Tom Meeusen disppointed in U23 Cyclo-cross World Championship performance
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Meeusen disappointed

by Bjorn Haake at 12:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross

Tom Meeusen had dominated the U23 cyclocross racing in the winter and anything  but a victory by the Belgian would have to be considered a surprise. And a surprise it was, as Meeusen ended in fourth place, behind the Szczepaniak brothers - Pawel and Kacper - and Arnaud Jouffroy.

Meeusen was self-critical after the race. "I blew myself up in the beginning of the race, when the Polish riders set such a high pace," he said to Sportwereld. "I couldn't do anything but try to follow the pace, when the gap started to open - it was my only option."

Rarely this season has Meeusen been put under this much pressure. But the Hoogerheide World Cup race may have been an indication for today's outcome. A week ago, Kacper Szczepaniak beat Meeusen (Pawel was tenth). This time, the pressure was too much. "That was my demise," Meeusen said. "I had trouble with the acceleration, but of course I didn't want to let them go."

The power that he lost in the race against the brothers was then also lacking in the fight for the last remaining medal. "In the final phase of the race I couldn't even fight against Arnaud Jouffroy for third place. This is a serious disappointment. I had hoped for so much more."

Even more frustrating for Meeusen must be the fact that the Szczepaniaks said there was no pre-race tactic. "We didn't talk to each other, we both did our own race. It was my decision to attack in the last phase of the race," Pawel said after the race. "When Kacper came up we still didn't talk. When he changed bikes I accelerated." Hopefully they now talk again.


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