The X2O Trophy in Loenhout completed the second year of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team this Thursday and it happened in style thanks to Emiel Verstrynge. The 19 year old finished on the podium in the U23 Men’s race, one of the three categories in which nine riders from the team participated.
It was at the end of an exciting battle that Verstrynge took his second podium of the season. Six U23 riders had a shot at the victory for the entire race of 50 minutes, because the race situation changed lap by lap and gaps between leaders and chasers never exceeded 20 seconds. In the end, Thibau Nys showed that he was the strongest in the second race half and won. Hendrikx and Verstrynge joined him on the podium. Joran Wyseure had to make up for a mediocre start and was close to joining the six leaders and the battle for the podium until he crashed in the final lap. He finished 7th in his final race of the year.
Next up were Shana Maes, Marie Schreiber and Zoe Bäckstedt, who participated in the Elite Women’s category. The British rider again excelled among the more experienced women and finished in 14th place. Marie Schreiber was brought down by another rider and lost her shoe in the crash. The rider from Luxembourg ended just outside the top 20, with Shana Maes ending 54th.
Four riders represented the team in the Elite Men’s race and as usual, they showed the blue and yellow colors at the start before Hermans and van Kessel reached the football field in the top 5. Hermans set the pace in the leading group of four riders, until Van Aert accelerated. The muddy and running sections started to weigh on Hermans’s back, he finished 6th. In contrary, van Kessel’s performance went crescendo, enabling him to finish less than 15 seconds from the podium and to move up to 2nd place in the standings of the X2O Trophy. Thomas Mein, who progresses week by week, and Kevin Kuhn, who loste quite some time because of a crash, finished 16th and 18th.
The next race of the X2O Trophy will take place next Saturday in Baal. Thomas Mein and Corné van Kessel will represent Tormans Cyclo Cross Team in this first race of 2022.