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First European Championship gold for Emiel Verstrynge

At the European Cyclocross Championships in Namur, Belgium, Emiel Verstrynge (Crelan-Fristads) won the U23 European Championship title, while his Crelan-Fristads teammate Laurens Sweeck took the bronze medal in the Men's Elite category.

After finishing second at the Cyclocross World Championships, winning the UCI World Cup race in Flamanville and the Belgian U23 title in January, it was Emiel's biggest success in his career so far.

The 20-year-old Belgian was part of the leading group right from the start of the race, but had to let go again and again compared to the favourite Pim Ronhaar. In the penultimate round, however, he managed to catch up with the leaders. In the final lap and after a cleverly planned race, Emiel was finally able to take the lead and also fend off an attack by his compatriot Thibau Nys. In the end, Emiel rolled across the finish line six seconds ahead of Nys to secure his first international title.

In the Men Elite race and a week after his first World Cup win, Laurens Sweeck (Crelan-Fristads) took another podium finish with a bronze medal. Seven-time German champion, Marcel Meisen (STEVENS Racing Team), finished 15th. In the Women Elite race, Team 777 teammates Inge van der Heijden, Aniek van Alphen and Anna Kay finished 6th, 8th and 10th respectively.

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