Emiel Verstrynge is disappointed: “Came for gold”
Just like in 2022, Emiel Verstrynge stood for promises with silver around his neck after the Cyclo-Cross World Championships. He was no match for the Dutchman Tibor del Grosso on Saturday in Tabor, Czech Republic. “We knew in advance that we had to keep an eye on one person and that was Tibor. I tried to come back for two laps. After two laps over the limit, it was over for me. I fell a bit silent towards the finish “, Verstrynge said afterwards in front of the Sporza camera.
“I came for gold,” Verstrynge continued. “It was win or nothing. It’s about the jersey. A medal is always nice, but it’s a bit of a shame, maybe a bit of the story of the season. I was okay but Tibor was a bit better.”
Jente Michels was third on the podium. He was knocked out in a sprint by Verstrynge. “The first two rounds I had a bit of a hard time with the course. I made mistakes and couldn’t find my rhythm. But afterwards I got into the flow and was able to return to Emiel and it became an exciting battle between us,” Michels said. That battle took place behind the back of an unapproachable Del Grosso. “He was the strongest all season and today was no different. He is a deserved world champion. I am satisfied with my performance. I am not going to complain.”
Michels won the European title in Pontchâteau, France earlier this winter. “A European title like that is of course very nice, but I think a third place at the World Cup is worth just as much. I am very happy with it,” he emphasized.