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European Championships Men U23

Wyseure and Verstrynge just miss out on a medal

The weekend of European Cyclocross Championships was opened this Saturday, for Tormans Cyclo Cross Team with the U23 Men category. Frenchman Théo Thomas and Belgian riders Emiel Verstrynge and Joran Wyseure started at 13h30 on the Col du VAM in the north of the Netherlands.

The trio of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team quickly distinguished itself and after a solid start of Emiel Verstrynge, Joran Wyseure and Théo Thomas joined their teammate in the front. Both Belgian riders maintained themselves within the first five positions, until Verstrynge accelerated in the fourth lap.

The unusual parcours with climbs and cobbles was then the theatre of several situation changes. Attacks succeeded each other, but no contenders for the title managed to make a difference. At the entry of the final lap, Verstrynge and Wyseure were part of the ten rider group battling for the victory.

It was after this penultimate passage on the finish line that Verstrynge chose to attack. The 19 year old led the race alone, but was victim of a crash un a muddy corner. Verstrynge and Wyseure fought until the end of the race, just missing out on the medals. Joran Wyseure took 4th place in his first European Championships, 8 seconds after winner Ryan Kamp. Verstrynge crossed the line in 5th place and Théo Thomas took 14th.

A couple of hours earlier, British rider Zoe Bäckstedt, member of development team Tormans-Acrog, was dominant in the Junior women’s category and won the European title. The new 17 year old European Champion finished one minute ahead of the Dutch Leonie Bentveld.

« I'm very happy and proud about my race, because I would never have thought that I would be able to finish 4th! My start of the season didn't go as planned, and last week I finally discovered the cause. In training the last couple of days I felt a major difference already and that's why I felt really relaxed going into this championship. Also during the race I stayed calm when I lost a couple of positions in the leading group for example. The long climb towards the top of the Col du VAM always stretched out the group and it was a really long effort from the bottom. The ones who still had something left on the cobbles were able to make a difference at the end of the race. I'm very happy that I was able to follow all accelerations until the final lap and that this first European Championship turned out in a succes! »

« Today I appeared at the start with a very good feeling and the persuasion that in a championship only the first place counts. That's why I raced in the front and contributed to the attacks. At the beginning of the final lap I reacted to an attack of two competitors and I felt that I had to continue once I joined them. Unfortunately, without taking any risks, I crashed in a slippery corner. Today, I felt that I was one of the strongest in the race and that I had a chance on the victory, so I rather feel disappointed to conclude the race in this way. But I'll take the good feeling from during the race to my next goals. »

« I gave everything today! From the start on the fourth line, I had to make a big effort to join the front and from then on, the rhythm never slowed down. I maintained my position in the top 15 on this difficult and fast parcours. I felt good, so my only regret is my start position which I hope to improve thanks to good results in the next weeks. »


U23 men
1.Ryan KampThe Netherlands50:03
2.Niels VandeputteBelgium+0:01
3.Thibau NysBelgium+0:01
4.Tormans CX+0:085.Tormans CX+0:15

General Classification