After the final World Cup race in Overijse last weekend, the Dutch and British cycling federations announced their roster for the World Championships in Ostend which will take place on January 30th and 31st. With the selections of Corné Van Kessel and Thomas Mein by their respective countries, every U23 and elite men of the Tormans Cyclo Cross Team is now on the start list of the World Championships. Vice-European champion Mein joins his teammates Théo Thomas (France) and Emiel Verstrynge (Belgium) in the U23 category, while Dutchman Van Kessel will be alongside Quinten Hermans (Belgium) and Kevin Kuhn (Switzerland) at the start of the Elite race.
The World Championships for U23 riders is only the third race of the category this season, most of them having been subject to cancellation due to the pandemic. After earning a silver medal at the European Championships in Rosmalen in early November, Thomas Mein won the only U23 World Cup race in Tabor. The Brit wishes to match these performances on the beach of Ostend and hopes to conquer the World title in his final year as a U23.
Corné Van Kessel is no longer a rookie in this kind of compeititon. The battle for the rainbow jersey in Ostend will already be his eighth participation in a World Championship among the Elite, and his 5th place in Belvaux in Luxembourg in 2017 stands out as his best result to date. Last season, he finished 7th in the Dübendorf (Switzerland) and next weekend the 29-year-old rider has the ambition to at least repeat that feat.
« In my last year as an U23 rider I’m aiming for a medal at worlds. After my performances at the European Championships and at the World Cup in Tabor, I’m confident. Of course there’s a little bit pressure, but I try to not think about it. I can only try my best and see what happens in the end. »
« We prepared this important race with a team training camp. Because of the weather circumstances, it was difficult to simulate the special course in Ostend, but we’ll get some more opportunities this week. We also got a few long rides in, so I didn’t feel great in last weekend’s races. But I’ll be ready next Saturday! »
Corné van Kessel:
« After the training camp with the team, I felt great. This good form showed with in a 6th place in Hamme and an 8th place in Overijse. Now, I have the ambition to finish in the top 10 at the World Championships. The course in Ostend is unknown to me, but that applies for basically everyone, except the Belgians. I understand that apart from the Belgian National Championships, it is only the second time that a cyclocross will be organized there. Still, I don't think it will be that much of an advantage for them, because we will have the opportunity to explore the circuit several times this week. Unlike my usual pre-race plans, I will do recon the day before the race this year. The section on the beach really appeals to me. I approach this World Championships like any other cyclo-cross and go there filled with motivation! »
WC U23 Men:
Saturday 30/01 - 13:35
Thomas Mein (GBR)
Théo Thomas (FRA)
Emiel Verstrynge (BEL)
WC Elite Men:
Sunday 31/01 - 15:15
Quinten Hermans (BEL)
Kevin Kuhn (SUI)
Corné Van Kessel (NET)