Denmark's Breiner Henrik Pedersen and Ilse Pluimers (Netherlands) are the new European champions in the Under 23 category. The races took place today as part of the Road European Championships, which run until Sunday 24 September in the province of Drenthe (Netherlands).
The men's race took place this morning and the start of the race (from Hoogeveen) was particularly fast: the action that characterised the race began in the first straight. The race was led by the trio of Ivan Romeo (Spain), Breiner Henrik Pedersen (Denmark) and Mateusz Gajdulewicz (Poland). The three men immediately got together and quickly opened up a lead of more than four minutes over the peloton.
At the start of the final 13.7-kilometre circuit on the Col du Vam, which was tackled five times, the peloton began to make up ground on the frontrunners and Gajdulewicz picked up the pace on the third lap. In the final kilometres, Romeo and Pedersen resisted the return of the peloton and on the last climb to the finish, Pedersen overtook Romeo to take the European title solo. Romeo finished second at 25'' while the rest of the field, led by Frenchman Paul Magnier, crossed the line at 37''.
In the afternoon, it was the women's turn to set off from Coevorden. The race really got going in the last three laps of the final Col du Vam circuit, with Maike van der Duin (Netherlands) and Zoe Backstedt (Great Britain), who won the Time-Trial title on Wednesday. With around 20 kilometres from the finish, Zoe Backstedt, who also won the European Cyclo-Cross Championships in 2021 at the Col du Vam, remained alone in the lead before being caught up by the small group of the best. Anna Shackely (Great Britain) and Ilse Pluimers (Netherlands) forced the pace on the climb and won ahead of Shackely and Lisa Zanetti. Shackely and Lisa Zanetti (Switzerland), came respectively second and third.
Tomorrow, Saturday 23 September, the European titles in the Road races for the Junior Men (111 km, start from Drijber at 9.00 am) and Elite Women (131.3 km, start at 1.45 pm) will be awarded at the Col du Vam.