Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Amund Grøndahl Jansen has won the Norwegian championship. The 25-year-old Norwegian from Team Jumbo-Visma was the fastest of a group of three riders. Wout van Aert won the bronze medal at the Belgian championship. In the mass sprint the 24-year-old Belgian came up fast, but in the end he had to settle for third place. In the Netherlands, Danny van Poppel initially finished second. However, he was classified 28th by the jury due to irregular sprinting.
For the brand new Norwegian champion Jansen it is his second victory of the season, after he had previously won a stage in the ZLM Tour. Jansen’s win in the Norwegian championship means Team Jumbo-Visma’s thirty-fifth win of the season. Jansen will wear his new champion jersey for the first time during the first stage of the Tour de France on July 6.
“It was an ideal course for me”, Jansen said. “It included some hills and the wind created echelons. It will be fantastic to ride the Tour wearing the Norwegian jersey. I’m going to enjoy it very much.”
In the final kilometres of the Belgian championship the breakaway was caught, after which the peloton prepared for a mass sprint. Van Aert had to come from afar and could not prevent his friend Tim Merlier from becoming Belgian champion, despite his strong final shot.
“I already had to do a sprint when I came out of the last corner”, said Van Aert. “When I wanted to go, I was locked in. It was my own fault. My three teammates gave their all for me. We went for the title today, but unfortunately it did not work out. I would have liked to see that the race was more difficult in the final. Unfortunately, the course was not made for that.”
Jos van Emden and Koen Bouwman made the race at the Dutch championship in Ede. They were present in a leading group of nine with a maximum lead of almost nine minutes. This group was caught in the last five kilometres, so this championship also ended in a mass sprint. Van Poppel was well-positioned by his teammates of Team Jumbo-Visma, after which he rode a strong sprint and finished second. A wrong maneuver in the last hundred and fifty metres caused the 25-year-old rider to be relegated to place 28.
“It feels like I finished second today”, a disappointed Van Poppel said. “But I have to accept the decision of the jury.”