Off day for Van der Poel at Koppenbergcross
Two days after claiming silver in the European Cyclo-cross Championships, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) endured a rather more trying outing at the Koppenbergcross in Oudenaarde on Tuesday, placing a lowly 15th, some 3:51 down on winner Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice).
"Did I have an off day? Yes, I think so, yes. It was really tough today. I noticed immediately that Wout was strong and I was blowing up just trying to stay at his pace. I then just tried to do my own pace, but it was not high enough today," Van der Poel said, according to RTL.be.
Van der Poel’s 2015-16 cyclo-cross season was blighted by a knee injury and he was forced to delay the start of his current campaign and skip the opening two rounds of World Cup in the United States after undergoing further surgery in July.
The Dutchman had a winning return to action, however, claiming victory at the first Superprestige in Gieten at the beginning of October and then winning the Valkenburg World Cup. The 2015 world champion downplayed the idea that his travails at Koppenbergcross were a consequence of not having recovered from his European Championships efforts.
“Last year when I was coming back from injury, I had a similar off-day at Spa-Francorchamps, but this time around I didn’t see it coming,” he said. “I still feel like I’m riding better and more consistently than last year, but I imagine a jour sans like this inevitable. The European Championships aren’t an excuse. I just hope that I’ll be good again at Ruddervoorde on Sunday.”
Swiss champion Fumeaux's career 'hanging by a thread'
Swiss national champion Jonathan Fumeaux is still without a contract for next season and has set himself a deadline of mid-November to secure a team for 2017. The 28-year-old has spent his entire professional career racing for the IAM Cycling team, which disbanded at the end of the 2016 season.
“I’m a bit worried, the contacts have gone quiet over time,” Fumeaux’s agent Philippe Raimbaud told 24heures.ch. “There’s one potential lead with a Pro Continental team left. Jonathan Fumeaux’s career is hanging by a thread.”
According to 24heures.ch, Fumeaux had contact with FDJ earlier in the Autumn, but his career is likely to continue outside the WorldTour, if at all. “There are riders who don’t have his level but who are sorted for next year. I don’t understand the lack of enthusiasm for him,” Raimbaud said.
Illness curtailed the final part of Fumeaux’s 2016 campaign, and he was forced to miss the Tour of Lombardy. The Sion native earned a degree in economics before turning professional, and is fatalistic about his situation. “If I don’t have anything by mid-November, I’ll have to resign myself to it,” he said.
Pozzato off the pace at European Derny Championships
Filippo Pozzato was the most notable name at the European Derny Championships on the track at Ballerup, Denmark on Monday, and though the Italian qualified for the final, he placed 10th and last in a race won by Casper Folsach (Denmark).
The event was held separately to the UEC’s European Track Championships, which took place in Paris last week. Folsach, paced by derny rider Stinus Roslund, won by two laps from Jesper Asselman (Netherlands), with Andreas Graf (Austria) a further two laps back in third.
Pozzato was paced by Cordiano Dagnoni finished eight laps down in 10th place, one position and one lap behind fellow Italian Francesco Castegnaro. The European derny title was claimed by Kenny De Ketele (Belgium) last season, while Elia Viviani (Italy) won gold in 2013.