While Mathieu van der Poel and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado scooped the headlines for the senior races at the ‘cross World Championships in Dubendorf this weekend, there was also a full schedule of racing in the junior ranks.
Kamp denies home hope in men’s U23
Pre-race favorite Ryan Kamp (Netherlands) lived up to expectations to net the men’s U23 title Saturday, denying home rider Kevin Kuhn the rainbow jersey in a hard-fought race.
Kamp, Kuhn and Frenchman Antoine Benoist formed the front group at the start of the race, before the Dutch presence at the front was bolstered by Mees Hendrikx and Pim Ronhaar. With their strength in depth, the Dutchmen forced the pace and split the group, leaving Kamp to go clear.
“I had a very bad feeling in the beginning, because from the first moment they went out full gas, with the French and Swiss boys,” said Kamp. “But I got some awesome teamwork from my teammates from the Netherlands. When I attacked, the pain in my legs, I didn’t feel my legs anymore so I just went for it, and it was amazing.”
Kuhn chased after the Dutchman’s attack, but there was no catching him as he powered to the win by 36 seconds, bursting into tears as he crossed the line. Kuhn took second, and the Dutch filled out the podium with Hendrikx taking third.
Norbert-Riberolle unstoppable in women’s U23
Marion Norbert-Riberolle (France) stormed to victory in the women’s U23 race Sunday. The French national champion rode clear in the first lap and went solo from there, leaving the pack to fight for podium places.
Inge Van Der Heijden (Netherlands), Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary), and Anna Kay (Great Britain) all led the chase at various points of the race, though it came down to Vas and Kay fighting for second in the final lap.
Norbert-Riberolle sat up and enjoyed her victory in the final lap as she took the win by 27 seconds. Vas eventually proved the stronger of the pair fighting for the podium positions, taking second, leaving Kay to take third.
American U23 champion Katie Clouse took fourth, 1:29 behind the race leader. “That was so hard,” she repeated when asked about her take of the race.
Nys, Van Anrooij take junior races
It was an all-Belgian podium in the junior men’s race, topped by Thibau Nys.
Nys, son of ‘cross legend Sven, was the all-out favorite for the race and went away solo mid-way through the race. From there on, the main racing to be watched was the fight for second place between Swiss rider Dario Lillo and Belgian pair Lennert Belmans and Emiel Verstrynge.
Nys went on to win by 31 seconds, while the fight for second was won by Belmans, with Verstrynge taking third.
Coloradan Madigan Munro took third place in the women’s junior race, behind Dutch pair Shirin van Anrooij and Puck Pieterse.