No, it did not become the European Championship for junior Arthur Van Den Boer. The shadow favorite from Elewijt fell early, but refused to throw in the towel. “Although the race was a disaster right away,” stammered Van Den Boer, who eventually finished 28th. Still eleven places behind him, Mats Vanden Eynde from Begijnendijk also suffered bad luck.
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“I immediately fell over when I drove into a hole,” an inconsolable Van Den Boer stammered after the finish through tears. “I really can’t say whether I fell first or whether others put me in that pit. And it doesn’t really matter. The match was a disaster straight away. I also couldn’t get into my rhythm at all, which meant that everyone passed me.”
Mats Vanden Eynde also had an unlucky day. The junior from Begijnendijk ultimately had to settle for 39th place. “I still had a good start,” said Vanden Eynde. “I estimate that I was somewhere around fifteenth place. The misery started in the second round. After a fall I couldn’t immediately get the chain back on the bike. She got stuck somewhere inside.”
And it wouldn’t stop there in terms of bad luck for the Begijnendijkenaar. “Because of the efforts I made to come back, my legs started to fill up. As a result, I started making mistakes and two laps later I rolled a second time. The chain also sputtered again at that moment. The barrel was completely finished immediately.”
Vanden Eynde also quickly realized that fellow provincial Van Den Boer was having a bad day. “Contrary to what we are used to, he rode in the same group as me. You could tell from his clothes that he had fallen. During my second fall I dragged him to the ground again. Too bad for Arthur.”
Storm Ciaran ensured that all championships in Pontchâteau were only held on Sunday. The European Championship for the junior boys was not scheduled until Sunday anyway, so Vanden Eynde had little trouble with the adjustment. “The only difference was we couldn’t come and explore on Saturday. It turned out to be a long, boring day at the hotel. Fortunately, we have a selection that formed a close-knit and fun group across the various categories. Otherwise the day would have lasted even longer.”