Belgium Sweeps Men’s Under 23 Category at the UCI World Championships for Cyclo-cross 

Joran Wyseure Rides Away with the Win.

Joran Wyseure rode away from his teammates and the rest of the field to capture the Under 23 title Saturday at the 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships at Centennial Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.A. 

Wyseure started in 10th position but began to outdistance the field on the second of seven laps of the 1.8-mile (3 kilometer) course. He rode solo on most of the final five laps as countrymen Emiel Verstrynge, Neils Vandeputte, and Thibau Nys rode in two small groups that included Mees Hendrikx, Pim Ronhaar and Ryan Kamp of the Netherlands and Cameron Mason of Great Britain.

“I was feeling good after the first climb, so I decided to go,” Wyseure said. “Going into the final lap, I knew I had a good chance to win. I am so happy to wear this jersey. It means a lot to win and to have all my teammates on the podium.”

Verstrynge finished second, 13 seconds behind for the silver medal, while Nys outsprinted Mason of Great Britain and Hendrikx of the Netherlands for third place and the bronze medal. Nys broke his collarbone this past October and said his form had finally been rounding back into form after battling back from several injuries.

More than 7,000 spectators jammed the 1.8-mile (3 kilometer) course with a assortment of flags representing the 25-plus countries competing at the World Championships. The sounds of clanging cow bells and the blowing of an assortment of horns added to the party atmosphere.

“I want to take a moment to thank all the American fans who came to the race” said Nys, whose father Sven was a two-time World Champion. “The atmosphere was amazing. It gave me goosebumps to ride in a crowd like this. It was amazing.”

Verstrynge, who won the World Cup race in Flamanville, France this past month, added that he really noticed the number of Belgian flags in the crowd: “There were a lot. I didn’t expect that so many Belgians would make the trip to America to support us. The crowd here was nice.”

The top American finisher was Scott Funtson of Maple Valley, Wash., who finished 17th. Andrew Strohmeyer of Banner Elk, N.C. finished 21st overall.

Race Results

  1. Zoe Backstedt (Belgium), 49 min., 21 seconds
  2. Emiel Verstrynge (Belgium), +:13 sec.
  3. Thibau Nys (Belgium) +:33 sec.
  4. Mees Hendrikx (The Netherlands) +:33 sec.
  5. Cameron Mason (Great Britain) +:33 sec.

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