Jens Dekker solos to Junior Cyclo-cross Worlds

Jens Dekker (Netherlands) is the new UCI Cyclo-cross World champion in the Junior Men’s category. The cousin of famous former road cyclist Erik Dekker simply outclassed his rivals at the 2016 World Championships as rain and wind buffeted Heusden-Zolder. France placed two riders on the podium, as Mickael Crispin and Thomas Bonnet were second and third.

The newly-crowned world champion Dekker had already won the World Cup, and he made things look easy at the former Formula 1 racing circuit. “It was a really hard race for me. I didn’t have my best day of the year. That was last week [at the World Cup round in Hoogerheide]. It was great from the beginning. I went full gas,” Dekker said afterwards.

After a blistering fast tailwind start, three French riders were leading out the field during the first half of the opening lap. Tanguy Turgis managed the hole shot and led ahead of compatriots Bonnet and Crispin. Seppe Rombouts (Belgium) and a patient Jens Dekker were sitting just behind the French trio, together with Thijs Wolsink (Netherlands), Jakob Dorigoni (Italy), Mitch Groot (Italy), Jappe Jaspers (Belgium) and Kevin Kuhn (Switzerland).

American riders Gage Hecht and Spencer Petrov were unable to build on their front-row start position, riding just outside the top 10 where there was a fierce battle for positions going on. Inevitably, riders tangled and suddenly only eleven riders were left in front.

Halfway through the opening lap, Dekker seized his moment and he moved to the front of the group, just before the major technical obstacles on the World Championships course. He tackled the off-camber section flawlessly with Crispin on his wheel. Bonnet had more trouble keeping up. At the following steep descent, the mud and nerves cost a few riders their spot in the front group. Kuhn and Groot tangled and went down together, with Rombouts landing in the mud as well.

Crispin was first at the steep run-up but on the following climbing section Dekker gained much more track and he blasted away from the French rider. From there Dekker kept riding away from Crispin. In the battle for third place Bonnet, Dorigoni and Jaspers were together after the opening lap. Dorigoni got dropped first and then also Jaspers faded.

Dekker hit the final lap with a comfortable advantage of 25 seconds on Crispin. Bonnet was 46 seconds back, about half a minute ahead of Dorigoni, Jaspers and Matthieu Legrand (France). Dekker cruised to a well-deserved victory ahead of Crispin and Bonnet. During the final lap a strong Thomas Pidcock (Great Britain), Kuhn and Ivan Feijoo Alberte (Spain) bridged up to the group that battled for fourth place. That battle was won by Kuhn, ahead of Pidcock, Dorigoni, Jaspers, Feijoo and Legrand. Niklas Markl (Germany) closed out the top 10 in Zolder.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jens Dekker (Netherlands)0:43:05
2Mickael Crispin (France)0:00:35
3Thomas Bonnet (France)0:01:00
4Kevin Kuhn (Switzerland)0:01:17
5Thomas Pidcock (Great Britain)0:01:22
6Jakob Dorigoni (Italy)0:01:27
7Jappe Jaspers (Belgium)0:01:32
8Ivan Feijoo Alberte (Spain)0:01:34
9Matthieu Legrand (France)0:01:38
10Niklas Markl (Germany)0:01:39
11Thymen Arensman (Netherlands)0:01:51
12Gage Hecht (United States Of America)0:01:53
13Mitch Groot (Netherlands)0:02:00
14Jan Gavenda (Czech Republic)0:02:10
15Marino Noordam (Netherlands)0:02:12
16Seppe Rombouts (Belgium)0:02:15
17Eric Brunner (United States Of America)0:02:17
18Tanguy Turgis (France)0:02:19
19Toon Vandebosch (Belgium)0:02:21
20Antonio Folcarelli (Italy)0:02:22
21Daniel Tulett (Great Britain)0:02:24
22Michel Ries (Luxembourg)0:02:25
23Cameron Beard (United States Of America)0:02:32
24Quentin Navarro (France)0:02:35
25Spencer Petrov (United States Of America)0:02:39
26Jofre Cullell Estape (Spain)0:02:41
27Ben Turner (Great Britain)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Thijs Wolsink (Netherlands)0:02:53
29Edoardo Xillo (Italy)0:02:57
30Denzel Stephenson (United States Of America)0:03:00
31Christian Storgaard (Denmark)0:03:04
32Michele Bassani (Italy)0:03:05
33Florian Vermeersch (Belgium)0:03:19
34Jokin Alberdi (Spain)0:03:23
35Andreas Lund Andresen (Denmark)0:03:26
36Maximilian Mobis (Germany)0:03:30
37Vaclav Sirucek (Czech Republic)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Hakon Aalrust (Norway)0:03:41
39Felix Schreiber (Luxembourg)0:03:43
40Alessio Dhoore (Belgium)0:03:48
41David Honzak (Czech Republic)0:03:57
42William Gascoyne (Great Britain)0:03:59
43Felix Keiser (Luxembourg)0:04:07
44Lorenzo Calloni (Italy)0:04:08
45Paul Rudolph (Germany)0:04:10
46Michael Owens (United States Of America)0:04:17
47Gunnar Holmgren (Canada)0:04:29
48David Conroy (Ireland)0:04:32
49David Jary (Czech Republic)Row 48 - Cell 2
50Richard Brun (Spain)0:04:42
51Ken Conter (Luxembourg)0:05:13
52Brody Sanderson (Canada)0:05:25
53Noah Fries (Luxembourg)0:05:28
54Jan Novak (Czech Republic)0:05:41
55Jan Gajdosik (Slovakia)0:05:50
56Ben Walkerden (Australia)0:06:04
57Jack Kok (Sweden)0:06:06
58Noah Barrow (Australia)0:06:17
59Hijiri Oda (Japan)0:06:39
60Tomasz Rzeszutek (Poland)0:07:38
61Carl Soerensen (Denmark)0:07:42
62Quinton Disera (Canada)0:08:58
63Ferenc Szollosi (Hungary)-1Lap
64Gergo Orosz (Hungary)Row 63 - Cell 2

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