At the age of 22, Kevin Kuhn brilliantly fulfilled his role as favorite in the race for the Swiss title this Sunday. He managed to secure the win in Hittnau under horrid weather conditions, only a few days after his victory on an identical course in the EKZ CrossTour. His two competitors Lars Forster and Timon Ruegg, whom he had fought off a week earlier, complete the podium again today.
While he may had previously been crowned Swiss champion in the Junior and U23 categories, this is Kevin Kuhn's first coronation in the most prestigious cylocross category in his country. This morning, he took the start as favorite on the circuit of Hittnau which had the look of a ski slope, buried in snow and in freezing cold. Despite all that, he did not waver. The Tormans Cyclo Cross rider had carefully prepared for the big day by opting to train on home soil in order to fully acclimatize to Swiss terrain, and his efforts paid off. Given the weather conditions, only a skillful and fully-focused rider could hope to win, and Kevin Kuhn brilliantly defeated his rivals Forster and Ruegg to earn the right to display his new kit of champion of Switzerland for the coming year.
Emiel Verstrynge can hold his head high after his first Belgian championships in the Elite category. The 18-year-old débutant finished fourteenth, and he is now desperately hoping for the U23 championship to be held later this season. Quinten Hermans had started well on the Meulebeke track, but lost contact with the best after a crash in the second lap. The rider from Tessenderlo crossed the line in seventh position, two minutes behind the winner Wout Van Aert. In the female race, a medical problem thwarted the plans of Shana Maes who, diminished, finished her race in eighteenth place.
“What an incredible day. My girlfriend and I have become Swiss champions in the Elite category today, which is something quite unique. The route was supposed to be the same as that of last week in the EKZ Cross Tour, but today the ice cold made it particularly tricky. As far as the race is concerned, I quickly took the lead, then Lars Forster took over and I had to grind deep to follow him. I considered myself to be in an ideal situation, until his crash. At that point, I had to improvise a seemingly never-ending solo. Despite my intent to take as little risk as possible, I crashed with a lap and a half to go and my lead was only 20 seconds, which I guess made the finale more exciting. In the end, I was able to resist to earn this fantastic jersey which I am now looking forward to displaying at the World Cup in Overijse later this month."
Swiss Championships Men Elite:
2.Lars Forster + 0:26
3.Timon Rüegg +1:02
Belgian Championships Men Elite:
1.Wout Van Aert
2.Toon Aerts +0:20
3.Michael Vanthourenhout +0:41
7.Quinten Hermans +2:01
Belgian Championships Women Elite: