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:

1 Jim Aernouts (Belgium) 0:53:23
2 Tom Meeusen (Belgium) 0:00:02
3 Arnaud Jouffroy (France) 0:00:16
4 Robert Gavenda (Slovakia) 0:00:33
5 Vincent Baestaens (Belgium) 0:00:36
6 Joeri Adams (Belgium)
7 Marek Konwa (Poland)
8 Tijmen Eising (Netherlands) 0:01:01
9 Micki Van Empel (Netherlands) 0:01:08
10 Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands) 0:01:30
11 Kevin Cant (Belgium) 0:01:33
12 Jan Denuwelaere (Belgium) 0:01:38
13 Kevin Eeckhout (Belgium) 0:02:04
14 Marcel Meisen (Germany) 0:02:11
15 Cristian Cominelli (Italy) 0:02:15
16 Matthieu Boulo (France) 0:02:18
17 Mitchell Huenders (Netherlands) 0:02:27
18 Sascha Weber (Germany) 0:02:33
19 Jiri Polnicky (Czech Republic) 0:02:40
20 Kacper Szczepaniak (Poland) 0:02:56
21 Pawel Szczepaniak (Poland)
22 Stef Boden (Belgium) 0:03:02
23 Sven Beelen (Belgium) 0:03:13
24 Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) 0:03:30
25 David Menger (Czech Republic) 0:03:37
26 Vinnie Braet (Belgium) 0:03:51
27 Karel Hnik (Czech Republic) 0:03:54
28 Corne Van Kessel (Netherlands) 0:04:32
29 Arnaud Grand (Switzerland) 0:04:38
30 Melvin Rulliere (France) 0:04:42
31 Ole Quast (Germany) 0:04:45
32 Matteo Trentin (Italy) 0:04:50
33 Jannik Hyldtoft Hansen (Denmark)
34 Lukas Winterberg (Switzerland) 0:05:03
35 Michael Schweizer (Germany) 0:05:37
36 Mattias Nilsson (Sweden) 0:05:41
37 Elia Silvestri (Italy) 0:06:06
38 Dario Stauble (Switzerland) 0:06:08
39 Jonas Schau Guddal (Denmark) 0:06:51
40 Kenneth Hansen (Denmark) 0:07:02
41 Michael Winterberg (Switzerland) 0:07:19
42 Irwin Gras (France) 0:07:49
43 Zach Mcdonald (United States) 0:09:06
44 Kamil Gradek (Poland) 1 lap
45 Fabian Danner (Germany)
46 Toni Bretschneider (Germany) 2 laps
47 Naran Khangarid (Mongolia)
48 Baasankhuu Myagmarsuren (Mongolia)
49 Marek Canecky (Slovakia) 3 laps
50 Thomas Girard (France)