The appointment was of the important ones, in Italy at stake was the jersey of European cyclocross champion, which he had already brought home in the last two years. In 2017 from Tabor (CZE) and last year from Rosmalen (OLA).
This afternoon there were some unknowns that we had never had in the past few years, Mathieu Van der Poel appeared on the competition field with only one race in his legs, the one won last Sunday at Ruddervoorte. For this reason we were not 100% sure that he would tear his opponents to pieces.
Ready to go and immediately the orange mesh of MVDP was surrounded by those light yellow worn by the Belgians who are many and strong, but not extraterrestrials like the Dutch. Mathieu in front of a large paying public, a novelty in Italy (ticket of 10 euros) but a normal run in the rest of Europe, did not wait long to show all its value.
The first "sgasata" gave it at the end of the first lap, changing pitch and making a first selection. The Belgian national team, however, was not frightened by the world champion, reorganized itself and with Eli Iserbyt immediately took it back, stopping its first thrust. At the end of the second lap in only 6 seconds there were five Belgians, a Dutch and an Englishman (Pidcock).
In the fourth lap it was the 22-year-old Iserbyt who accelerated but Van der Poel was not frightened as in a few moments he returned to his wheel. Shortly after the Belgian army launched the attack on Michael Van thourenhout and MVDP found itself in the grip of the Flemish, but it is used to it. It happens in all the races in which it participates.
At the beginning of the penultimate lap, in two seconds there were the world champion alone, surrounded by 5 Belgian riders. The pace had dropped to await the final rush. Van der Poel has changed pace and only the number 5 Iserbyt has managed to follow him, without going out of rounds. In the final lap, the world champion continued with his step, putting the Belgian in difficulty, who in apnea and clenching his teeth did everything possible to avoid losing contact with the orange.
He didn't make it and so Mathieu Van der Poel at 24, for the third consecutive year he graduated European champion of cyclocross. Silver for Eli Iserbyt author of a great performance, second only 3 seconds behind the Dutch, the bronze medal took her home Laurens Sweeck.
For the three Azzurri who ran at home today it was tough, the Valtellina 21st Nicolas Samparisi (+5 '57' '), 24 ° Cristian Cominelli (+6 '41' ') and 26 ° Stefano Capponi which in the end was dubbed by the former. There were 30 riders in the race.
The next edition of the European Cyclocross Championships (7 and 8 November 2020) after only one year will return to being hosted by the Netherlands, the chosen location is that of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
ELITE MALE ARRIVAL ORDER
Holland 4 gold, 3 bronze
Belgium 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze
France 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze
Great Britain, Italy 1 silver
Switzerland 1 bronze