With two to go, the race was tactically poised. Teunissen took to the front, trying to hold off Van Aerts. Bosmans slotted in behind the tall Dutchman. After the stairs, Bosmans moved to the front and bobbled a few corners, allowing Van Aert to creep ever closer to the leading duo, but the small Belgian just couldn’t quite get there.
Halfway through the penultimate lap, Bosmans began stretching Teunissen. He jumped the barriers and flew towards the start/finish area. This effort saw off Van Aert’s challenge, and put Teunissen into difficulty. “I was giving everything to be on the podium,” said van Aert, who finished third. “At the end I was on the podium, so I was very pleased. This year was very good for me. I don’t expect to be in front for all the races.”
Bosmans sat up as he approached the line for the bell lap, leaving an opening for Teunissen to attack. The Dutchman fully committed himself and Bosmans seemed unusually heavy-legged in his response. After so many surges, attacks, slips and mistakes, this acceleration broke Bosmans. By the concrete stairs, Teunissen had secured nine seconds over Bosmans and with that, surely, the win.
Waiting until the last lap “wasn’t the tactic,” said Teunissen. “I made a couple of mistakes, and lost 20 seconds. So I didn’t have the thought I would come back. But I managed to catch up to Wietse and put the pressure on him. The last lap I just put on the gas and I saw the gap was there and knew it was done.”
“It’s awesome,” he continued. “Two years ago I was very close. A whole year I am working on it. It’s very very good.”
Teunissen was clearly fueled by the raucous crowds (at least according to Marianne Vos, who joked that the fans here today were the secret to the Dutch dominance of the first three races). “Here in America they are a little more crazy. It was astounding, the noise. It was fantastic to ride in such a wall of sound.“
“Yes and no,” said Bosmans, when asked if he was happy with second. “When I was in front I just pedal so hard because I could. So I keep going. But from the second lap I felt for my legs they weren’t very very good. So… Last year I was very disappointed, but this year Mike was just a little bit better than me. It’s good that the best racer wins. I can live with it a little better this year.”
McDonald took 11th, the highest placing American in the race. “I technically progressed, I think I did one better than last year,” he told us. “I don’t know what happened in the front, but it sure was exciting.”
The Americans were effusive in their praise for the home crowd. “It was like a road race.” Andrew Dillman, who finished 25th, added “So many people were yelling my name. How can you not go as hard as you can when you have that many people yelling your name?”
McDonald echoed Dillman, saying, “The crowd was awesome. The crowd is in your favor. Super nice to race in front of a home crowd, they were awesome. Super loud.”
And it wasn’t just the Americans who were pleased with the crowds, it was the Belgian fans as well. Many told Cyclocross Magazine that they felt at home, and they were surprised that so many people knew Belgian rider’s names.
Interview with Zach McDonald:
Missed the other race reports? Read them here:
- Sven Nys Cements His Legacy with Second World Championship Title
- Vos Rides Away with the Gold, Compton in Second in Elite Women’s World Championships
- Mathieu van der Poel Dominates Junior Men’s Worlds, Owen Finishes Fourth
2013 Cyclocross World Championships U23 Men Photo Gallery:
Gallery from Meg McMahon:
For all the latest news, results, photos and videos from the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships and Masters World Championships in Louisville, KY, keep checking our 2013 Cyclocross World Championships page.
2013 Elite U23 Cyclocross World Championship Results
|3||Wout VAN AERT||BEL||19||49:02:00|
|7||Michiel VAN DER HEIJDEN||NED||21||49:45:00|
|9||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED||22||50:09:00|
|13||Michael (JR) SCHWEIZER||GER||22||50:34:00|
|15||Jonathan LASTRA MARTINEZ||ESP||20||50:38:00|
|20||David VAN DER POEL||NED||21||51:40:00|
|31||Michael VAN DEN HAM||CAN||21||53:57:00|