With the long straights along the sea, Ben Tulett (Great Britain) and his road racing background were right at home on the Bogense Worlds course. However, it was the steep technical sections above the seawall where he made his move in Saturday’s Junior Men’s World Championships.
After a very fluid start with a large group of riders near the front, a selection of the race favorites—Witse Meeusen (Belgium), Ryan Cortjens (Belgium), Pim Ronhaar (The Netherlands) and Tulett—broke off the front midway through the second lap.
Tulett moved to the front after a slow start, then in the third lap, he made his move. The defending Junior World Champion powered to the front on the long straight to the far side of the course and led the lead selection up the embankment.
Ronhaar lost contact with the lead group when he had to dismount on the top of the first hill. Then, Tulett dropped the Belgian duo, extending a small lead at the bottom of the last descent of the down-up-down to nine seconds at the end of three laps.
The stage was set for the second half of the race. The two Belgians who combined to win five of the seven Junior World Cups this season chasing the defending champion who did not have the big wins but did come on strong at the end of the season.
Tulett proved to have too much for the Belgians, taking advantage of the power climbs and the long, flat sections of the Bogense course to solidify his lead and win his second-straight Junior World Championship.
“It hasn’t set in yet but it was just as good as the first time,” Tulett said about his win. “I’m so happy to come back from a hard season with injuries in the beginning, so I’m proud of myself.”
Favorites to the Front
Saturday’s course was the dampest it has been during the week of Worlds, but the ground was still hard and fast for the Junior Men’s race that opened the weekend. With the hard ground, the race along the Danish seashore started fast.
From the start, the Dutch and Spanish started fast, with Pim Ronhaar (The Netherlands) and Gonzalo Inguanzo Macho (Spain) trading early leads at the front. Nick Carter (USA) had a fast start, and slotted in third off the starting pavement.
The front of the race stayed very fluid for much of the first lap, with several riders trading turns leading the way.
At the last climb near the church, a small group of four had broken off the front, but when the leaders hit the start/finish straight, the lead group swelled to nine.
The large lead group stayed together for the first half of Lap 2, but in the second half of the circuit, the cream of the Junior crop rose to the top, with Cortjens, Meeusen, Ronhaar and Tulett getting a gap on the other riders.
Meeussen and Cortjens opened up a small gap off the technical section in front of the church and held it through the start/finish straight, As the riders pulled through the start/finish straight, the two Belgians held a small advantage, but Tulett and Ronhaar quickly shut it down.
Heading over the bridge and out for the third lap, the lead group was now four.
“At the beginning, I knew to keep it calm and composed,” Tulett said. “It’s a 40-minute race, you don’t need to be going hard at the beginning. It’s the finish line that matters. I felt like I dealt with that well.”
Tulett Makes His Move
Ben Tulett won Junior Worlds last season in Valkenburg, but while he recovered from early season injury issues, Cortjens and Meeussen led the way in the Junior World Cups, winning five of the seven races during the 2018/19 season.
In the third lap of Saturday’s race, Tulett showed that all those race wins did not matter when the sport’s top prize is on the line.
With the group still together heading down the long straight to the far side of the course, Tulett powered to the front and accelerated up the steep, punchy climb. He now had the lead for the first time in the race. Behind Tulett, Ronhaar put a foot down at the top. His hesitation dropped the leaders down to three.
“The power climbs are good for me, I really seem to be good at those,” Tulett said. “I chose my moment well on the third lap.”
Now with a small advantage, Tulett pressed his lead. He opened up a small gap at the second set up technical ups and downs and then stretched his lead to nine seconds by powering along the seawall and then down the Bogense dock.
Behind Tulett, the Belgian duo of Cortjens and Meeussen gave chase. It was two against one. A tough matchup, but slightly better odds than Sanne Cant would face later in the day in the Elite Women’s race.
As Lap 4 progressed, it became clear the morning and its rainbow jersey would belong to Tulett. The British rider extended his lead up to 15 seconds with 3 to go, and then kept it growing up to 25 seconds at 2 to go.
The rest of the way, it was like Valkenburg—minus the mud—with Tulett dominating the second half of the Junior Men’s race.
The finish was also the same as Valkenburg, with Tulett headed home in the rainbow jersey for the second straight season.
Meeussen and Cortjens stayed together deep into the last lap before Meeussen grabbed second place, leaving Cortjens with third.
“It’s already my third second-place in a championship this year, but I’m always there in championship races,” Meeussen said about the race. “I think I am happy, yes.”
Nick Carter started up near the lead group and finished 22nd. Alex Morton finished 18th, Jared Scott 41st, Conor Martin 46th, Andrew Strohmeyer 51st, Lucas Stierwalt 53rd and Paul Mysko 63rd.
Full results are below. Stay tuned for more photos and interviews.
For more from Bogense, see our 2019 Bogense World Championships page.
2019 UCI Cyclocross World Championships Results, Bogense Denmark: Junior Men
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Country||Age||Result|
|64||61||RUIZ DE ARCAUTE CUESTA||Ibai||ESP||18||0:48:23|