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Defending men’s champion Mathieu van der Poel will not be heading to the event after pulling out earlier this week due to a lingering back problem.
National coach Gerben de Knegt unveiled his selection Friday for the competition in Fayetteville at the end of January. De Knegt has been highly selective in his choices, picking only riders that he believes can compete at the front of the race.
”We gave many riders the opportunity to meet the international top at the European Championship,” de Knegt said. Now we choose to only send riders who could really compete for the medals or the top five placings. That’s why we only have a complete selection among the elite women.”
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Van der Poel’s injury is a big blow for the elite men’s line-up and just two riders will contest the race with Lars van der Haar and Corne van Kessel making the selection.
Meanwhile, the women’s team is stacked with talent, including the defending world champion Brand. The 32-year-old has been dominating the cyclocross season from the beginning and she has won her last seven races and claimed victory in 16 of the 24 races she’s ridden this season.
Joining Brand on the start line will be two former world champions in Vos and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado. Denise Betsema, Annemarie Worst, Yara Kasteline, Inge van der Heijden, and Manon Bakker complete the strong eight-rider line-up.
The Dutch will also send a formidable squad for the U23 women’s race with rising stars Puck Pieterse, Shirin van Anrooij, and Fem van Empel. All three riders have impressed against their elite counterparts this season.
Making up the U23 men’s selection are Pim Ronhaar, Ryan Kemp and Mees Hendrikx. Meanwhile, David Haverdings will line up in the junior men’s race, and Leonie Bentveld and Lauren Molengraaf will race the junior women’s event.
Dutch team for UCI Cyclocross World Championships
Lars van de Haar
Corne van Kessel
Inge van der Heijden
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado
Fem van Empel
Shirin van Anrooij