Ben Tulett retains junior UCI cyclo-cross world title
02 February 2019 11:20
For the second year in a row Ben Tulett (Great-Britain) captured the rainbow jersey in the Men Junior category at the UCI cyclo-cross World Championships. On a fast, technical course in Bogense (Denmark) the British champion rode a flawless race and completed a long solo ride. Belgian riders Witse Meeussen and Ryan Cortjens were unable to keep up with the defending champion and captured the remaining podium spots at twenty seconds from Tulett. The latter struggled throughout the season to show off his rainbow jersey but in Bogense he showed that his win in Valkenburg 2018 wasn’t a fluke. “It feels just as good as the first time. I’m so happy I was able to come back from a hard season with injuries at the beginning. I’m proud of myself. [.] It’s a completely different course. Last year was really muddy and today I didn’t change bikes once. It shows how different cyclo-cross can be in different conditions.” Tulett said in the post-race flash interview. During the first of seven laps, European champion Pim Ronhaar led the pack over the frozen course at the Bogense marina. A dozen riders survived the first scrimmages while World Cup winner Meeussen, Tom Lindner (Germany) and Luke Verburg (Netherlands) were held up in a crash. During the second of seven laps, Belgian champion Ryan Cortjens upped the pace with Meeussen, Ronhaar and Tulett being the only riders to keep up. Outsiders Thibau Nys (Belgium) and Nick Carter (USA) punctured and lost contact.ADVERTISEMENT “At the beginning, I knew that I just had to need to keep calm and composed. It’s a forty minutes race and you don’t have to go hard at the beginning. It’s the finish line that matters. I felt I could deal with that very well,” Tulett said. During the third lap, Tulett charged forward just ahead of the most technical part of the course with a few power climbs and off-camber sections. Ronhaar quickly got dropped. “I think the power climbs were really good for me. I really seem to be good at those. I chose my moment well on that lap,” Tulett said. A few moments later the seemingly stronger Belgian riders had to let go of Tulett on a slippery off-camber climb. Tulett explained that he tried to make use of internal rivalry in the Belgian selection. “I think I used that to my advantage. I knew that maybe they were looking at each other. I used my head and went when I thought that it was best for me. It seemed to have worked out today.” Meeussen seemed content with his second place at twenty seconds, after already finishing as runner-up at the European championships behind Pim Ronhaar. Cortjens was third at a short distance. Thibau Nys recovered well from his puncture and crossed the line with his thumb up in fourth place, just ahead of Ronhaar, Lindner and Carlos Canal Blanco (Spain).
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