Meeusen, Peeters on track for World Cyclo-cross Championships
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Meeusen, Peeters on track for World Cyclo-cross Championships

by Kyle Moore at 1:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, World Championships
Peeters promises to be a team player after warning from Belgian Federation

Tom MeeusenThe Telenet-Fidea duo of Tom Meeusen and Rob Peeters are both preparing to kit up in the Belgian national colours for Sunday’s World Cyclo-cross Championships, and both have remarked that preparations are going smoothly.

Both of the younger Belgian ‘cross stars are likely to be working for the designated leaders of their Worlds squad, in World Cup winner Kevin Pauwels, runner-up Sven Nys, and former world champion Niels Albert.

Meeusen has previewed the course in Koksijde, famous for its sand dunes, and has reported that the course is dry for now, adding that it would suit him if it remained this way.

“Hopefully it will remain dry,” he said. “Otherwise you get those typical paths in the sand. These hazards add to the technical aspect. That would be a shame, because right now it is just as I like it.”

Meeusen placed fifth in Koksijde when the World Cup series went to the course on November 26th. But he had seen a drop-off in recent weeks, forced to drop out of the World Cup Lievin race on January 15th because of a back injury, before bouncing back for a 7th place finish last weekend in Hoogerheide.

Trying to regain the kind of form that had him in the top five of several cyclo-cross series’ early in the season, Meeusen continued with his training regimen until mid-week.

“Tuesday and Wednesday I was still training,” he added. “I wanted one last chance to dot the I’s. Then the brakes went on. Yesterday I rode two half-hour sessions. That’s what I always do the Thursday before a big race. Today I trained on the course, and I will again tomorrow. In between I just try to recover in bed.”

Meeusen’s trade team-mate Peeters, on the other hand, is trying to stifle rumours that he may be able to reach the podium on Sunday. The 26-year-old is quick to dismiss these.

“I have not read newspapers that are aware [of my chances], and I do not see such predictions,” he insisted today. “I will be very content if I finish between fifth and tenth. Furthermore, I do not even think about it. I am calm.”

Earlier this week, the Belgian Cycling Federation issued a warning to all its riders that the team was to work as a unit, all in for its captains to ensure that two-time returning champion Zdenek Stybar of the Czech Republic does not take home his third straight world title. Peeters is certain that the Belgian team will work harmoniously.

“I repeat, I ride in the World Championships in the service of my team-mates,” he clarified. “In this context, I hope to get a good start. I can lend a hand. Someone will have to ride to close gaps. I will gladly do that.”


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