On day two of the World Championships in Ostend this Sunday, three riders of the Tormans Cyclo Cross Team were again at the start, this time for the Elites men race. Quinten Hermans, 5th in the World Cup overall classification, was selected by the Belgian national team. For Kevin Kuhn, the Swiss champion, it was his first race for the rainbow jersey with the Elites, one year after he earned a silver medal in the U23 race. As for Corné van Kessel, who recently became a father, he took the start dressed in his orange outfit of the Dutch team.
The trio took off in the shadow of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert towards the bridge over the Koningin Astridlaan, then on the beach along the North Sea. The two favorites quickly escaped and soon created a significant gap over the rest of the field. Van der Poel and Van Aert seemed evenly matched, but after a fall by the Dutchman and a flat tire by the Belgian, it was ultimately the defending champion Van der Poel who won the prize. Behind Toon Aerts and Thomas Pidcock, who fought for the last medal, a group of Belgians in which featured Quinten Hermans. The 25-year-old rider lived up to his expectations by finishing in the top 8. Corné van Kessel finished 11th, Kevin Kuhn crossed the line in 13th.
"This was not an easy course. There was no time to catch a breather, although I was lucky enough to be able to race in a group and stay in the wheels every now and then on the hippodrome. I am satisfied with my performance in this tough race."
Bart Wellens (Sports Director):
"We can look back on a good World Championship weekend. Yesterday, Emiel put in an exceptional performance as a first-year U23. For Thomas Mein it will be important to brush away the disappointment as quickly as possible. As for Théo, he did well considering that he had a difficult preparation, away from the competition until about two weeks ago because of his collarbone fracture. He only dropped the pace in the last two laps."
"Quinten Hermans was very consistent and had a good race with the Elites, although I hoped that he would finish one or two places higher. For Corné van Kessel it was a question of whether he would be influenced by the birth of his son. He spent the entire race alone, which made it difficult for him to stay close to the leaders and the group in pursuit. Kevin Kuhn has been nothing short of phenomenal. Since the start of the season, the Swiss has demonstrated that he is part of the fifteen best cyclocross riders in the world. With his 13th place he again fulfilled all the expectations. The most important rendez-vous of the year is now behind us, but there are still a number of nice things remaining, starting with the crosses in Middelkerke and Lille."
1. Mathieu van der Poel
2. Wout Van Aert +0:37
3. Toon Aerts +1:24
8. Quinten Hermans +2:23
11. Corné van Kessel +4:09
13. Kevin Kuhn +4:29