Koksijde World Cup JR ©Bart Hazen

Gert Jan Bosman wins the Koksijde World Cup. ©Bart Hazen

by Dan Seaton

Koksijde, Belgium – Saturday brought classic weather – sun, clouds, rain, and sun again – to the Belgian coast and the UCI World Cup made the first of three visits to the heartland of ‘cross. It was a rare race where course conditions may have benefited from some wet weather, as the rain helped pack the shifting sand of the dunes that comprise the majority of the track.

The day saw Americans contest every race, with Kansas City standout Chris Wallace in the Juniors race, 2008 Junior National Champion Zach McDonald making his first start in the Under-23 field.

Bosman Wins Juniors Race

The Juniors took the course first, and Dutch rider Gert-Jan Bosman launched an early attack to claim a five-second victory over countryman Michiel Van Der Heijden. David Van Der Poel, also of the Netherlands, took the sprint for third place over Belgians Jens Vandekinderen and Bart De Vocht to make it a Dutch sweep. American Chris Wallace finished in 43rd place.

Aernouts on Top in Under-23’s

Koksijde World Cup U23 ©Bart Hazen

Robert Gavenda never recovered from a poor start at the Koksijde World Cup. ©Bart Hazen

In a race punctuated by a minor hail storm, Belgian Jim Aernouts emerged from a group of three to take a two-second victory on the last lap. Aernouts and fellow Belgian Tom Meeusen shook off French rider Arnaud Jouffroy, who led the trio with one to go. But Aernouts had the better legs at the end, pulling away from Meeusen for the victory.

World Cup leader Robert Gavenda started slow and never managed to connect with the lead group, but nonetheless charged from a position as deep as 10th to pull in a fourth place finish and hold on to the World Cup leaders jersey. Vincent Baestaens, who lost contact with the lead group on the fourth of eight laps was the victim of Gavenda’s late charge, finishing fifth. Zach McDonald rode well, but faced a tough challenge in his first U23 race on the world stage, crossing the line in 43rd.

Photo Gallery:


U23 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)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)