Preview Belgian relay champs
Technically it's not the most demanding terrain, but there are some tricky areas with a lot of details. For sure during a relay (with the extra stress) runners will make mistakes here.
An other important fact is the scale. After some negotiations and discussions, the decision has been made and the scale will be 1/7500. To my opinion a good decision for the runners to make this map and details readable.
Report WRE race 2008
Favourits in men elite:
If we take a look at the favourits in class H21E (named Hopen), we can take the results from last year as basics. The terrain was totally different in 2010 and a lot of runners made big mistakes. Actually only Trol could avoid big errors during that race and won the champs with 11min ahead of Hamok. Trol (Ken Peeters - Desmond Franssen - Sergey Fedatsenka) will run with exactly the same team as last year and will be again among the favourits. Actually Trol also wanted to register a strong 2nd team, but because Jeremy Genar and Michael Van Baelen have exams that team isn't as strong as they hoped.
The podium at the relay champs 2010 in class Hopen with Trol(1st), Hamok(2nd) and Kol(3rd).
The number 2 from 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 (Hamok) will have 2 strong teams at the startline. The first team (Jeroen Hoekx - Thomas van der Kleij - Dries van der Kleij) is stronger compared to last year, so they will fight for the victory for sure. Hamok2 (Benjamin Anciaux - Jeroen van der Kleij - Tom Herremans) can try to reach the finish as best 2nd team, which is also an honour during the tiomila-relay. The talented junior runners (Toon Melis and Tristan Bloemen) will still run in junior class instead of the open class. For your information: in 2006 Hamok only became 3rd...
Omega, winner of the relay champs 2009, is also able to fight for the podium. In 2009 the terrain was also really fast and they have exactly the same team now. Joost Talloen showed his good shape during the Flanders 3-days, Bart Delobel will be ready and also Wouter Leeuws started training again after his break. In total Omega has 4 teams competing in Hopen.
Kol, the 4th big Flemish team, is probably the team with the best runners among its members. Last year they had a really strong team, but made too many mistakes. This edition some good runners won't show up at the relay champs: no Pieter Hendrickx, no Yannick Michiels, no Geert Simkens,... Kol1 will be present with Gert Claes, Wannes Hendrickx and woc runner Tomas Hendrickx.
An other team (from the south of Belgium) which will be able to fight for the medals is HOC. The team from Fabien Pasquasy won the relay champs in 2008 and was 4th last year. The only question is which toprunners will be Pasquasy's teammates...
Also Asub (Bernard, Colomb, Krier, de Neyer brothers,...), Les Raptors (Van Gasse, Goubau,...), NSV Amel (Langer, Theiss and Lenges), Ardoc (Bastin and Hennes), CO Liege and OLV Eifel can create good teams. But we have no idea which runners have registered for this competition.
Favourits in Dopen:
In womens class Omega is the favourit as always. This edition Elisabeth Henkes will be absent in the team, but Miek Fabre - Kim Geypen - Veerle Tulleneers are also able to defend the title. The opponents will be for sure Asub (Mulpas, Hoofd and De Longueville) and Co Liege (Kosinska, VanderMeulen and Hermans), if they will have the same runners as last year. Or maybe Ardoc, Hamok, Kol or Trol can surprise and reach the podium.