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Belgian Championships ME & MU23

Belgian Championships ME & MU23

This weekend, nine riders of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team will battle for the national titles in the U23 and Elite categories in six different countries. On Saturday, the championships of Belgium (Women), France and Luxembourg are scheduled. The next day, the male representant will battle for the titels in Belgium, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and in Switzerland, where Kevin Kuhn will defend his title. Barnabás Peák, the Hungarian rider from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, will also try to win the national cyclocross title this Sunday.

The sandy surface of the military domain of Lombardsijde (Middelkerke), next to the coast, welcomes the Belgian championships. Four hills, a sand section next to the beach and a slightly uphill cobble section are the principal attractions of the parcours. Shana Maes will participate in her fifth national championships in the Elite Women’s category on Saturday at 15h15, with Quinten Hermans competing against favorite Wout Van Aert 24 hours later in the Elite Men’s race. On the day of his 21st birthday, Sunday, Joran Wyseure will join Emiel Verstrynge in the Men’s U23 race at 13h45. His recent 2nd place in Gullegem (Elite category) gives him a lot of confidence for the race. The same counts for Verstrynge since he also recently finished on the podium in Loenhout and as he finished four times among the fifteen best riders in the Elite World Cups. 

« The first races of the season I circled in my agenda were the World Cups in the USA and the European Championships. Thanks to the help of my trainer Frederik Veuchelen, I managed to line up with my best form ever and keep that level for a long time. But considering the timing in the beginning of January, the preparation for the national championships is completely different. The recovery process plays a main role, the time it takes you to recover from the busy Christmas period. I took advantage of my trip to Gullegem to do the recon of the parcours in Middelkerke, because it is always special to participate in one of the most important races of the season on an unknown circuit. The loop is pretty fast with a couple of easy short sand sections and short steep hills where we might ride until the top. The rain did not have an influence here. I think the part on the beach will be important, even though it is close to the sea and rideable. Anyway, the parcours matches my capabilities so that’s nice! »

« My final preparation on the national championships takes place behind my desk, as my first exam is planned next Tuesday. But I took my time to do the recon last Wednesday and I can say that I returned home with satisfaction. No matter the parcours, I always managed to perform well at the championships the previous years and of course I hope I will feel the same on Sunday. I know that it isn’t easy to win a title. I experienced this once more in the latest European Championships. Many U23 riders are evenly matched, both on a national and international level, so I think the feeling of the day will be the deciding factor. The fact that Joran and I will line up together gives me a lot of confidence, as there’s always at least one of both with very good legs! »

« I think the U23 race will be tactical. Look at the results of the World Cup in Dendermonde for example, five Belgian riders finished within 10 seconds and that was such a hard circuit. The recon last Wednesday learned my that it will be difficult to make a difference on the parcours in Middelkerke. There's a possibility on the beach, or maybe some riders will be able to ride to the top of the hills. I'm filled with confidence after my performance in Gullegem, so I can't wait to battle for the medals together with Emiel! Together we are strong! »


General Classification