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European Championships

Almost the complete team is convened to the Col du VAM

Eight riders from Tormans Cyclo Cross Team have been selected to represent their country at the European Championships which will be held this weekend on the Col du VAM, in the north of The Netherlands. The team is thus sending almost the whole team to the battle for the starred jersey, divided in three categories: Elite Men, U23 Men and U23 Women.

Quinten Hermans, double European champion in the U23 category, is part of the Belgian selection and has a major ambition after his World Cup win in Fayetteville three weeks ago. Corné van Kessel has good memories at the Col du VAM since he took 7th place at the Dutch road championships in 2020, and his 4th place at the Koppenberg last Monday demonstrates that his shape is following an upward trend. Swiss champion Kevin Kuhn and Briton Thomas Mein, the runner up in last season’s U23 European championships, will accompany them in the Elite men’s race. 

Belgian riders Emiel Verstrynge and Joran Wyseure and Frenchman Théo Thomas are among the candidates for the title in the U23 category. At the age of 19, Verstrynge continues the progression he made before finishing 4th in last season’s World Championships. It will be Wyseure’s first European Championships, while Théo Thomas receives the confidence of the French team for the third time in a row in the U23 category. Tormans Cyclo Cross Team will be represented in a women’s category for the first time thanks to the selection of 19 year old Luxembourg rider Marie Schreiber, winner of the race in Contern last Sunday. 

The former trash hill in Wijster has been the theatre of several international cycling races and will now host a cyclocross race for the first time. The Col du VAM, the well known climb finishing by 145 meters of cobbles with gradients up to 15 per cent is the start and finishing straight of the course of 2698 meter, mainly on grass. The competitors will be confronted with 680 meters of uphill and 832 meters of downhill each lap, and exposed to wind and rain.

On Saturday, Théo Thomas, Emiel Verstrynge and Joran Wyseure will start at 13h15 in the U23 men’s race. The next day, Marie Schreiber will line up at the same time for the U23 women’s race, before Quinten Hermans, Kevin Kuhn, Thomas Mein and Corné Van Kessel participate in the Elite Men’s race at 15h.

« I know how it feels to wear the European Champion’s jersey for one season. This fantastic experience in the U23 category motivates me to aim for the highest possible result, but I know that it won’t be easy to win the race. With eight victories this season, Eli Iserbyt is definitely the favorite. The parcours suits both him and me. Based on my observations, I conclude that the loop requires more power than technical skills. I guess that the former waste hill won’t be transformed in deep mud. So my abilities can be exploited on this parcours. I’m not worried about the weather, I know that it will be a hard race anyway! »

« I know the site of the Col du VAM pretty well by now and it contains quite a lot of possibilities for a cyclocross. So I’m excited to discover the results of the organization’s efforts for this first edition. According to the information I have, they mainly chose for rolling curves. The race surface makes me curious as the presence of crushed stones might increase the risk of punctures. And of course the weather conditions will have an impact as well. I’m traveling to the north of my home country with a good feeling, as I managed to play a major role more and more often the past couple of weeks. »

« In my opinion, there’s no main favorite for the title. Based on the past races, I can determine five to seven riders who can pretend to win the starred jersey, including myself. I feel good and relaxed, and I feel fresh after an easy training week. I’m looking forward to my first European Championship in the U23 category! »

« Everyone noticed during these first months of the season how high the level of the U23 Women is. In each Elite World Cup, several young riders finished in the top 10. So this Sunday I’m expecting a very fast and difficult race, in which I hope to finish among the 10 best riders. The course suits me really well, because I love climbing and muddy conditions. This Saturday, I’ll discover the site of the Col du VAM and that will be the last step in my preparation, during which I took my first victory last weekend. »


General Classification