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16th Bavikhove Criterium - Belgium
By Staff
Date: 9/3/2007
16th Bavikhove Criterium - Belgium

16th Bavikhove Criterium - Belgium
The stars came out to add their names to the annual race's palmares alongside some of the greats. Robbie McEwen returned to defend his championship... but it was team mate Leif Hoste who got the honors.  Photo Gallery

Photos by Yoni Peteers

Rider Call up at the start

26 year olds, Steven Caethoven (who has signed a contract with Agritubel for 2 years) and his teammate Tom Stubbe who has signed with Francaise des Jeux. Photo Yoni Peeters

Whats a sprinter to do if he wasn't in his teams squad for the Vuelta a Espana? Obviously you go to Belgium and sharpen your legs in the multitude of fast criteriums and derny races seems to be the answer. The 16th running of the prestigious Baikhove Criterium drew some top pro talent for the race.

Rasmussen got a lot of attention at the start and seemed to enjoy being in the spotlight. Photo Yoni Peeters

Hunter, Rasmussen and Ballan at the start.
Napolitano and Rasmussen at the start.

Fan favorites Lampre/Fondital duo Alessandro Ballan and Danilo Napolitano riding to prepare for the tour of Poland later this month. Photo Yoni Peeters

The annual criterium always draws some of the toughest and top talent with the race palmares reading like a who's who of fast legs. Robbie McEwen was at the race to defend his title of  last year having added his name alongside Bettini, Mario Cipollini, Andrea Tafi, Djamolidine Abduzhaparov, and Johan Museeuw who won a record four times. (Race Palmares Below)

Click on photos for larger image.

Unibet's Gorik Gardeyn of Egem, and Michael Rasmussen arrive at the start
Photo Yoni Peeters

This years race drew top talent again but it was Leif Hoste of Belgium who won the Criterium in Bavikhove. The finish came to a sprint of two, and the Belgian time trial champion proved to have the fastest legs of his break mate Lampre/Fondital's Alessandro Ballan. Robbie Hunter of Barloworld led the peloton to the finish for third place.

Early circuits the MeEwen and Mattan chat at the front of the peloton as they pass through the crowds that lined the streets. Photo Yoni Peeters

Mc Ewen leads the escape in front of Rasmussen and Frank Vandenbroucke.
Photo Yoni Peeters

Quick Step's Matteo Tossato leads the chase of the McEwen group.
Photo Yoni Peeters

Ballan and Tossato chase. - Robbie Hunter in action  Photo Yoni Peeters

Podium Misses & Kisses

Leif Hoste enjoys the podium lasses nuzzle and kiss after his win.
Photo Yoni Peeters

Podium: 3rd place Robbie Hunter, winner Leif Hoste and 2nd place Alessandro Ballan.Photo Yoni Peeters

Kim Kirchen of T-Mobile receives flowers. Photo Yoni Peeters

Podium Portraits
Leif Hoste waves to the fans from the podium
Ballan and Hunter chat on the podium.

Lampre's Alessandro Ballan Photo Yoni Peeters

South Africa's Robbie Hunter (Barloworld) Photo Yoni Peeters

Race Palmares
2007 Leif Hoste Belgium
2006 Robbie Mc Ewen Australia
2005 Alexandre Vinokourov Kazhkastan
2004 Thomas Voeckler France
2003 Peter Van Petegem Belgium
2002 Paolo Bettini Italy
2001 Mario Cipollini Italy
2000 Erik Dekker Netherlands
1999 Johan Museeuw Belgium
1998 Andrea Tafi Italy
1997 Jo Planckaert Belgium
1996 Abraham Olano Spain
1995 Johan Museeuw Belgium
1994 Djamolidine Abduzhaparov Uzbekistan
1993 Johan Museeuw Belgium
1992 Guido Bontempi Italy
1991 Johan Museeuw Belgium

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