Cyclo-Cross NEWS

Valkenburg, Netherlands, February 5, 2018 – The 2018 Cyclo-cross World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands, concluded on Sunday with the Under-23 and Elite Men competitions. Cyclo-cross powerhouse Belgium won both world titles, while the top Canadian result for the day was national Elite champion Michael van den Ham of Abbottsford, BC, in 34th place.

Facing some of the muddiest conditions ever seen, riders slipped and slid their way around a technical and physically demanding course. The course made it virtually impossible to avoid crashing, and riders struggled to limit their mistakes.

In the Under-23 men’s race, Canada’s lone entry, Nicholas Diniz of Oakville, Ontario, finished 45th with a time of one hour, one minute and 29 seconds, ten minutes and 18 seconds behind winner Eli Iserbyt of Belgium.  In the marque Elite men’s race Canada had two entries, with van den Ham 34th and Mark (Hot Sauce) McConnell of Calgary, Alberta, in 51st.

Canadian Elite national champion van den Ham commented, “Of the five Worlds I’ve raced, this is by far the hardest course I’ve seen. More than racing the people out there, we were racing the course. Laps stretched to over ten minutes and massive segments of the course turned to running. I don’t think there was a single person out there who had a clean race. Rather, success was more about moving forward from mistakes and trying to minimize them as the race wore on.  All in all, I’m happy with my race, the goal was a top-30 and I managed to be there for a while before falling back a few spots to 34th.  A huge thank you the the cyclo-cross program and all the volunteers that made it happen. With the conditions being what they were, their roles were even more crucial to our success.”