The Big Picture: 2020 European Cyclocross Championships

Friend of the site and prolific French cycling photographer, Yefri, checks in with a gallery from this past weekend’s European Cyclocross Championships, which took place in the Dutch city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. You can check out full Euro Champs galleries from Yefri as well as many other races by visiting Also, give him a follow on Instagram at @yefrifotos.

Start of the men’s elite race © 2020 Yefrifotos

First things first, let’s talk about the Dutch host city with the name that has English speaking indexers scratching their collective heads on where to list it. The apostrophe at the beginning of the name is the result of a contraction of “des Hertogen bosch” or “the forest of the duke.” The dash lets you know the contracted “des” refers to the duke and not the woods. To either add to the confusion, or to lessen it, the city is usually just called Den Bosch.

The championships took place on a fast, predominantly flat track with a few tough sand sections, three staircases, including the flyover, and one short wooded area. There was also a few tricky ups that laid the groundwork for success and failure throughout the weekend.

Théo Thomas navigates the sand. © 2020 Yefrifotos

No junior races were contested because of precautions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some nations, most notably Belgium, decided not to send a U23 contingent to the championships.

In the U23 women’s race Puck Pieterse, who made her CX Heat Check debut this past week, took home the gold with an eight second margin of victory over Kata Blanka Vas. Manon Bakker earned the bronze medal.

U23 Women’s hopeful Aniek van Alphen focuses pre-race. © 2020 Yefrifotos
Winner Puck Pieterse is all smiles after securing the victory. © 2020 Yefrifotos

In the U23 men’s race, current U23 world champ, Ryan Kamp, added a Euro Champs jersey to his collection. Thomas Mein and Cameron Mason came in 2d and 3d.

Ryan Kamp makes the turn in the sand. © 2020 Yefrifotos
Kamp shows a (mostly) clean set of wheels at the finish. © 2020 Yefrifotos

The women’s elite race proved to be the most exciting contest of the weekend with usual suspects, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Lucinda Brand, Annemarie Worst battling it out for the podium. Alvarado ended up taking the win after outsprinting Worst. Brand finished third.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado bides her time in the lead group. © 2020 Yefrifotos
Lucinda Brand in pursuit of the leading pair. © 2020 yefrifotos
Annemarie Worst leads Alvarado through the sand in the final laps. © 2020 Yefrifotos
Another championship, another jersey for Alvarado. © 2020 Yefrifotos

In the men’s elite race, Eli Iserbyt waited patiently for his opening and then rode away from the field with teammate Micheal Vanthourenhout in tow. Iserbyt separated from Vanthourenhout to take the win by sixteen seconds. Lars van der Haar grabbed the bronze.

Eli Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhout proved to be the strongest on the day. © 2020 Yefrifotis
Iserbyt with the win. © 2020 Yefrifotos

For more on the race, subscribe to Cyclocross Radio, part of the Wide Angle Podium network and check out the CX Heat Check Cyclocross Power Rankings on YouTube.

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