The cyclo-cross season has now started and the Union Européenne de Cyclisme is inviting the best cyclo-cross specialists to Pontchâteau (France) for the European Championships on 29 and 30 October.
At the heart of the Loire Atlantique department, in the Pays de la Loire region, Pontchâteau already has a solid experience in the organisation of major events after organising two editions of the World Championships, an European Championships, several World Cup rounds and six French Championships. It is now gearing up to welcome the best European representatives from this spectacular discipline.
The two days of racing will award five titles: two for Women (Elite and Under 23) and three for Men (Junior, Under 23 and since last year Elite) on a very technical and difficult route on the famous Coët-Roz circuit, enabling public fans to watch top level races.
The figures confirm the great interest of the various countries in this continental competition: up to now the European Championships will welcome (the confirmation of starters will be announced on Friday 28 October in the afternoon) a total of 240 athletes (37 Women Under 23, 28 Women Elite, 72 Men Junior, 64 Men Under 23 and 39 Men Elite) from 17 countries.
David Lappartient, President of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme: «We are very pleased that the Cyclo-Cross European Championships will be taking place in Pontchâteau, a town that has always hosted very high level events. The superb setting of the Parc Coët-Roz has been the site of unforgettable racing for two editions of the World Championships like it will be again next weekend, thanks to the agreement with the EBU (Eurovision Broadcasting Union) that will broadcast live coverage of Elite Men’s and Women’s races in over 60 countries. Sports enthusiasts from the local organising committee, lead by Hervé Faucheux, is a guarantee for success. Jean-Yves Plaisance’s technical experience and the passion of all the volunteers will, as always, be vital to enable the tens of thousands of spectators coming to Pontchâteau to experience two unforgettable days. »
The competition line-up
This edition of the European Championships in Ponttcâteau will be very spectacular. At the close of electronic registration some of the greatest world specialists are on these lists.
In the Elite race, all eyes will be on the first three in the last edition of the World Championships classification: the World Champion Wout van Aert, the second Lars van der Haar who will have to defend his European Champion title won last year and the third Kevin Pauwels. Also watch out for the former World Champion Mathieu van der Poel.
In the Under 23's, the reigning European Champion, the Belgian Quinten Hermans, will compete against some of the men currently in excellent form like the Dutch riders Joris Nieuwenhuis, Sieben Wouters and Jens Dekker (Junior World and European Champion last year), the Czech Republic representative Adam Toupalik, the Italian Gioele Bertolini and the Belgian Eli Iserbyt, current World Champion.
With the change of category of the current European Champion Jens Dekker and the Frenchman Thomas Bonnet (third last year), the Junior race will be wide open. The Belgians Yentl Bakaert and Toon Vandebosch will be among the favourites as well as the French rider Antoine Benoist and the Brit Tom Pidcock.
The Women’s race will revolve around the battle between the world champion Thalita de Jong and the reigning european champion Sanne Cant, who will also compete among others against the World vice-champion Caroline Mani and the British rider Helen Wyman.
The representative of the Czech Republic Nikola Noskova will be the favourite in the Under 23 Women’s race and will need to beat in particular the Swiss rider Sina Frei, already winner of two European titles in MTB Cross-Country.