Quinten Hermans, Shana Maes, Emiel Verstrynge (Belgium) and Kevin Kuhn (Switzerland) are the four riders defending the colors of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team at the national championships. Théo Thomas is still recovering from a double collarbone fracture and won't be present at the start of the French Championships. The races in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are cancelled due to the sanitary measures, leaving Corné Van Kessel and Thomas Mein without races this weekend.
The final race of the EKZ Cross Tour was a preview of the Swiss Championships, because the battle for the title will be ridden on the same course in Hittnau. Last Saturday, Kevin Kuhn won the race, defeating his compatriots Timon Rüegg and Lars Forster. After titles in the junior and U23 categories, the Swiss rider is now favorite for his first race in the elite category. The start for the Elite Men will be given at 14h30 in Hittnau, a stone's throw from Kuhn's residence.
The three Belgian riders will travel to Meulebeke in West-Flanders, where the national championships will take place on the terrains of the sports school. Shana Maes begins her race at 13h45, the start for the Elite Men will be given at 15h15 gereden. The Belgian Championship for U23 will be organized later this season, if the sanitary measures evolve in a positive way. That's why the 18 year old Emiel Verstrynge will join his teammate Quinten Hermans in the Elite race. The 2.77 kilometer long loop is a typical park cross, animated by a passage through sand and over barriers and jumps. The athletics track welcomes the start, with the finish taking place in the Ter Borchtlaan.
« My victory at the EKZ Tour gives me a lot of confidence. I really managed that race well, and I'm hoping to do the same next Sunday. My competitors have a lot of experience with championships and are always at their best level for these important races. So it will be pretty exciting, but I'm really looking forward to my first national championship in the elite category. I'm grateful for the support of my team in the races in my home country, it enables me to prepare this important day well! »
« The last couple of years I never managed to be at my best at the Belgian championships, so we thoroughly analyzed my preparation with Bart Wellens and my trainer Frederik Veuchelen. Before, I always maintained the rhythm of the busy Christmas period. This time, we focused on being fresh at the start. I'm very curious to know the outcome of this strategy, I'm looking forward to it! As usual, I want to ride a good race. My ambition is to finish on the podium. »
Swiss Championship Hittnau Men Elite:
Belgian Championship Meulebeke Women Elite:
Belgian Championship Meulebeke Men Elite: