Posted by Editoress on 01/31/09
Cyclocross World Championships Hoogerheide, Netherlands
The Dutch have opened this world championships with a bang, finishing 1-2 in the Junior Men's 40 minute race this morning before a crowd of nearly 10,000 cheering fans. Tijmen Eising, the favourite coming into the race after winning the European Championships, did not disappoint his countrymen, as he led the race from start to finish. Team mate Corne Van Kessel won the sprint from the 11 man chase group for the silver medal, with France's Alexandre Billon pipping Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) for the bronze.
The weather was sunny but cold, barely above freezing by the race start, with a stiff breeze adding to the chill. This meant an iron hard and fast course, with even the steep chute section dry.
Eising bolted into the lead within the first kilometre, passing a German rider (Michael Schweizer) and opening a gap. A group of six formed behind by the second lap (of six), containing Van Kessel, Billion, Bosmans, Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands) and Luca Braidot (Italy). Five more riders gradually worked their way up to the chase, including two more Belgians and one Dutch rider, but the group had no cohesion, and didn't make a dent in Eising lead.
By the halfway mark the gap was up to 15 seconds, and the Belgians tried to take charge, but couldn't sustain the effort, and with a lap and a half remaining it was all over as Eising surged to 20-plus seconds.
While Eising rolled in to take the title, the group behind was maneuvering for position for the sprint. Out of the corner for the final 250 metres, Van Kessel easily went to the front, with Billon and Bosmans to his right and left respectively. Bosmans looked to be a little boxed in, while Billon had a clear run for the bronze.
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