Upgrades Pay Off
“It was the best choice of my life so far,” Van der Poel said of the irreversible, debated decision to upgrade to the Elites after his race. “I’ve proven in Hoogerheide I capable of doing a good job in the Elite category. Today I had an awesome day, and the track was really technical, and that’s something that I can do really well [on].”
The larger message was clear, though: The podium finishers, with ages 20, 20 and 23, had finished within twenty seconds of each other. The following riders, Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout, and Meeusen, finished over a minute back. Nys, who had such a compelling ride for second place the year before in his battle with Stybar in Hoogerheide, continued to fall back to 17th place this year. The changing of the guard was complete.
We have a new generation of cyclocross riders at the top level.
Team USA Struggles, Page Finds Muddy Sanctuary
Youth ruled the day while the Americans struggled.
The lone exception to this was American Jonathan Page. Although he started the year off slow, even wondering how the young guys like Hyde were holding such speed over him at races like Charm City, he once again proved himself as the lead American at the World Championship, coming in at 23rd place. The finish comes at a incomprehensibly hard time for Page, who with his wife had just lost their fourth child in childbirth. Page would amazingly still start the race, riding in memory of his young son.
Powers was able to hold the 32nd place he fell back to halfway through the race. Zach McDonald, who had fallen as far back as 39th, fought back to 35th by the finish, and proved to be the last rider across the line before the others were pulled.
Jamey Driscoll, with the early mechanical, took 50th after being pulled with four laps to go, and Stephen Hyde was the only American not to finish. We’ll update the details on Hyde once we have more information.
British rider Ian Field come in at an impressive 21st place, although he admitted before the race that he was attempting to replicate his top 15 from Milton Keynes. Aaron Schooler of Canada was the last rider to get pulled, and thus placed right after McDonald with a 36th overall. Mark McConnell took 42nd, while Mike Garrigan was pulled close to Driscoll in 49th.
Stay tuned for more photos and reporting from Tabor.