French junior Célia Gery convincingly won the European title on Sunday morning, in front of her own people in Pontchâteau. 17-year-old Shanyl De Schoesitter was the best Belgian, but disappointed with an eleventh place after a strong opening phase.
It was the junior women who were allowed to open the busy Sunday program of the European Cycling Championships at 9 am. Due to the stormy weather, all matches were moved from Saturday to Sunday.
The juniors immediately wanted to compete on the French circuit. There was no waiting round. The French favorite Célia Gery immediately forced a nice gap.
The top favorite Cat Ferguson could not keep the wheel, but kept the French in sight. Shanyl De Schoesitter, the junior who was mainly looked at in the Belgian camp, was in a group for third place at about ten seconds.
Nice battle for silver
From the background, Slovakian Viktoria Chladanova gradually became more involved in the match. She moved up and over to third place, but the French Gery had already disappeared far from sight.
The battle for silver was still exciting. Chladanova was actually the only rider who did not lose a second to Gery during the entire race and thus joined the British Ferguson in the third round. The Schoesitter could already put away her hopes for a medal, because after three laps she was already 1’12” behind the leader and about fifty seconds behind the duo that fought for silver.
It was Ferguson who managed to beat the Slovakian in the final round. Although it all happened far behind Gery, who was allowed to triumph in front of his own people. De Schoesitter fared less well. She would lose a lot of places at the end of the race. She finished outside the top ten, eleventh, more than three minutes behind the Frenchwoman.