Only a few days remain before the start of the Cyclo-Cross European Championships that will take place next weekend in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands).
The main city in the Brabant-Septentrional region is preparing for three days of great cycling with the best international specialists.
272 riders from 20 countries are registered for this continental event. They will compete on Sunday (Masters races will be held on Friday and Saturday) for the five titles on offer: Men Elite (54 registered), Men Juniors (81 registered), Men Under 23 (61 registered), Women Under 23 (44 registered) and Women Elite (32 registered).
The most eagerly awaited event is the Men’s Elite race with the current European Champion, Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) and the current World Champion Wout van Aert (Belgium), who also won silver and bronze medals this season at the Road European Championships in Glasgow.
As well as Van der Poel and Van Aert, we are also expecting a lot of Belgians, Toon Aerts, European Champion in 2016, Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout and the Dutch rider Lars van der Haar, silver medallilst at the European Championships last year.
In the Women’s events, watch out for Marianne Vos (Netherlands) who has won seven World Championships in her career and three European Cyclo-Cross titles. This year she has focused on this discipline with great determination. Marianne Vos, who also won the Road continental title in 2017, will be racing against the current World Champion, Sanne Cant (Belgium), the Briton, Helen Wyman, her compatriot Annemarie Worst and the Italian, Alice Maria Arzuffi.
In the Women’s Under 23 (17-22 years), Ceylin Del Carmen (Netherlands) and Marion Norber Riberolle (France) will be the favourites in a race that promises to be very exciting as well as the Men’s Under 23 race that could be a revenge race between the World Champion, Eli Iserbyt (Belgium), who won the European title last year and Tom Pidcock (Great Britain), second in 2017 after a very close sprint.
The Men’s Juniors races will be very spectacular with the great stars of the beginning of this season: Witse Meeussen (Belgium), Luke Verburg (Netherlands) and the Czech Republic trio, Jakub Ťoupalík, Tomáš Ježek and Jan Zatloukal.
Rocco Cattaneo, President of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme: «We are about to experience a great weekend of Cyclo-Cross in the prestigious setting of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Cyclo-Cross has always been one of the most popular disciplines in Europe which has been proved over the last few seasons and also for this edition since the best world specialists will be competing.
The great media interest in these Championships is the best proof that we will have a high level event which is one of the most eagerly awaited of the season.
I would like to thank the Dutch Cycling Federation and its President, Marcel Wintels, and the organisers of the Stichting Grote Prijs van Brabant and the Libéma Profcycling, as well as all volunteers who have been working for a long time with devotion, skill and passion to organise to the best of their ability an event that will undoubtedly be a huge success.