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Kastelijn takes gold at women's European Cyclo-cross Championships

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Yara Kastelijn wins the UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships

Yara Kastelijn wins the UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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The final podium (L-R): Eva Lechner, Yara Kastelijn, Annemarie Worst

The final podium (L-R): Eva Lechner, Yara Kastelijn, Annemarie Worst (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Lechner, Kastelijn and Worst on the podium

Lechner, Kastelijn and Worst on the podium (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Kastelijn carries her bike over a thick mud section

Kastelijn carries her bike over a thick mud section (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Kastelijn celebrates her almost flag-to-flag victory

Kastelijn celebrates her almost flag-to-flag victory (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Eva Lechner took silver for the home nation

Eva Lechner took silver for the home nation (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
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Kastelijn celebrates after her win

Kastelijn celebrates after her win (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Report

Yara Kastelijn (Netherlands) became the new European cyclo-cross champion with a dominant victory in Silvelle, Italy. The 22-year-old led from the opening lap in tough conditions, and never gave up her advantage, soloing to the win after four laps of a muddy course.

Eva Lechner (Italy) scored a medal for the home nation, taking silver 12 seconds down on Kastelijn after a late challenge to the Dutchwoman. 2018 champion Annemarie Worst (Netherlands) took third, 26 seconds back, after a battle with Lechner that lasted much of the race.

"I felt really strong the last weeks, and this morning I felt really good," said Kastelijn after the race. "I didn't like the course because it was really muddy yesterday and also this morning. I was so happy that it was dry in the afternoon.

"After the start I was sixth or something, and I felt really good. I felt like I was stronger than the other girls, and then when I had the lead it was full gas. It's cool to be in the front because you can ride your own lines. My coach said to do that, I did, and now I'm here.

"[I've completed] all my goals already from this season. It's incredible. Now I will focus on the Worlds, I think.

"It's really nice that I can race the whole year in this jersey. It's a dream – I'm really young and now my dream has come true."

Kastelijn led the way early on, after being caught up in an early crash. Among the big favourites for the race after taking victories at Koppenbergcross and Superprestige Gavere, she pushed ahead through the thick, lumpy mud that defined the course.

A crash early on from 2018 champion Worst saw the field behind the Dutchwoman held up, exacerbating a tough situation on the opening lap.

The field quickly thinned while slogging through the mud, with most riders forced to race on their own – rather than following a wheel – midway through the opening lap. Such was the thickness of the mud that riders had to dismount and run on some flat sections of the course.

By the end of a ten-minute opening lap, only three riders remained within 30 seconds of the lead, with Worst and Lechner the next best on the course behind Kastelijns. The Belgian's advantage only grew on lap 2, racing 40 seconds ahead of her nearest chasers, while fifth-placed Sanne Cant (Belgium) lay a full minute down.

Lap three saw a big change in the situation as Lechner left Worst behind to hunt down Kastelijns. The Italian cut the Dutchwoman's lead in half on the penultimate lap, with 20 seconds between the duo as the bell rung. Worst trailed in six seconds down, and Cant was fourth at just over a minute down.

Lechner continued a persistent chase on the final lap, but the gap was too large to bridge. Minor slips from the leaders didn't affect the race situation, and as Kastelijn hit the finishing straight, she knew that she had time to celebrate her victory.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yara Kastelijn (Ned) 0:41:05
2Eva Lechner (Ita) 0:00:12
3Annemarie Worst (Ned) 0:00:26
4Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) 0:01:09
5Laura Verdonschot (Bel) 0:01:16
6Sanne Cant (Bel) 0:01:23
7Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)
8Alicia Franck (Bel) 0:01:48
9Loes Sels (Bel) 0:01:52
10Ellen Van Loy (Bel) 0:02:11
11Perrine Clauzel (Fra) 0:02:29
12Marlène Petit (Fra) 0:02:38
13Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) 0:02:48
14Geerte Hoeke (Ned) 0:03:04
15Sophie De Boer (Ned) 0:03:18
16Rebecca Gariboldi (Ita) 0:03:39
17Nadja Heigl (Aut) 0:04:13
18Zina Barhoumi (Swi) 0:04:30
19Mari-Liis Mõttus (Est) 0:04:36
20Anna Oberparleiter (Ita) 0:04:47
21Alessia Bulleri (Ita) 0:05:14
22Silvia Persico (Ita) 0:05:55
23Nikola Bajgerová (Cze) 0:06:14
24Katazina Sosna (Ltu) 0:10:04
25Elvira Khayrullina (Rus) +1 lap

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