HOC wins Belgian Relay Championship
HOC’s starter Coupat took the lead from hamok at the second control and finished with an advantage of almost 4 minutes, while hamok had to gain more places in the last part, arriving only fifth at the spectator control, but finishing in second place, half a minute in front of Christophe Bernard of Asub. Nearby, there was also Noël Nijsten for Borasca and Dries Heuninckx for KOL. Other favourites, like Trol, Omega and NSV Amel already lost some time during the first leg.
Hamok’s second runner Dries van der Kleij was not able to close the gap to HOC’s Johann Tinchant, but still managed a clean run, losing three minutes, but more importantly, increasing the lead to the third club by quite a few minutes. KOL arrived in third place, with Bruno De Lat, always good in Relays. Asub got lost somewhere, but the others were able to keep up the fight for the third place.
Fabien Pasquasy ran the third leg for HOC. With such a comfortable advantage, it was almost impossible that he would not win the championship. Hamok’s runner was Thomas van der Kleij, who did another steady race and secured the second place, just like last year. While there was not much exciting about the first two places, the fight for the third place was more interesting: Omega’s Bart Delobel, Borasca’s Jan Oeyen, Robert Theiss for NSV Amel and Tom Mariën for KOL were close together, but in the end, KOL was the clear number three, securing their position during the last 3 controls.
The women’s class was more exciting. The clear favourites in this class were Omega with Miek Fabré, Els Talloen and Elisabeth Henkes, and CO Liège with Aline Hermans and Muriël and Severine Vandermeulen. Fabré was by far the fastest first leg runner and she gave Talloen, perhaps Omega’s weakest link, a comfortable lead, which she was not able to hold, however.
Ardoc, with Katharina Henkes and Veronique Bastin was the first team to start the third leg, but Anne Werding was not able to match the speed of the competition, most notably Aline Hermans and Elisabeth Henkes. At the spectator control, about halfway, Hermans was leading, but the young Henkes was less than a minute behind. In a breathtaking sprint, it was eventually Henkes who crossed the finish line first. The third place was for Asub, but at quite a distance.