While most of the U.S. (including CXM’s full team) had its attention on the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships in Hartford, CT, many of the cyclocross countries across the pond also had their championships, albeit not in the form of a week-long event.
In Belgium, the favorites rose to the top, with Wout van Aert (Creland – Charles) powering his new Felt cyclocross bike to keep what’s arguably the second-most prestigious cyclocross jersey hanging in the closet. (The 2017 Cyclocross World Championships in Luxembourg will dictate whether it ever makes an appearance.)
Van Aert had time to celebrate, shooting an invisible gun, perhaps mimicking a rival Dutch sniper, and lifting his bike into the air in a salute cyclocross fans saw by Stephen Hyde in Hartford, without the late-race heart-stopping mechanical drama.
Without Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel (he would defend his Dutch title), the cagey perpetual third place Kevin Pauwels (Marlux – Napoleon Games) seized the opportunity to step up higher on the podium, using his trademark patience and late-race surge to claim second by outkicking Laurens Sweek and Tim Merlier on the last lap in an exciting race for second.
See the race in the full Belgian National Championships men’s race video and results below the slideshow, and stay tuned as we catch up on the other European National Championship races including the women’s Belgian race.
2017 Belgian Cyclocross National Championships Video – Elite Men
2017 Belgian Cyclocross National Championships: Elite Men - Ostend / Oostende
|1||Wout VAN AERT||23||1:01:15||100|
|18||Angelo DE CLERCQ||26||1:05:11|
|21||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||29||1:05:48|
|30||Dave DE CLEYN||29|
|33||Bert DE WISPELAERE||35|
|38||Tim DE SCHUYTER||24|