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.

Zach McDonald battled Michael van der Heijden for a top ten finish for much of the race. © Cyclocross Magazine

Zach McDonald battled Michael van der Heijden for a top ten finish for much of the race. © Cyclocross Magazine

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.

Mike Teeunissen was patient in his move to the front but eventually escaped Bosmans on the last lap for the win. © Cyclocro

Mike Teeunissen was patient in his move to the front but eventually escaped Bosmans on the last lap for the win. © Cyclocro

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?”

Drew Dillman rode on the backs of many fans. © Cyclocross Magazine

Drew Dillman rode on the backs of many fans. © Cyclocross Magazine

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:

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

Rank
Name
Nat.
Age*
Result
1Mike TEUNISSENNED2148:40:00
2Wietse BOSMANSBEL2248:54:00
3Wout VAN AERTBEL1949:02:00
4Tijmen EISINGNED2249:15:00
5Jens ADAMSBEL2149:18:00
6Laurens SWEECKBEL2049:34:00
7Michiel VAN DER HEIJDENNED2149:45:00
8Michael VANTHOURENHOUTBEL2049:55:00
9Corne VAN KESSELNED2250:09:00
10Gianni VERMEERSCHBEL2150:14:00
11Zach MCDONALDUSA2250:22:00
12Kenneth HANSENDEN2250:30:00
13Michael (JR) SCHWEIZERGER2250:34:00
14David MENUTFRA2150:37:00
15Jonathan LASTRA MARTINEZESP2050:38:00
16Yannick ECKMANNGER2050:38:00
17Vojtech NIPLCZE2050:56:00
18Jakub SKALACZE2051:17:00
19Lars FORSTERSUI2051:28:00
20David VAN DER POELNED2151:40:00
21ClŽment VENTURINIFRA2051:44:00
22Julian ALAPHILIPPEFRA2152:00:00
23Lukas M†LLERSUI2152:09:00
24Michael BOROSCZE2152:13:00
25Andrew DILLMANUSA1952:20:00
26Fabian LIENHARDSUI2052:36:00
27Severin SAGESSERSUI2152:43:00
28Tomas PAPRSTKACZE2152:47:00
29Josh JOHNSONUSA2152:59:00
30Steven JAMESGBR2153:46:00
31Michael VAN DEN HAMCAN2153:57:00
32Hugo ROBINSONGBR1953:59:00
33Adam MARTINGBR1954:27:00
34Michimasa NAKAIJPN1954:42:00
35Andrew L'ESPERANCECAN2254:56:00
36Kohei MAEDAJPN19
37Skyler TRUJILLOUSA21
38Conor O'BRIENCAN21
39Tobin ORTENBLADUSA19
DNFEvan MCNEELYCAN21
DNFEmiel DOLFSMANED21
DNFDaniele BRAIDOTITA22