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2009 Cyclo-cross World Championships - CM
Hoogerheide, The Netherlands, January 31-February 1, 2009
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Stage 1 - January 31: Junior Men, 40 minutes
Eising rises above the rest
By Brecht Decaluwé in Hoogerheide, Netherlands
Tijmen Eising maintained his dominance of the current cyclo-cross season with victory on home soil in the junior men's race at the world championships. The giant Dutch champion outclassed the competition during the morning race and gave his compatriots good reason to kick off a day-long party. After winning the World Cup, the European championships and the national title, Eising completed the grand slam on a super-fast frozen course that looked more like a criterium.
Michael Schweizer (Germany) pulled off the hole shot, but after entering the meadow pre-race favourite Eising took command. Not much later, at one of the few technical passages, Eising took off at a tricky 180-degree corner. "I said before the race that it would be fast right from the start," explained Eising. "That German was behind me and I could create a gap after a few hundreds metres; it turned out to be the decisive move. I never hesitated to go on with the effort, and although I lost time on the road in the wind where the chasers could take turns I knew I would gain time again in the field," Eising added.
Almost six laps later Eising hit the brakes just before the finish line, stepped off, lifted his bike in the air and walked over the line that brought him the rainbow jersey. "During the penultimate lap I was suffering hard but once I got past that one I was floating over the course. Luckily, I didn't forget to step off the bike at the stairs," Eising said, before explaining where he gained his inspiration for today's performance. "I want to be like Lars Boom. I'll keep combining cyclo-cross with the road."
Half a minute later a group of 11 riders sprinted for the remaining two podium spots, and two surprise packets captured the remaining medals. Corne Van Kessel had a good finish in his legs, and his finish resulted in a Dutch one-two. French champion Alexandre Billon (France) captured third place and held off one of the pre-race favourites, Wietse Bosmans (Belgium).
Van Kessel himself was also surprised with his silver medal. "I hoped to get a top six result but this is unbelievable," Van Kessel said. "We were doing stoppage work in the chasing group to protect the attack from Tijmen." The Dutch rider finished thirteenth in the World Cup and didn't think he would be able to sprint for second place during the race. "Actually I was suffering to keep up with the pace from the Italians and the Belgians. In the end I was still there and followed an Italian," Van Kessel said.
Third placed Billon was an even bigger surprise on the podium. "I hoped for a top-10 result. The national championships were my main goal and I was able to achieve it. If you're the best in France then you can get a result at the World Championships as well," Billon said.
Behind those three medal winners disappointment was reigning. Belgian pre-race favourites Wietse Bosmans and Sean De Bie had different stories to tell. Bosmans could live with his fourth place but De Bie didn't understand where the opposition was coming from. "I've seen riders that I haven't seen at any race this year. Where have they been hiding? The Belgian team was visited by the 'vampires' this morning to take blood controls but they should have visited the French team instead," De Bie said.
Another pre-race favourite was Lars van der Haar but the compatriot from winner Eising had to settle for fifth and he had a hard time to deal with the result. "I was blocked in the sprint. This isn't fair," Van der Haar said.
Before the race it looked like the US team had a good chance on the podium but in the end they fell far away from it. US champion Zach McDonald crashed two times and rolled over the line as nineteenth rider. "I felt pretty good at the start but an Italian came down and I couldn't avoid him. I twisted my handle bars and I had to pit and that makes you lose fifteen positions over here. The next lap another Italian took me down as well after the fly-over, with the same result. I rode pretty well and although a good result would've been nice I didn't need it to come back to race here," McDonald said.
In the end it was Luke Keogh who finished as first American rider although he wasn't happy with his 13th place. "I had to start from the fourth row, and after the start it all stuck together," said Keogh. "There was a crash and I ended up being behind it, then it was over. We were working hard to get back in our group, and I was able to win the sprint of the second chasing group," he added. "I already started my sprint in the field and kept going on the uphill road towards the finish line - I don't think anybody thought about jumping away behind my back. The whole year was a great experience. I'll be back here," he said.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Riccardo Scanferla
Images by Cyclingnews.com
Images by Dave McElwaine/www.trailwatch.net
Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com
Images by Tom de Meyer
1 Tijmen Eising (Netherlands) 40.06 2 Corne Van Kessel (Netherlands) 0.25 3 Alexandre Billon (France) 4 Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) 5 Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands) 6 Luca Braidot (Italy) 0.26 7 Jan Nesvadba (Czech Republic) 8 Daniele Braidot (Italy) 9 Sean De Bie (Belgium) 10 Michiel Van Der Heijden (Netherlands) 11 Emilien Viennet (France) 0.27 12 Vinnie Braet (Belgium) 0.28 13 Luke Keough (United States Of America) 0.40 14 Daniele Dall'oste (Italy) 0.43 15 Matej Lasak (Czech Republic) 0.44 16 Jimmy Turgis (France) 17 Bryan Falaschi (Italy) 0.48 18 David Van Der Poel (Netherlands) 1.09 19 Zach Mc Donald (United States Of America) 1.18 20 Pierre Garson (France) 1.19 21 Enno Quast (Germany) 1.26 22 Valentin Hadoux (France) 23 Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium) 1.28 24 Matej Medved (Slovakia) 1.29 25 Michael Boros (Czech Republic) 26 Radek Polnicky (Czech Republic) 1.30 27 Anthony Grand (Switzerland) 1.44 28 Chris Wallace (United States Of America) 29 Yannick Mayer (Germany) 30 Gavin Mannion (United States Of America) 1.45 31 Ismael Barba Frutos (Spain) 1.46 32 Thomas Moses (Great Britain) 1.50 33 Tomas Paprstka (Czech Republic) 2.00 34 Andrzej Bartkiewicz (Poland) 2.16 35 Jannick Geisler (Germany) 2.17 36 Kenneth Hansen (Denmark) 2.19 37 Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spain) 38 Eric Emsky (United States Of America) 2.22 39 Bart De Vocht (Belgium) 2.26 40 Daniel Mclay (Great Britain) 2.31 41 Rudy Lorenzon (Italy) 2.32 42 Toni Bretschneider (Germany) 2.36 43 Michael (Jr) Schweizer (Germany) 2.37 44 Bob Jungels (Luxembourg) 2.38 45 Samuel Harrison (Great Britain) 3.06 46 Josep Nadal Magrinya (Spain) 3.15 47 Dario Stäuble (Switzerland) 3.32 48 Bartosz Pilis (Poland) 3.51 49 Eduard - Michael Grosu (Romania) 6.39 50 Olivier Webster (Great Britain) 7.23 DNF Alex Kirsch (Luxembourg)