After three races in the mass start, Bart Swings leads the World Cup rankings. But even after Friday’s race in Stavanger, Norway, the 32-year-old Flemish Brabander still has to wait for his first victory.
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Behind the Dutch day winner Marcel Bosker and the Swiss Livio Wenger, Swings finished third. The difference between Wenger, Swings and the fourth arriving New Zealander Peter Michael was minimal. Dutchman Bart Hoolwerf, who led the standings for the race, fell in the final corner.
Bosker was part of a group of five that distanced itself from the peloton early on. The Italian Daniele di Stefano initially chased, but Swings subsequently refused to take over. Bosker was the only one in the escape group to stay ahead of the sprinting pursuers.
It was the third mass start race of the season. In Japan Hoolwerf Swings was too quick, in China the Italian combination Andrea Giovannini and Di Stefano were the boss. Back in Europe, he had shown at a marathon in Hoorn that there is nothing wrong with his sprinting ability.
Three other Belgian skaters competed in the B category in Stavanger. The best performance was achieved by Indra Médard, who finished third in the mass start behind the Norwegian Allan Dahl Johansson and the Frenchman Mathieu Belloir. In the 1,000 meters, Robbe Beelen debuted in 27th place in 1:13.60. The winner was the American Jordan Stolz (1:08.47). Among the women, Isabelle van Elst finished thirteenth in 1:18.90. First place went to the Dutch Femke Kok (1:16.83).
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In a chaotic mass start during the World Cup races in Stavanger, Norway, Sandrine Tas ultimately classified fifth on Friday. It took the organizers a long time to arrive at an official result.
The reason for the confusion was the performance of the Dutch Olympic champion Irene Schouten, who doubled almost the entire peloton to the finish. As a result, the outdated drivers had to abandon the race. Anyone who does not do so must be disqualified according to the rules.
That fate happened to ten female riders. Don’t bag. She crashed in the final phase, before the penultimate lap, and did not finish. Canada’s Valérie Maltais is first in the World Cup rankings (145 points). With 97 points, Tas occupies fifth place.