This Saturday, Lauren Molengraaf became European cyclocross champion in the junior category on the challenging circuit on the Citadel of Namur (Belgium).
The 17 year old Dutch rider actually took a cautious start, concluding the first lap in fourth place at thirteen seconds behind the leading trio. Molengraaf caught her competitors in the second lap and accelerated several times in the lead, without being able to distance Italian rider Valentina Corvi and Belgian rider Xaydee Van Sinaey, who started the final lap together. The exciting battle ended in a victory for Molengraaf, who was faster than Corvi in the final hectometers, offering Tormans Cyclo Cross Team the second European title in a row after Zoe Bäckstedt’s succes last year.
“I’m particularly proud on this title because I won it at the end of a hard race. As the race favorite I had quite some pressure and I think that’s why I had a bad start. But despite this, I managed to ride to the lead of the race. Valentina Corvi was a strong contender, we delivered an exciting battle. That’s why it is so nice to win the gold medal. I want to enjoy this new jersey as much as possible while I’m waiting for my next goals, the World Cups and the World Championships in my home country.”, said the new European champion.
Three of her teammates also placed in the top 10: Arne Baers (Belgium) took 10th place in the U23 category – although he crashed at the beginning of the race. Marie Schreiber from Luxembourg just missed the podium in the U23 category with a 4th place. In the men’s elite race, Switzerland’s Kevin Kuhn finished in 5th place, while Quinten Hermans dropped out after a crash.