Meeusen wins Under 23 race

Belgian uses different tactices for win and maintains World Cup lead over Gavenda

An in-form Tom Meeusen won the Under 23 men's cyclo-cross World Cup round in Roubaix on Sunday and strengthened his overall World Cup lead. The Belgian Meeusen dropped Robert Gavenda (Slovakia), Pawel Szczepaniak (Poland), Tijmen Eising (Netherlands) and fellow Belgian Jan Denuwelaere on a muddy course during the final lap up and around the vélodrome in Roubaix, France.

Meeusen has been a player in the not only the Under 23 racing, but also in the elite racing lately. He finished as the third elite racer at the Belgian championships only last week. While the races in which Meeusen has excelled thus far have been frozen and fast and well-suited to his technical skills, in Roubaix, he proved he had the power to also ride well in power-sapping mud.

"I wasn't feeling comfortable in the mud today. The last few weeks we've been racing on frozen courses, and I needed time to adapt to a real mud race," Meeusen said. "Added to that, I had mechanical problems. I was not able to keep pressure on the chain, without it skipping, so I opted to sit on some wheels. In the last lap, I went for it, and it proved to be a successful tactic."

Eising claimed the hole shot and probably didn't notice much of the pile-up behind him after the first corner. During that first lap, he was joined by Szczepaniak, Gavenda, Micki Van Empel (Netherlands), Meeusen and Joeri Adams (Belgium).

Szczepaniak took over from Eising during the third lap and created damage behind him as Van Empel and Adams were dropped. During the second half of the race, Gavenda led the charge at the front, and Eising struggled to keep up.

Meeusen left it to Gavenda and Szczepaniak to take the initiative, but then on the last lap, he proved he had something left. The Belgian powered away and at the finish line, he had time enough to celebrate his second World Cup win.

With the 60 points that accompany his victory, Meeusen has earned himself a comfortable gap of 35 points over second-placed Gavenda in the World Cup overall. Just one round, in Hoogerheide remains, and it will be run next weekend.

The Americans didn't have the the best day in Roubaix. Top finisher Zach McDonald had fond memories of last year's race, in which he finished on the podium as a junior, but there would be no podium this year in the Under 23 race.

"If I could pick the circumstances for a race, these would be it," McDonald said, referring to the muddy technical course combined with sunny weather. McDonald sat in the pack at about the halfway point through much of the race and eventually finished in 30th.

US National Under 23 Champion Danny Summerhill started off much worse although he gained about 10 places throughout the race and finished in 33rd. Jerome Townsend was lapped en route to an official 40th place finish.

Full Results

Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Meeusen (Belgium)0:49:22 
2Robert Gavenda (Slovakia)0:00:07 
3Tijmen Eising (Netherlands)0:00:08 
4Jan Denuwelaere (Belgium)0:00:14 
5Pawel Szczepaniak (Poland)0:00:21 
6Vincent Baestaens (Belgium)0:00:41 
7Joeri Adams (Belgium)0:00:49 
8Micki Van Empel (Netherlands)0:01:07 
9Marek Konwa (Poland)0:01:16 
10Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands)0:01:25 
11Corne Van Kessel (Netherlands)0:01:39 
12Arnaud Jouffroy (France)0:01:54 
13Elia Silvestri (Italy)0:02:06 
14Wietse Bosmans (Belgium)0:02:08 
15Matthias Rupp (Switzerland)0:02:10 
16Jim Aernouts (Belgium)0:02:23 
17Mitchell Huenders (Netherlands)0:02:31 
18Jiri Polnicky (Czech Republic)0:02:36 
19Matthieu Boulo (France)0:02:46 
20Arnaud Grand (Switzerland)0:02:55 
21Melvin Rulliere (France)0:03:14 
22Ole Quast (Germany)0:03:27 
23Lubomir Petrus (Czech Republic)0:03:34 
24Valentin Scherz (Switzerland)0:03:47 
25Fabian Danner (Germany)0:04:09 
26Irwin Gras (France)0:04:11 
27Aurelien Gizzi (France)0:04:19 
28Bryan Falaschi (Italy)0:04:39 
29Jimmy Turgis (France)0:04:45 
30Zach Mcdonald (United States Of America)0:05:18 
31Karel Hnik (Czech Republic)0:05:22 
32Michael Schweizer (Germany)0:05:41 
33Daniel Summerhill (United States Of America)0:05:53 
34David Menger (Czech Republic)0:06:02 
35Mattias Nilsson (Sweden)0:06:25 
36Théo Vimpere (France)0:06:35 
37Thibaut Villa (France)0:07:01 
38Michael Wildhaber (Switzerland)0:07:48 
39Pit Schlechter (Luxembourg)0:08:20 
-1lapJerome Townsend (United States Of America)  
-1lapJan Nesvadba (Czech Republic)  
-1lapMatteo Trentin (Italy)  
-1lapPaul Herman (France)  
-1lapBarry Hayes (Germany)  
-1lapPierre Garson (France)  
-2lapsNaran Khangarid (Mongolia)  
-2lapsDimitri Corriette (France)  
-2lapsBaasankhuu Myagmarsuren (Mongolia)  
-3lapsMarek Canecky (Slovakia)  
DNFJérémy Grimal (France)  
DNFSascha Weber (Germany)  
DNFCristian Cominelli (Italy)  
DNSKacper Szczepaniak (Poland)  
DNSRamon Sinkeldam (Netherlands)  
Under 23 men World Cup standings after five rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Meeusen (Bel)200 pts
2Robert Gavenda (Svk)165 
3Tijmen Eising (Ned)132 
4Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra)119 
5Pawel Szczepaniak (Pol)109 
6Micki Van Empel (Ned)100 
7Cristian Cominelli (Ita)96 
8Jim Aernouts (Bel)94 
9Jan Denuwelaere (Bel)91 
10Vincent Baestaens (Bel)88 
11Joeri Adams (Bel)86 
12Marek Konwa (Pol)82 
13Matthieu Boulo (Fra)75 
14Elia Silvestri (Ita)68 
15Lubomir Petrus (Cze)66 
16Jiri Polnicky (Cze)64 
17Lars Van Der Haar (Ned)64 
18Arnaud Grand (Swi)53 
19Sascha Weber (Ger)51 
20Mitchell Huenders (Ned)42 
21Wietse Bosmans (Bel)37 
22Kacper Szczepaniak (Pol)33 
23Corne Van Kessel (Ned)33 
24Kevin Cant (Bel)30 
25Marcel Meisen (Ger)25 
26Ole Quast (Ger)24 
27Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)19 
28Karel Hnik (Cze)19 
29Kevin Eeckhout (Bel)18 
30Alessandro Calderan (Ita)18 
31Luca Braidot (Ita)17 
32Matthias Rupp (Swi)17 
33Stef Boden (Bel)16 
34Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned)12 
35Bryan Falaschi (Ita)12 
36Nico Brüngger (Swi)11 
37Melvin Rulliere (Fra)11 
38Irwin Gras (Fra)10 
39Matteo Trentin (Ita)9 
40Sven Beelen (Bel)8 
41Valentin Scherz (Swi)8 
42Michael Schweizer (Ger)7 
43Fabian Danner (Ger)6 
44Daniel Summerhill (USA)6 
45David Menger (Cze)6 
46Vinnie Braet (Bel)5 
47Filip Adel (Cze)5 
48Aurelien Gizzi (Fra)4 
49Max Walsleben (Ger)4 
50Jimmy Turgis (Fra)2 
51Ruben Veestraeten (Bel)2 
52Zach Mcdonald (USA)1 


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