The Women’s Elite race of the European ‘Cross Championships in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands [Link] was open until the last moment: From the first lap several top riders had joined Annemarie Worst in the lead group, among them Denise Betsema and Marianne Vos from the Netherlands as well as Sanne Cant, Ellen van Loy and Loes Sels from Belgium.
The Dutch trio was more cooperative or at least more active. Worst, Vos and Betsema kept the speed high, forcing van Loy and Sels to fall behind. In the penultimate lap Annemarie Worst attacked from a technical section and the competition could not follow. Even though Vos and company were able to catch up by two seconds, in the end it was 22-year old Worst of team Steylaerts 777 who prevailed, riding her STEVENS Super Prestige to victory. Marianne Vos sprinted to second place, the all-Dutch podium was completed by Denise Betsema. Sanne Cant, IKO-Beobank, comes in fourth. Also on STEVENS Super Prestige Alice Maria Arzuffi adds her seventh place to the good results of team Steylaerts 777.
“That was a dream come true“, Worst said after the race, and continued: “I tried to escape a couple of times, but it didn’t work out until the second-to-last lap when suddenly the gap was as big as five seconds.” The European Championships are Annemarie Worst’s second major title after winning the U23 Worlds in 2017.
In the Men’s Elite race it was Wout van Aert to escape from the pack at the beginning. Behind him a chase group formed including Mathieu van der Poel, Lars van der Haar and Toon Aerts. Van der Poel soon caught up to the World Champion – and even attacked as soon as the end of the second of nine laps. Wout van Aert continued to ride the remaining laps in superb fashion riding his Signature Super Prestige to second place. Behind him Laurens Sweeck prevailed over the competition to finish third. Gianni Vermeersch of Steylaerts 777 comes in ninth, Tim Merlier (Crélan Charles), also on STEVENS Super Prestige, finishes on place eleven.
The good results of Steylaerts 777 are completed by the sixth places of Yara Kastelijn in the U23 women’s and Timo Kielich in the U23 men’s race.
U19 World Champion Ben Tulett did not start due to a knee injury. Jakub Toupalik comes in fifth on STEVENS Super Prestige. In the Juniors’ race Tom Lindner of STEVENS Racing Team rides to place eight, the best result of any German rider. He had settled among the top ten very early and kept that position throughout the race.