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Ruddervoorde: The Pictures!

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The next best thing to watching the opening Cross race of the season? Doing my own race with JSallee... Or! A roll of pics from our own man on scene, Patrick Verhoest! Sounds like a lovely, muddy day in Ruddervoorde, with Niels Albert shoving Roger De Vlaeminck's words back in his face after De Vlaeminck told the media Albert doesn't work hard. The 25-year-old former arc en ciel has his legs back under him now, and he held off Bart Aernouts for the win today, with Klaas Vantournout a wee bit further in arrears. 4-5-6 were Sven Nys, Bart Wellens and Zdenek Stybar (shown above, looking resplendent in his rainbow Merckx and Quick Step kit). Shocking, I know, but it's early. And it promises to be a very, very competitive cross season if these guys can all stay healthy.

Way more pics on the flip!

I know people in Seattle love cross, and we turn out a good crowd. But it looks nothing like this:

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Air Styby! I'm guessing this was in warmups, and that the crowd loved it:

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Your Man of the Match, Belgian Champion Niels Albert:

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This guy will be heard from...

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It wouldn't be cross season without this guy, ol Sven Nys, even if he might not do his Hulk moment til early November...

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If you don't love this picture, you haven't figured out Cross yet.

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And your podium...

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This guy went home happy:

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And this bike got a well-deserved scrubdown...

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All photos by Patrick Verhoest