder that ruled him out of racing in Rome earlier this year.
At the start three hundred runners set off on the gruelling course and among them were 18 fellow members of Bedford's own club, Shaftesbury. Bedford himself was caught up in the males in the early stages, and was lying about fiftieth after half a mile.
After the first short lap of about three-quarters of a mile, he had fought his way through the rest of the field and was lying tenth - about 120 yards behind Puttemans. He had taken up the second place position behind Puttemans after about two miles, and was then content to let the Belgian act as pacemaker. Bedford took the lead at one point, but Puttemans made sure that his tenure was short-lived.
From then on the story of the race was the battle between the two front-runners, with Puttemans eventually snatching the laurels. In third place was another Englishman, Peter Standing, who was only fifteen seconds behind Bedford.