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Aernouts takes home victory in under-23 race

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Under-23 men's podium: Tom Meeusen (2nd, Belgium), Jim Aernouts (1st, Belgium) and Arnaud Jouffroy (3rd,France)

Under-23 men's podium: Tom Meeusen (2nd, Belgium), Jim Aernouts (1st, Belgium) and Arnaud Jouffroy (3rd,France)
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Tom Meeusen (2nd, Belgium), Jim Aernouts (1st, Belgium) and Arnaud Jouffroy (3rd,France)

Tom Meeusen (2nd, Belgium), Jim Aernouts (1st, Belgium) and Arnaud Jouffroy (3rd,France)
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Belgians Tom Meeusen and Jim Aernouts ahead of French rival Arnaud Jouffroy on the sand.

Belgians Tom Meeusen and Jim Aernouts ahead of French rival Arnaud Jouffroy on the sand.
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Jim Aernouts (Belgium) celebrates his World Cup win

Jim Aernouts (Belgium) celebrates his World Cup win
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Marek Konwa (Poland) rolls into the finish

Marek Konwa (Poland) rolls into the finish
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Arnaud Jouffroy had to settle for third place today

Arnaud Jouffroy had to settle for third place today
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)
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Robert Gavenda (Slovakia) defended his World Cup leader's jersey with fourth place.

Robert Gavenda (Slovakia) defended his World Cup leader's jersey with fourth place.
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)

Belgian Jim Aernouts got the better of compatriot Tom Meeusen in a high quality race at the second round of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) World Cup for under-23 men. In addition to the traditional obstacle of Koksijde's sand dunes, some hail showers added even more spectacle halfway the race.

Belgians Tom Meeusen and Jim Aernouts got rid of French rival Arnaud Jouffroy in the finale and were left to sprint it out for the victory. Aernouts proved the stronger of the two as he grabbed the win from Meeusen.

World Cup leader Robert Gavenda didn't have a great start, but fought his way back into the race. He eventually saved his leader's jersey by holding off Marek Konwa and Belgians Vincent Bastaens and Joeri Adams in the sprint for fourth place.

Sole US-starter Zach McDonald was held up by crashes early on, but showed glimpses of his talent by going smoothly through the sand and eventually finished 43rd.

"After a few laps I blew up my engine and got overheated," McDonald told Cyclingnews. "I was grateful with the hail as it cooled me down. I knew a good placing was no longer possible and in the end I mainly focused on not being lapped."

Full Results
1Jim Aernouts (Belgium)0:53:23
2Tom Meeusen (Belgium)0:00:02
3Arnaud Jouffroy (France)0:00:16
4Robert Gavenda (Slovakia)0:00:33
5Vincent Baestaens (Belgium)0:00:36
6Joeri Adams (Belgium)
7Marek Konwa (Poland)
8Tijmen Eising (Netherlands)0:01:01
9Micki Van Empel (Netherlands)0:01:08
10Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands)0:01:30
11Kevin Cant (Belgium)0:01:33
12Jan Denuwelaere (Belgium)0:01:38
13Kevin Eeckhout (Belgium)0:02:04
14Marcel Meisen (Germany)0:02:11
15Cristian Cominelli (Italy)0:02:15
16Matthieu Boulo (France)0:02:18
17Mitchell Huenders (Netherlands)0:02:27
18Sascha Weber (Germany)0:02:33
19Jiri Polnicky (Czech Republic)0:02:40
20Kacper Szczepaniak (Poland)0:02:56
21Pawel Szczepaniak (Poland)
22Stef Boden (Belgium)0:03:02
23Sven Beelen (Belgium)0:03:13
24Wietse Bosmans (Belgium)0:03:30
25David Menger (Czech Republic)0:03:37
26Vinnie Braet (Belgium)0:03:51
27Karel Hnik (Czech Republic)0:03:54
28Corne Van Kessel (Netherlands)0:04:32
29Arnaud Grand (Switzerland)0:04:38
30Melvin Rulliere (France)0:04:42
31Ole Quast (Germany)0:04:45
32Matteo Trentin (Italy)0:04:50
33Jannik Hyldtoft Hansen (Denmark)
34Lukas Winterberg (Switzerland)0:05:03
35Michael Schweizer (Germany)0:05:37
36Mattias Nilsson (Sweden)0:05:41
37Elia Silvestri (Italy)0:06:06
38Dario Stauble (Switzerland)0:06:08
39Jonas Schau Guddal (Denmark)0:06:51
40Kenneth Hansen (Denmark)0:07:02
41Michael Winterberg (Switzerland)0:07:19
42Irwin Gras (France)0:07:49
43Zach Mcdonald (United States Of America)0:09:06
44Kamil Gradek (Poland)-1 lap
45Fabian Danner (Germany)
46Toni Bretschneider (Germany)-2 laps
47Naran Khangarid (Mongolia)
48Baasankhuu Myagmarsuren (Mongolia)
49Marek Canecky (Slovakia)-3 laps
50Thomas Girard (France)

U23 Men standings after 2 rounds
1Robert Gavenda (Svk) Slovakia100pts
2Tom Meeusen (Bel) Belgium80
3Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) France80
4Jim Aernouts (Bel) Belgium63
5Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Italy61
6Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Belgium54
7Lubomir Petrus (Cze) Czech Republic50
8Micki Van Empel (Ned) Netherlands50
9Arnaud Grand (Swi) Switzerland42
10Tijmen Eising (Ned) Netherlands42
11Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Czech Republic40
12Matthieu Boulo (Fra) France37
13Pawel Szczepaniak (Pol) Poland34
14Sascha Weber (Ger) Germany33
15Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Belgium32
16Joeri Adams (Bel) Belgium30
17Kevin Cant (Bel) Belgium30
18Marek Konwa (Pol) Poland28
19Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Netherlands28
20Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Netherlands28
21Marcel Meisen (Ger) Germany25
22Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Belgium18
23Alessandro Calderan (Ita) Italy18
24Luca Braidot (Ita) Italy17
25Karel Hnik (Cze) Czech Republic16
26Ole Quast (Ger) Germany15
27Kacper Szczepaniak (Pol) Poland11
28Nico Brüngger (Swi) Switzerland11
29Stef Boden (Bel) Belgium9
30Bryan Falaschi (Ita) Italy9
31Sven Beelen (Bel) Belgium8
32Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Belgium7
33Michael Schweizer (Ger) Germany7
34David Menger (Cze) Czech Republic6
35Vinnie Braet (Bel) Belgium5
36Filip Adel (Cze) Czech Republic5
37Max Walsleben (Ger) Germany4
38Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Netherlands3
39Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Belgium2
40Melvin Rulliere (Fra) France1
41Matthias Rupp (Swi) Switzerland1

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