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Baestaens best in Belgium

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Vincent Baestaens (Belgium) celebrates his victory in the U23 World Cup opener at Koksijde.

Vincent Baestaens (Belgium) celebrates his victory in the U23 World Cup opener at Koksijde. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) in action in Koksijde.

Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) in action in Koksijde. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Jim Aernouts (Belgium) sets the pace.

Jim Aernouts (Belgium) sets the pace. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Belgian champion Jim Aernouts ended the day in fourth place.

Belgian champion Jim Aernouts ended the day in fourth place. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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U23 men podium (l-r): Marcel Meisen (Germany), 2nd; Vincent Baestaens (Belgium), 1st; Lars van der Haar (Netherlands), 3rd

U23 men podium (l-r): Marcel Meisen (Germany), 2nd; Vincent Baestaens (Belgium), 1st; Lars van der Haar (Netherlands), 3rd (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

Vincent Baestaens (Belgium) won the first round of the UCI's cyclo-cross World Cup for the Men Under 23 riders in Koksijde, Belgium. The Belgian won a two-man sprint from Marcel Meisen (Germany). European champion Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) completed the podium.

In cold but sunny weather six riders separated themselves from the rest of the field early on. At halfway Vinnie Braet (Belgium) got dropped while Meisen and Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) were struggling to keep up with the pace set by Van der Haar, Baestaens and Belgian champion Jim Aernouts.

None of these three riders was able to set a pace that created definitive gaps and on the home straight the pace always dropped back.

For Meisen, that was the moment to rejoin the leaders. The German did that almost every lap until the group hit the final lap. Then the German moved up and in the difficult sand section he even took the lead. Behind him mistakes were made and suddenly it seemed Meisen would win the World Cup round.

“I choose to ride at the back of the group to save energy. During the last lap the sand section was crucial and the win was almost in the bag but then I made a mistake,” Meisen told Cyclingnews.

Baestaens caught up with Meisen before the final obstacles and in the sprint he easily powered away from the German.

“Today I was a bit lucky but I did take the race in my hands. I believed in my chances and in the finale I was able to get back to the leader on my own. The sprint wasn't fast. The one with the most left in his tank won it,” Baestaens said.

As a result Baestaens will sport the jersey of World Cup leader on home soil in Kalmthout during the second round of the Men U23 World Cup.

Results
1Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Belgium0:55:42
2Marcel Meisen (Ger) Germany
3Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Netherlands0:00:04
4Jim Aernouts (Bel) Belgium0:00:15
5Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Belgium0:00:39
6Joeri Adams (Bel) Belgium0:00:47
7Vinnie Braet (Bel) Belgium0:00:58
8Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) Netherlands0:00:59
9Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Belgium-B0:01:04
10Tijmen Eising (Ned) Netherlands0:01:23
11Sean De Bie (Bel) Belgium0:01:38
12Matthieu Boulo (Fra) France0:01:46
13Marek Konwa (Pol) Poland0:01:47
14Micki Van Empel (Ned) Netherlands0:01:53
15Sven Beelen (Bel) Belgium-B0:02:01
16Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Czech Republic0:02:10
17Matteo Trentin (Ita) Italy0:02:46
18Ole Quast (Ger) Germany0:02:47
19Angelo De Clercq (Bel) Belgium-B
20Melvin Rulliere (Fra) France0:02:49
21Jens Adams (Bel) Belgium-B0:02:51
22Irwin Gras (Fra) France0:02:58
23Théo Dumanchin (Fra) France0:03:00
24Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Netherlands0:03:18
25Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Netherlands0:03:27
26Michael Schweizer (Ger) Germany0:03:37
27Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) Italy0:03:39
28Kenneth Hansen (Den) Denmark0:03:43
29Matthias Bossuyt (Bel) Belgium-B0:03:49
30Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Belgium-B0:03:58
31Michael Winterberg (Swi) Switzerland0:05:11
32Luca Braidot (Ita) Italy0:05:21
33Alexandre Billon (Fra) France0:05:34
34Radek Polnicky (Cze) Czech Republic0:05:35
35Michael Boros (Cze) Czech Republic0:05:39
36Valentin Scherz (Swi) Switzerland0:06:12
37Théo Vimpere (Fra) France0:06:14
38Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Czech Republic0:07:12
39Daniel Summerhill (USA) United States of America0:07:57
40Max Walsleben (Ger) Germany0:08:12
41Emilien Barben (Swi) Switzerland0:08:20
42Elia Silvestri (Ita) Italy0:08:38
43Dario Stauble (Swi) Switzerland0:08:45
44Jerome Townsend (USA) United States of America-2laps
45Jeremy Ferguson (USA) United States of America
46Scott Thiltges (Lux) Luxembourg
47Vincent Dias Dos Santos (Lux) Luxembourg
48Wojciech Herba (Pol) Poland-3laps
DNFBryan Falaschi (Ita) Italy
DNFJonas Schau Guddal (Den) Denmark
DNFArnaud Grand (Swi) Switzerland
DNFTomas Paprstka (Cze) Czech Republic
DNFKarel Hnik (Cze) Czech Republic

World Cup standings after round 1
1Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Belgium60pts
2Marcel Meisen (Ger) Germany50
3Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Netherlands45
4Jim Aernouts (Bel) Belgium40
5Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Belgium35
6Joeri Adams (Bel) Belgium30
7Vinnie Braet (Bel) Belgium28
8Michiel Van Der Heijden (Ned) Netherlands26
9Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Belgium-B24
10Tijmen Eising (Ned) Netherlands22
11Sean De Bie (Bel) Belgium20
12Matthieu Boulo (Fra) France19
13Marek Konwa (Pol) Poland18
14Micki Van Empel (Ned) Netherlands17
15Sven Beelen (Bel) Belgium-B16
16Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Czech Republic15
17Matteo Trentin (Ita) Italy14
18Ole Quast (Ger) Germany13
19Angelo De Clercq (Bel) Belgium-B12
20Melvin Rulliere (Fra) France11
21Jens Adams (Bel) Belgium-B10
22Irwin Gras (Fra) France9
23Théo Dumanchin (Fra) France8
24Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Netherlands7
25Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Netherlands6
26Michael Schweizer (Ger) Germany5
27Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) Italy4
28Kenneth Hansen (Den) Denmark3
29Matthias Bossuyt (Bel) Belgium-B2
30Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Belgium-B1

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