CX Worlds Race Report: Under 23 Men
FEB 2, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — You could be forgiven if aliens dropped you into Eva Bandman Park and you mistook it for somewhere in northern Europe. Quintessential cyclocross sights and sounds. Best guess would be Holland, the biggest clue being orange-and-blue-clad riders standing on top of the podium in every race completed so far at these 2013 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships.
Netherlands is now three-for-three, as Mike Teunissen rode an intelligent race to claim a confident Under 23 Men’s victory and add to his country’s pile of gold. Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) had a lot to say about that and up until the last lap looked to be in the catbird seat. These two worked well together to establish a comfortable gap by the halfway mark, with another Belgian, Wout Van Aert, desperately trying to remain in contact.
Bosmans was clearly the more technically talented, consistently hopping the barriers and chugging up a steep, slick, off-camber hill that had Teunissen dismounting in both cases. But when Teunissen opened the throttle on the last lap, suddenly Bosmans had a look of desperation in his mud encrusted eyes. Shut up, legs.
The Dutchman pried open a 14-second margin on the last go-round, Bosmans staggered in for silver, and Van Aert was able to remain clear for bronze eight seconds later. He had a 13-second cushion on fourth-place Tijmen Eising (Belgium).
Top American in this one was Washington native Zach McDonald, who spent much of the race within the top ten but ultimately finished in 11th place.
Considering the setting, conditions and results, these World Championships seem eerily similar to the previous 63. It’s still amazing that it’s happening in mid-America for the first time. Not such an alien concept after all.
Under 23 Men
- Mike Teunissen (Netherlands)
- Wietse Bosmans (Belgium)
- Wout Van Aert (Belgium)