Tom Meeusen hopes to join the big names of cyclocross in 2012/13
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tom Meeusen hopes to join the big names of cyclocross in 2012/13

by Ben Atkins at 1:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
Young Telenet-Fidea rider looking for consistency and victories this winter as his career develops

tom meeusenTom Meeusen hopes that the 2012/13 cyclocross season will be the one that sees him join the ranks of the ‘toppers’ like Sven Nys, Kevin Pauwels and World champion Niels Albert, according to Net Nieuwsblad. The 23-year-old from just outside Antwerp, Belgium, was speaking at his Telenet-Fidea team’s presentation at Belgian theme park Bobbejaanland. Meeusen was the outstanding under-23 ‘beloften’ rider two years ago but, since stepping up to the elite level, has not quite been able to match those results.

"The pressure is always there,” he said. “Even last year, when I was halfway through the season, I hadn’t won, and then it took until the last races of the season. If the pressure comes from the team, which comes from the outside, I try to leave it in my head so it doesn’t show.

Last season saw Meeusen make numerous podiums, with him rarely finishing outside the top five; it was not until the Lille GvA and Hoogstraten Superprestige double on the first weekend of February however, that he finally made the top step.

"What it comes down to, especially in the coming season, is that I can achieve a mix of my first two seasons as a professional,” he explained. “In my first year I had nothing more than a few outstanding results, without constancy; In my second year I was very consistent, without outstanding results.

“I want to combine those two seasons,” he said. “If I can, I will have taken a step closer to the top.”

With Telenet-Fidea teammate Bart Wellens’ career seemingly on a downward trend, Meeusen is the rider that the big team will be looking towards for its major results. If he can achieve this, and live up to the potential he showed as an under-23, Meeusen should genuinely add his name to the list of Belgian ‘toppers’.

"With Niels Albert, Kevin Pauwels and Sven Nys they are three,” he said. “I would like to make it four. I assume Albert and Pauwels are often a bit too big for me and that on most days Nys will know that he is out of my league, but occasionally there will be days for me."

Telenet-Fidea is one of the biggest teams in Belgium that is almost solely aimed at cyclocross, and has squads at every level of the sport. It is at the elite level that the team will be judged though, which is something that manager Hans Van Kasteren is only too aware of.

"Last season, after the departure of Kevin Pauwels, we chose to concentrate on youth," he said. "In the coming months we want more victories from leader Tom Meeusen, we want confirmation of Rob Peeters, and we hope that Bart Wellens will be able to get to his former level a few times.

“If everyone succeeds, we will be ready to make it to the top next season.”

Unsurprisingly, the Telenet-Fidea squads are dominated by Belgians, although the women’s team is far more international; its number has been boosted to five with the addition of US rider Amy Dombrowski.

Telenet-Fidea line up 2012/13

Elite with contract

Joeri Adams (Bel), Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra), Tom Meeusen (Bel), Rob Peeters (Bel), Bart Wellens (Bel)



Elite without contract

Thijs Al (Ned), Arnaud Grand (Swi)

Beloften (under-23)

Daniël Peeters (Bel), Daan Soete (Bel), Wout Van Aert (Bel), Corné van Kessel (Ned), Jens Vandekinderen (Bel)



Women

Nicolle De Bie-Leijten (Bel), Sophie de Boer (Ned), Amy Dombrowski (USA), Niki Harris (GBr), Pavla Havlikova (Cze)



Juniors

Ben Boets (Bel), Nicolas Cleppe (Bel), Kobe Goossens (Bel), Quinten Hermans (Bel), Vincent Peeters (Bel), Gianni Van Donink (Bel), Stijn Wijkel (Ned)

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