The countdown is now on before the start of the Cyclo-Cross European Championships that will take place next weekend (5 and 6 November) in Namur (Belgium).
The capital of Wallonia is preparing to experience three great days of cycling with the best international specialists in a unique setting for the Cyclo-Cross discipline. The spectacular circuit has been designed around the Citadel, a majestic fortress overlooking the city.
331 riders from 21 countries are registered for the continental event fighting for six titles on Saturday and Sunday (Masters will compete on Friday): Men Elite (46 registered, Men Juniors (83 registered), Men Under 23 (68 registered), Women Juniors (59 registered), Women Under 23 (46 registered) and Women Elite (29 registered).
The most eagerly awaited challenge will undoubtedly be the Men’s Elite race with the current European Champion Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) whose main opponents will be the Belgians Quinten Hermans and Michael Vanthourenhout, respectively second and third last year in Col du Vam and Eli Iserbyt, who has had an excellent start to the season.
In the Women’s all eyes will be on Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) who will be aiming for yet another title after having won this season the MTB Cross-Country, Short Track, Marathon and Gravel titles, as well as the silver medal in the MTB European Championships. Also competing will be the current World Champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands), and the Belgian rider Sanne Cant, the Hungarian Kata Blanka Vas, second last year, and the other Dutch riders including Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Annemarie Worst and Denise Betsema .
In the Women’s Under 23, the Netherlands will be the team to beat, thanks to Shirin Van Anrooij, Puck Pieterse and Fem van Empel who dominated the European podium last year. Others to watch are the young Zoe Backstedt and the French Line Burquier, Amandine Fouquenet and Olivia Onesti.
The Men’s U23 race will also be exciting with the riders that will be competing from the start of this season Thibau Nys, Jente Michels and Emiel Verstrynge (Belgium), Pim Ronhaar (Netherlands) and Dario Lillo (Switzerland).
In the Juniors category the quality of riders will be especially high with Léo Bisiaux (France), Vaclav Jezek (Czech Republic) and Viktor Vandenberghe (Belgium) in the Men’s, and Lauren Molengraaf (Netherlands), Fleur Moors (Belgium) and Viktória Chladoňová (Slovakia) in the Women’s.
Enrico Della Casa, President of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme: «The Cyclo-Cross European Championships are the UEC’s last competition of the season and is also one of the first major international events of this fascinating discipline. Europe has always been regarded as the birthplace of Cyclo-Cross and in a few days we will see yet another superb event in the charming and unique setting of the Namur Citadel with all the best specialists in the line-up, girls and boys that we will hear about in the next few months and in the years to come.
The huge media interest generated by these Championships shows that we are expecting a high-level event, which will be the pinnacle of the season.
I would like to thank the Belgian Cycling Federation and its President Tom van Damme, for the interest and support that it has always given to our events, as well as the Golazo Cycling organisers, the City of Namur and the Mayor Maxime Prévot and the Sports Delegate Charlotte Bazelaire, the government of Wallonia and all the volunteers for their continuous commitment, expertise and passion in helping to organise the most successful event”.
Info #EuroCross22 – click here