Tom Boonen (Quick Step), whose participation in the next Tour de France may depend on a court order, won the Belgian road cycling championships on Sunday.
The 28-year-old outsprinted Philippe Gilbert and Kristof Goddart to claim his first national title as an elite on an undulating 234km course that some felt would not favor the big rider’s strengths.
“Philippe was the strongest today,” said Boonen. “I had no legs but I raced with my head. I am especially happy for my team, which did a great job.”
Now Boonen must wait to see whether a court will overturn a decision by Tour de France organizers to bar him from this year’s race over an out-of-competition positive for cocaine.
It was Boonen’s second positive for cocaine in less than a year. But while the drug is illegal, World Anti-Doping Agency rules do not list cocaine as a performance-enhancing substance unless it is used during competition.
Since both tests were conducted outside of competition, Boonen did not violate UCI anti-doping rules and the UCI declined to pursue other charges based on the assertion that Boonen had brought disrepute to the sport of cycling.
A verdict is expected Tuesday.
“Before thinking about the Tour, I want to savor my victory on Sunday,” Boonen said. “We’ll see what happens on Tuesday.” — Agence France Presse contributed to this report.
France gets Champion
The young Dimitri Champion, riding for the modest Bretagne-Schuller team, won the French road cycling title on Sunday.
Française des Jeux teammates Anthony Geslin and Anthony Roux finished second and third, respectively.
Champion was away with Geslin when Roux bridged up at the foot of the final climb.
“I knew that if I got two of the Française des Jeux against me, I was cooked. So I attacked, and I managed to hold them off to the end,” he said.
Roux said he and Geslin tried to chase Champion down, “but he was stronger than us.”
The 25-year-old Champion, who previously won the amateur national time-trial title, turned pro with Bouygues Telecom in 2007. But the team did not renew his contract, and Bretagne-Schuller picked him up in 2009.
The third-division Continental squad will not participate in the Tour de France, and so its newly minted national champion will not be able to display the tricolor in Le Grande Boucle.
Nevertheless, he said, “I’m very, very well at home, and I have no contact with other teams.”
For the first time in years the use of race radios was prohibited during the French national road championships. “”It was funny, there were more conversations between riders, it was another race,” said Champion.
Plaza pips Zaballa in Spain
Ruben Plaza (Liberty Seguros) became the Spanish road champion on Sunday in El Soplao, beating Constantino Zaballa and Mikel Astarloza.
Plaza took the bronze behind Alberto Contador in Friday’s individual time trial.
The 195km race was marked by a breakaway of 22 riders who took nearly three minutes on the bunch before being retrieved 25km from the finish.
Several riders tried their luck in the final climb, but it was Plaza who prevailed by three seconds over Zaballa and seven ahead of Astarloza.
Pozzato wins in Italy
Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) proved victorious on Sunday in the Italian national road championships.
Pozzato, 27, outsprinted a group containing Damiano Cunego and Luca Paolini to win the 257.3km race, which consisted of 11 laps on a circuit in Imola.
Schleck dynasty continues in Luxembourg
Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) won his first Luxembourg road championship on Sunday in Differdange, succeeding his brother Fränk.
The 23-year-old Schleck escaped with 70km to go and never looked back, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of Laurent Didier. Brother Fränk rounded out the podium in third.
Breschel claims Danish title
Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) outsped a pair of teammates — Chris Anker Sørensen and Frank Høj — to win the Danish road championship on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Breschel crossed the line in the 196km race just four seconds ahead of Sørensen with Høj a further nine seconds in arrears.
“I needed to prove something today,” he said afterward.
Cancellara scores first road crown
Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), better known as an individual time trialist and a man for the classics, won his first Swiss national road championship on Sunday.
The big Swiss, who has six national titles in the race against the clock, out-sprinted Mathias Frank for the road crown in the 180.4km race. Thomas Frei took third, 18 seconds back.
Reimer sprints to German victory
Martin Reimer (Cervélo TestTeam) outfought Dominic Klemme for the German national road title on Sunday, with Roger Kluge third.
Fabian Wegmann, the champion during the past two years, had to settle for fifth in the 240km contest.
Reime, 22, said afterward: “I knew I had won three meters before the finish. Klemme was finished.”
Ljungqvist wins third title in Sweden
Veteran Marcus Ljungqvist (Saxo Bank) collected his third national road title on Sunday, out-kicking Fredrick Ericsson (Team Capinordic) to win the 201km race.
Patrik Morén (Vallentuna Cycling Team) finished third at 13 seconds.
Ljungqvist, 34, previously won the national championship in 1996 and 2001.
Arvesen collects fifth crown in Norway
Kurt-Asle Arvesen defended his Norwegian road crown on Sunday, soloing in for the victory just three seconds ahead of a five-man pursuit after 187km of racing.
Alexander Kristoff took second followed by Thor Hushovd in third.
It was the fifth title for Arvesen, 34, and the second consecutively.
Moerenhout takes second Dutch title
Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) won his second road title in the Netherlands on
Sunday in Landgraaf, where he defeated Kenny van Hummel (Skil) and Joost van
Leyen (Van Vliet).
Moerenhout, 25, previously won the national title in 2007. Last year, he finished second to Lars Boom.
It was the first win this season for Moerenhout, who did not make Rabobank’s team for the Tour de France.
Eibegger wins in Austria
Markus Eibegger won Sunday’s Austrian road cycling championship, defeating Martin Schšffmann and Bernhard Eisel.
It was the 24-year-old Eibegger’s first national championship.
The winner of the past two years, Christian Pfannberger, did not compete; he was suspended in May by his Katusha team after testing positive for EPO.
Poland: Krzysztof Jezowski (CCC Polsat-Polkowice)
Slovakia: Martin Velits (Milram)
Czech Republic: Martin Mares
Portugal: Manuel Cardoso (Liberty Seguros)
1. Tom Boonen (Quick Step), 234km in 5:42:00
2. Philippe Gilbert, s.t.
3. Kristof Goddaert, s.t.
4. Greg Van Avermaet, s.t.
5. Björn Leukemans, s.t.
6. Nikolas Maes, s.t.
7. Ben Hermans, s.t.
8. Nick Nuyens, s.t.
9. Kevin Pauwels, s.t.
10. Stijn Vandenbergh, s.t.
1. Dimitri Champion (Bretagne-Schuller) 248km in 6:05:55 (40.665 km)
2. Anthony Geslin (Française des Jeux), at 0:05
3. Anthony Roux (Française des Jeux), same time
4. Anthony Charteau (Caisse d’Epargne), at 1:03
5. Hubert Dupont (Ag2r), at 1:05
6. Geoffroy Lequatre (Ag2r), at 1:14
7. Christophe Riblon (Ag2r), s.t.
8. Stéphane Auge (Cofidis), s.t.
9. Julien Simon (BCS), s.t.
10. Nicolas Jalabert (Ag2r), s.t.
1. Ruben Plaza (Liberty Seguros), 195km in 4:49:55 (40.35 km/h)
2. Constatino Zaballa, at 0:03
3. Mikel Astarloza, at 0:07
4. Alejandro Valverde, at 0:16
5. Igor Anton, at 0:19
6. Berñat Intxausti, at 0:23
7. Xavier Tondo, at 0:26
8. Santiago Pérez, s.t.
9. Juan José Cobo, s.t.
10. Francisco Mancebo, at 0:29
1. Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), 257.3km in 6:34.45
2. Damiano Cunego, same time
3. Luca Paolini, s.t.
4. Francesco Gavazzi, s.t.
5. Alessandro Bertolini, s.t.
6. Marco Marcato, s.t.
7. Gabriele Bosisio, s.t.
8. Massimiliano Gentili, s.t.
9. Carlo Scognamiglio, s.t.
10. Daniele Callegarin, s.t.
1. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), 155.1km in 3:36:39
2. Laurent Didier, at 1:56
3. Fränk Schleck, at 2:01
4. Kim Kirchen, at 2:06
5. Vincenzo Centrone, at 2:12
1. Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank), 196km in 4:42:29
2. Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank), at 0:04
3. Frank Høj (Saxo Bank), at 0:13
4. Brian Bach Vandborg (Liquigas), s.t.
5. Martin Pedersen (Team Capinordic), at 1:48
1. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), 180.4km in 4:11:23
2. Mathias Frank, same time
3. Thomas Frei, at 0:18
4. Simon Zahner, at 0:40
5. Andrea Dietziker, s.t.
1. Martin Reimer (Cervélo TestTeam), 240km in 5:25:47 (44.20 km/h)
2. Dominic Klemme, same time
3. Roger Kluge, at 0:05
4. Marcel Sieberg, at 0:07
5. Fabian Wegmann, at 0:23
1. Marcus Ljungqvis (Saxo Bank), 201km in 4:58:16
2. Fredrick Ericsson, same time
3. Patrik Morén, at 0:13
1. Kurt-Asle Arversen, 4:18:53
2. Alexander Kristoff, at 0:03
3. Thor Hushovd, same time
1. Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), 210km in 5 :04:55 (41.322 km/h)
2. Kenny van Hummel, same time
3. Joost van Leyen, s.t.
4. Bobbie Traksel, s.t.
5. Addy Engels, s.t.
1. Markus Eibegger, 4:15:03
2. Martin Sch?ffmann, same time
3. Bernhard Eisel, at 0:07
1. Krzysztof Jezowski (CCC Polsat-Polkowice), 253km in 6:09:22
2. Tomasz Smolen, same time
3. Blazej Janiaczyk, s.t.
1. Martin Velits (Milram), 194.4km in 5:03:08
2. Jan Valach, at 1:07
3. Matej Jurco, same time
1. Martin Mares, 194.4km in 5:01:45
2. Stanislav Kozubek, at 1:21
3. Vojtech Dlouhy, at 2:30
1. Manuel Cardoso (Liberty Seguros), 161.5km in 4:22:50 (37,689 km/h)
2. Rui Costa, at 0:08
3. Hölder Oliveira, at 0:13
4. Bruno Barbosa, at 0:23
5. Joaquim Andrade, at 0:28