FLorsch is well known as a place of excellent cyclocross races for a long time now. Algis “Olek” Oleknavicius and his team have proven so often that they are perfect to get a well organized cyclocross event up and running in a german town. Therefore it was more than logical that Lorsch was selected to be the host for thist years european championships after Sankt Wendel dropped.
In 2011 Lorsch was hosting the german national championships. After more than a week of constant rain, the crucial part of the track on the grassland became an ocean of mud, some racers were in fear a simmilar mud-wrestling competition than back in 2011 could happen. But this time the weather was fine and the grassland stayed mainly dry. Therefore this weekend showed us some fast but still energy sapping races. Especially those thousands of changes in direction were a demanding challenge for the condition of the athletes.
Without any doubt Eli Iserbyt was the one and onyl favorite in the race of the juniors. This season the belgian champion won every singe race he started in, therefore it was no suprise that he passed the finish line ahead of all competitors. Swiss champion Johan Jacobs ran on second place for most of the rae, but had to leave the silver medal to Jappe Jaspers. Jaspers grew stronger an stronger towards the end of the race and manged to pass Jacobs during the last lap. Johan Jacobs seemed to be a bit disappointed, since he would have won if the race was finished one lap earlier. The jury set the duration of this race to fifty minutes instead of fourty minutes which is the normal duration.
‘The race of the females U23 was much more open and showed a close match between a whole bunch of riders. At the end Sabrina Stultiens from the Netherlands had the better end in a the final sprint against Martina Mikulaskova from the Czech Republik who was racing very strong as well. The bronze medal went to Alice Maria Arzuffi from Italy.
Since dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel was not about to start, no one was in doubt that all contenders could only fight for the remaining places behind the reigning world champion Wout van Aert. It came up as supposed, after roundabaout half time of the race van Aert whispered a soft good bye to his competitors and took a clear victory. Last years belgian champion Laurens Sweeck completed the second belgian double victory of the day. Czech rider Jakub Skala finished in third place. The defending champion Michael Vanthourenhout had to bury all hopes afte technical problems.
The ladies race should provide another belgian victory. This race was the tightest one of the day. For a long time the result was totally open since a large bunch of girls was leading the race. Two british riders Nikki Harris and Helen Wyman, three belgian women Sanne Cant, Elen van Loy und Jolien Verschueren, dutch rider Sanne van Paasen and the czech Pavla Havlikova were competing within some few seconds. On the finish line the belgian champion Sanne Cant managed to cross the finish line first ahead of Pavla Havlikova who aprreciated the win of a silver medal nearly as much as if she had won the race. Nikki Harris gained bronze whereas her compatriot Helen Wyman could not defend her title and finished fourth.