LIVE BLOG World Cup CROSS. Can Cant and Verdonschot surprise the women tomorrow? | Sport



Saturday’s program

• 11:05 am: junior women

• 12:35: Men’s promises


Eli Iserbyt: “The realist in me is resigned to Mathieu winning the world title”

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Thibau Nys: “Beat Mathieu? That won’t be until the day after tomorrow”

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Michael Vanthourenhout: “Let us hope that Van der Poel has not yet fully recovered from the tough training weeks”

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Iserbyt: “Without Mathieu it would of course be different”

How do Belgians view Mathieu van der Poel’s possible cross-retirement? “I think the press has made more fuss than necessary,” says Iserbyt. “Of course it would be different without Mathieu – then we would now be sitting here with four favorites. Then we would not speak to each other,” he causes a moment of hilarity in the press room.


Iserbyt: “Everyone can do their own thing”

Unlike last year, the Belgians will do it in Tabor without Wout van Aert. Does that make the discussion easier or more difficult? “With or without Wout, both have their charms. I think everyone starts with the best possible performance in mind. But with Wout there, the agreements are clear – now everyone can do their own thing. is different.”


Vanthourenhout: “There won’t be much tactics involved”

Michael Vanthourenhout proved his good form last weekend in Hamme by briefly joining Van der Poel. “But on Sunday it could all be over after three or four corners. It is a fair course, I think there will be little tactics involved. We are all old and wise enough to be at the start as a block.”

4:40 PM

Nys: “If I am at my best, the podium is possible. Otherwise not”

“I want to be the best version of myself,” Nys continues. “If that works, the podium is possible. Otherwise not. That’s very simple. I want to do everything I can to get to the start with good legs. Other than that, I’m not concerned with possible scenarios or anything like that. the other Belgians try to follow Van der Poel. After four to five corners we will already know a lot.”


Nys: “I want to perform”

For Thibau Nys it will be the first World Cup among the pros. “It can be an experience, but I’m not concerned with that. I want to perform. Last year I had to become world champion at all costs, but now that is not the case. That makes a world of difference.”


Iserbyt: “Stay with Mathieu as long as possible”

“We have to try to stay with Mathieu (van der Poel, ed.) as long as possible,” says Iserbyt. “It may be that he is very good at immediately pulling everything apart. But the longer he waits, the more morale we can get. There is of course a risk involved. The older ones will take that into account, the younger ones perhaps less so. is nice about this selection.”


There are the Belgians

The Belgian selection arrives at the press conference with a few minutes delay. How do they look ahead to the World Cup?


Press conference soon

At 4:30 PM the elite men will speak to the press. Either: Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout, Thibau Nys, Laurens Sweeck, Jens Adams, Toon Vandebosch, Niels Vandeputte, Joran Wyseure and Witse Meeussen. Follow it closely here!


Vanthourenhout: “Cant did a great job”

National coach Sven Vanthourenhout believes that Belgium has made the most of it with bronze. “I think that this was our ceiling. If you put Iserbyt or Nys here, you are talking about the same value. Or with the juniors and promises… If you put Emiel Verstrynghe, for example, he certainly won’t last five seconds. drive faster. I think that is the maximum team in terms of level, yes.”

Sanne Cant has done a great job and has corrected a lot, I think. The problem was that when she drove, she immediately found herself in no man’s land. I told her that anything was possible, but she didn’t believe that right away. But as soon as she left, we were right back on track. We suddenly got a view of the stage. And then Michael… Halfway through I shouted ‘just pop in’.”

It was no surprise to Vanthourenhout that French junior Aubin Sparfel won gold. “A super good driver. I’ve been following him on the road for two years. This is not new. He also drives in the AG2R training team. It’s not the first tough push I’ve seen him do. When they left, someone said that Great Britain would win… But I didn’t think so. You should see Sparfel drive the opening round in a Junior World Cup, he immediately pushes everyone to the limit. He is an incredibly strong driver.”

What value does Vanthourenhout attach to this medal? “From the moment the flag goes down, everyone is involved. You can think whatever you want about the concept, but you ride to win. You determine that order yourself. You learn from previous editions. You can make adjustments here and there, but you never know what the competition will do. So that is challenging, yes.”

And finally about the absent Netherlands: “I don’t make their bill. That is their choice. There are riders who already have a World Cup medal, for which it is of no added value. But there are also those who are now winning one who would never do in an individual category. For example, last year with the junior boys, we had Antoine Jamin. He is still grateful to me for that, because he realizes very well that otherwise he would never have won a World Cup medal.”

Sanne Cant. © BELGA



Sparfel wins in the sprint, allowing the junior to give France the world title. Great Britain and Mason are disappointed as second, Belgium takes bronze.

© Photo News


France or Great Britain?

What unexpected tension in this final round. Sparfel and Mason will soon be sprinting for gold!


French junior holds out

Aubin Sparfel, the French junior who completes the final round, surprisingly holds up strongly against professional Cameron Mason. The Brit has his hands full with the French top talent.


Half a minute

Vanthourenhout follows, half a minute behind Great Britain. Enough for bronze anyway, but can he provide another color with an ultimate comeback?


Vanthourenhout left

Edited by Sanne Cant, who regains a few seconds and launches Michael Vanthourenhout for his final lap. What can our compatriot still have to make up for against France, which sent another junior out to pasture, and Great Britain, which also let a professional start in the final round with Cameron Mason?

The article is in Dutch


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