2. Klaas Vantornout
3. Lars Van der Haar
Amazing race! Amzing racers! amazing condition on the field: sandbags 30 m from the circuit waiting for the river Ohaio to flood, freezing cold, icy wet snowing. Messy start.
French Mourey breaks away, chasing Belgians chase: a compact bleau mass. An orange points just behinde: Lars Van der Haar is 6th.
2nd is Kevin Pauwels, he finally attacks and soon Mourey is caught. The front group it's now a Belgian group with Mourey trying to resist the hard pace, Albert almost dropped and Van der Haar still chasing. Still 6th. Then a drama: mechanic for Pauwels! Nys goes away with Klaas Vantorhaut while cameras shows Pauwels still there trying to fix his bike. A small group passes him and it seems that Van der Haar is 4th now.
Two laps to go the leading group cross the line in that order: 1 Nys 2 Vantornhout 3 Albert 4 Van der Haar. Mourey cracked. Then...WOOOW! Van der Haar passed Albert! I'm jumping on my chair: "Go HAAR-DER! PODIUM! PODIUM!"
Last lap: Van der Haar is 3th at 16''. Nys and Vantornout are flying in the heavy wet snow. The crowd gets nuts. Finish! Nys rises his arms: it's done! World Campion! but both turn twice just before, looking for an orange point to apear from behinde the last curve: Van der Haar is fast, and he's close. Not so close to be a danger tought. He cross the line as 3rd exulting, showing three fingers and a big smile.
On the podium Van der Haar looks the happiest: goes first to shake hands with Nys and Vantornout - distracted and a bit surprised - smile no-stop, throw his bouquet like a bride. Klaas Vantornout is very serious: maybe a little sorry? the 2nd place is always the less confortable. But he did a great race, Klaas, and had a great season so far. Sven Nys is serious too, but he's always serious. This time however he looks moved and finally shows a little smile. Just for photographers and cameras? I don't think so: he's proud. Few later, interviwed, he says: "It costs a lot but... yeah... I'm very happy".
Three flags slowly rise: two are Belgian but one is Dutch and I think it's a incredible feeling to think "It's there because I did well". Yes: Lars Van der Haar did incredible well! I'll be proud to wear my Go Haar-der jersey...when it will be here :)