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Netherlands’ Eising cruises to junior ‘cross title

Dutchman Tijmen Eising continued his season-long romp through the junior ranks of international cyclocross, riding away from the field within the first 300 meters of the world championship in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, on Saturday. Eising, the overall World Cup champion and winner of three of the series’ six races, took early command of the field on Saturday.

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Keough, McDonald top 20 at junior worlds

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: Eising celebrates

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: Eising celebrates

Photo: Graham Watson

Dutchman Tijmen Eising continued his season-long romp through the junior ranks of international cyclocross, riding away from the field within the first 300 meters of the world championship in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, on Saturday.

Eising, the overall World Cup champion and winner of three of the series’ six races, took early command of the field on Saturday.

“I knew the key would be that first (uphill) section of pavement, before the turn,” Eising said. “I was in good position and came through ahead of a German rider. He slowed, I got a gap and that was probably the decisive moment of the race for me.”

Eising finished 25 seconds ahead of an 11-man chase group, a gap that would surely have been bigger had he not braked, climbed off his bike and held it aloft in celebration as he crossed the line.

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: Keough

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: Keough

Photo: Graham Watson

It was teammate Corne van Kessel who took the field sprint, edging out France’s Alexandre Billon as the chase group hit the finish.

American Luke Keough was the top U.S finisher, taking 13th, the first rider out of the race’s second chase group, 40 seconds behind Eising. Keough and teammate Zach McDonald have enjoyed a solid season, finishing ninth and 10th in the overall World Cup standings.

“Unfortunately,” Keough said, “They only give the (world championship) front row starting positions to the top eight. Zach had an amazing ride at the last World Cup – third place – so we gave him the one U.S. position in the second row and I took the next spot, which was in the fourth row, hoping to get into a good position on that first uphill section.”

It’s all about the start

Like Eising, Keough said he knew the race could be won or lost in the opening 200 meters. Eising came through in prime position, while McDonald and Keough got caught in the inevitable traffic jam that formed as the 51-rider field coursed through the hard 90-degree turn at the top of the rise.

Eising gradually extended his lead, negotiating a fast, but often technical, course on his own, a distinct advantage in tighter sections. Add to that the fact that the 11-man “chase” group included three of his Dutch teammates and Eising had reason to feel secure.

“I knew that if I had a gap early, I would do my best to keep it,” Eising said. “I had three teammates in there, too, and I knew they weren’t going to do anything to chase.”

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: McDonald

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: McDonald

Photo: Graham Watson

While the group included three Dutchmen — Van Kessel, Lars van der Haar and Michael van der Heijden — it also included three members of Holland’s arch-rival Belgians: Wietse Bosmans, Sean de Bie and Vinnie Braet. But the group never managed to organize a solid chase effort, due in part to the difficulty some of the large group had in some of the narrow turns through the wooded portions of the course.

“It was a big advantage for me in some parts, especially going through some of those tight, 180-degree turns,” Eising said. “The guys in back have a tough time trying to get through with 11 riders making those turns.”

While Eising was flying solo up front, McDonald found himself in exactly the sort of trouble Eising was managing to avoid.

By the start of the second lap, McDonald had to make a bike exchange after a collision with another rider left his bars twisted out of position.

“It happened again, with a different guy, he put me into the barricades,” McDonald said. “So I had to pit again … I lost position each time.”

Keough, meanwhile, found himself chasing in the second group, trailing that group of 11 by 10 or 15 seconds for most of the race.

“I really tried to get up there,” Keough said. “We never really got a chase organized. One of the guys — a French guy — kept attacking and we’d pull him back, but we weren’t making progress as a group.”

A growing gap

Eising continued to chip away up front, adding a few seconds each lap, gaining time in the woods and losing a little on the course’s many paved sections.

“It was cold last night,” Eising said. “The course was really fast. There’s no mud … only one point — the stairs — where you have to get off the bike, so it’s mostly just a matter of riding hard and concentrating.”

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: Eising on course.

2009 Cyclocross worlds, juniors: Eising on course.

Photo: Graham Watson

Indeed, in cold conditions the course at Hoogerheide is so fast, some suggested it didn’t even amount to cyclocross.

“It’s a kids’ course,” Eising’s teammate Van der Haar said. “It’s not cyclocross.”

Van der Haar said he was pleased that Dutch riders took the top two spots in a race in Dutch territory, but added that he wanted more challenges during the race. “Cyclocross takes much more than just a fast start,” he said. “Barriers, mud, more than one run-up … that’s cyclocross.”

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Results

1. Tijmen Eising (NETHERLANDS)
2. Corne Van Kessel (NETHERLANDS) at 00:25
3. Alexandre Billon (FRANCE) at 00:25
4. Wietse Bosmans (BELGIUM) at 00:25
5. Haar Lars Van Der (NETHERLANDS) at 00:25
6. Luca Braidot (ITALY) at 00:26
7. Jan Nesvadba (CZECH REPUBLIC) at 00:26
8. Daniele Braidot (ITALY) at 00:26
9. Sean De Bie (BELGIUM) at 00:26
10. Heijden Michiel Van Der (NETHERLANDS) at 00:26
11. Emilien Viennet (FRANCE) at 00:27
12. Vinnie Braet (BELGIUM) at 00:28
13. Luke Keough (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) at 00:40
14. Daniele Dall’oste (ITALY) at 00:43
15. Matej Lasak (CZECH REPUBLIC) at 00:44
16. Jimmy Turgis (FRANCE) at 00:44
17. Bryan Falaschi (ITALY) at 00:48
18. Poel David Van Der (NETHERLANDS) at 01:09
19. Zach Mc Donald (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) at 01:18
20. Pierre Garson (FRANCE) at 01:19
21. Enno Quast (GERMANY) at 01:26
22. Valentin Hadoux (FRANCE) at 01:26
23. Gianni Vermeersch (BELGIUM) at 01:28
24. Matej Medved (SLOVAKIA) at 01:29
25. Michael Boros (CZECH REPUBLIC) at 01:29
26. Radek Polnicky (CZECH REPUBLIC) at 01:30
27. Anthony Grand (SWITZERLAND) at 01:44
28. Chris Wallace (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) at 01:44
29. Yannick Mayer (GERMANY) at 01:44
30. Gavin Mannion (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) at 01:45
31. Ismael Barba Frutos (SPAIN) at 01:46
32. Thomas Moses (GREAT BRITAIN) at 01:50
33. Tomas Paprstka (CZECH REPUBLIC) at 02:00
34. Andrzej Bartkiewicz (POLAND) at 02:16
35. Jannick Geisler (GERMANY) at 02:17
36. Kenneth Hansen (DENMARK) at 02:19
37. Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (SPAIN) at 02:19
38. Eric Emsky (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA) at 02:22
39. Bart De Vocht (BELGIUM) at 02:26
40. Daniel Mclay (GREAT BRITAIN) at 02:31
41. Rudy Lorenzon (ITALY) at 02:32
42. Toni Bretschneider (GERMANY) at 02:36
43. (jr) Schweizer Michael (GERMANY) at 02:37
44. Bob Jungels (LUXEMBOURG) at 02:38
45. Samuel Harrison (GREAT BRITAIN) at 03:06
46. Josep Nadal Magrinya (SPAIN) at 03:15
47. Dario StÄuble (SWITZERLAND) at 03:32
48. Bartosz Pilis (POLAND) at 03:51
49. – Michael Grosu Eduard (ROMANIA) at 06:39
50. Olivier Webster (GREAT BRITAIN) at 07:23