Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Wout van Aert has finished third in the time trial at the European Championships in Emmen. After a strong start, the rider of Team Jumbo-Visma had to settle for bronze. Joshua Tarling became the European champion.
Van Aert got off to a fast start on the almost 30-kilometre course in and around Emmen. He was only four seconds behind Tarling at the first checkpoint, and the European title seemed within reach. By the second checkpoint, however, the gap had widened considerably. Van Aert was battling with Stefan Küng and Stefan Bissegger for the podium.
After a crash by Küng and a faster finish by Bissegger, Van Aert had to settle for bronze. "I don't think a better result was possible today", the Belgian said. "I started the way I wanted to. The first twenty kilometres went well, but then I lacked the power to fight for more. I am usually strong in the last part of a time trial, but I was completely spent today. It's a shame."
"This course doesn't lie, so I'll have to settle for bronze"
"The last part was mostly straightforward. I knew that was where the time trial would be decided. This course doesn't lie, so I'll have to settle for bronze."
Van Aert admitted that the news about Nathan Van Hooydonck - forced to end his career after being fitted with an internal defibrillator - had struck him. "I'm finding it difficult. First, I am grateful and happy that he is still here, but it is a huge blow for him to give up his passion. Nathan was my best friend in the peloton, so it is hard to accept that his career is over."