Before the junior race at the 2014 cyclo-cross world championships in Hoogerheide there was little doubt that Adam Toupalik (Czech Republic) would win the rainbow jersey. The Czech talent was third at the 2013 world championships in Louisville and then dominated the World Cup this season. The 17-year-old Czech headed to the Netherlands as the clear favourite.
However Toupalik didn't live up to the high expectations. Instead of enjoying a day of glory he had the worst day of his life, pulling out of the race in the fourth lap.
"Yesterday [Friday] I was a little sick. This morning I had a massive headache," Toupalik said. When taking a shower his situation turned even worse when he lost consciousness for a few moments.
"Yes, that's true. Luckily my roommate was there to help me out. Starting the race was not an option at that moment," Toupalik said. A little later the Czech rider headed out to take breakfast and his situation improved. "After breakfast I felt better but still not optimal."
Toupalik decided to start the race. He felt right away that it wouldn't be his day. "During the first lap I rode with the top but I had no power."
Later the Czech disappeared from the picture before eventually pulling out in the fourth lap. "I came here to win. I'm very disappointed."
The devastated Toupalik felt it was too soon to say something about his calendar or about future teams. "There's a few more races in Belgium but it's too soon to say something about that right now. Next week I'll know more."