Cyclo-cross 2018 Dossier Sponsoring

After several months of really good weather in the Grand Duchy, temperatures been in free fall for a few days, and they were ten degrees lower in Contern on this Sunday, October 28, than the day before, during the final preparations on the course. A strong wind had also made his appearance and so it was in real cyclo-cross weather that the first international meeting of the season took place in Luxemburg, on a course that was nevertheless very dry and dusty, bringing back memories of a Paris-Roubaix rather those of Bieles 2017, for example. Despite the freezing cold, a record peloton of 132 riders started in the four races of the Grand-prix Comat and the Grand-prix de la Commune de Contern, the main category even dangerously approaching the absolute limit imposed by the UCI of maximum 70 riders at the start. With Corne Van Kessel, Loes Sels, Paul Anchain and Théo Thomas, the favourites were present and won their respective races, but in different style and manner .

Paul Anchain, winner in the novice category Paul Anchain, winner in the novice category
In the novice's race, Frenchman Paul Anchain took a dominating victory, winning by 43 seconds margin over his compatriot Mattéo Jot and home rider Mathieu Kockelmann. However, in the first two laps, the Luxemburger, who was still unbeaten this season, showed a very strong opposition. Even if he hadn't managed to take the wheel of Anchain after the start, he hang about thirty metres behind the Frenchman, even giving the impression that he could come back at some point. A few more meters behind that duo, Mattéo Jot waited for his chance, while the next chasers Harig, Kess and Muller were already more than a minute behind at mid-race. In the second half of the race, unfortunately, Kockelmann could no longer keep up with the pace imposed by Anchain and even had to accept the company of Jot, the Frenchman. Being among the very few riders who bunny-hopped the obstacles, Paul Anchain won solo in this 31st Grand-prix COMAT, with a good lead over Mattéo Jot who had himself managed to overtake and leave behind him by about twenty seconds a very disappointed Kockelmann in the last lap. Very nice performance again from Marie Schreiber, the young Skoda-Cross-Cup leader in the girls category who strengthened her lead by taking 10th place in the race, far, far ahead of her runner-up Caroline Reuter.

Future winner Théo Thomas passes an unexpected obstacle  ... Future winner Théo Thomas passes an unexpected obstacle ...
... before it had to vanish from the course ... before it had to vanish from the course
There has also been a french double win in the juniors category, after a race full of suspense and drama. The storm had risen in the meantime and the wind had knocked down a tree on the course, a large, solid pine tree that was impossible to move with bare hands. The juniors had to wait at the start for a solution to be found for this unexpected counter-time. Finally, the race started with a 15-minute delay when the trunk of the tree had been cleared and acted as an additional obstacle during the first two laps, before a chainsaw hurriedly sent to the scene cleared the road for the rest of the race. The two main favourites had meanwhile taken the control, with Yorben Laurissen leading the way in front of Théo Thomas, about 15 seconds ahead of a quartet composed of Hugo Jot, Ugo Ananie, Arne Baers and Luxembourg's Loïc Bettendorf, the Skoda-Cross-Cup leader. In the third lap of the race, Hugo Jot, the brother of Mattéo who had finished second in the novices' category, managed to get rid of his fellow riders and bridged up to the front of the race, to the wheels of Lauryssen and Thomas. The trio passed with a twenty-second lead over the Belgian Arne Baers and a few more units over Loïc Bettendorf, still very well in the race. With one lap to go, the three leading men were still together and the decision for the win fell to the final hectometers, when Théo Thomas, second in the latest French championships, managed to get rid of Jot and Lauryssen to win with a four-second lead over his compatriot and four more units over Lauryssen. With a minute delay, Loïc Bettendorf finished as a very good fifth in the race, well before his team-mate Mik Esser who took 11th position .

Loes Sels wins the women's race Loes Sels wins the women's race
In the women's elite and U23 race, nothing could really stop Loes Sels. Since her victory in Ardooie, it was known that the world number seven was in great shape and she lined up in Contern to have an additional test and, above all, to earn valuable UCI points for next weekend's European Championships in the Netherlands. The member of Dan Soete's Pauwels Sauzen team started strongly and settled herself at the front of the race from the first lap, in front of a rather unexpected duo. Two very young 16 year old Dutch girls, Shirin Van Anrooij and Puck Pieterse, were chasing hard and they managed to limit the gap to just 15 seconds in the beginning. Behind them, Axelle Bellaert, also nominated for the European Championships, was trying battle for the podium places, while Nathalie Lamborelle had taken the better of Elise Maes in the battle for the Skoda-Cross-Cup leader jersey. In the second half of the race, Loes Sels put more and more air between her and her two young pursuers, of whom Shirin Van Anrooij did the most of the work, while Axelle Bellaert lost contact with the Dutch duo after a broken chain and even found herself under threat from another duo, composed of Suzanne Verhoeven and Lindy Van Anrooij, Shirin's sister. Loes Sels finally won with a good minute advantage on Puck Pieterse, who overtook Van Anrooij in the final stretch, and more than two minutes on Axelle Bellaert. In 13th place, Nathalie Lamborelle was more than two minutes ahead of Elise Maes, but that wasn't enough to grab the Skoda-Cross-Cup leader's jersey, which remained stuck on Maes' shoulders for two little points.

Corne Van Kessel and Andreas Goeman dominated the race Corne Van Kessel and Andreas Goeman dominated the race
The chasers: Bellens, Van de Putte, Liessens, Derveaux The chasers: Bellens, Van de Putte, Liessens, Derveaux
Two riders dominated the men elite and U23 race from the beginning: Corne Van Kessel and Andreas Goeman took the control as of the first lap, about ten seconds ahead of Niels Van de Putte. Then came a trio composed of Jarno Bellens, Jarno Liessens and Niels Derveaux while the three Luxemburgish riders Felix Schreiber, Vincent Dias dos Santos and Lex Reichling had managed to get a great start, ahead of another group with Misch Leyder, Arno Debeir, Emil Hekele and Daniel Mayer, the two Czech riders. A slightly larger peloton with a dozen competitors, including Felix Keiser, was led a little bit further behind by Frenchman Anthonin Didier. Corne Van Kessel continued to lead the way in the second lap, with Goeman in his wheel. Behind them, Van de Putte was caught by the trio Bellens, Derveaux and Liessens, while Dias Dos Santos, Reichling and Schreiber were still very well placed during the beginning of the race. During lap three, a fall on the obstacles, which he tried to bunny-hop on his bike, eliminated Niels Derveaux among the chasing quartet, along with Bellens. The positions were following before mid-race: Van Kessel and Goeman rode about 30 seconds ahead of Niels Van de Putte and Jarno Liessens and about ten more seconds ahead of Derveaux and Bellens. Behind them, Emil Hekele came back stronger and stronger and closed up to the four Belgians, while Misch Leyder had meanwhile also made the junction with the trio Dias Dos Santos, Reichling and Schreiber, with four Luxembourgers still in the Top 12.

Van Kessel wins Van Kessel wins
Misch Leyder is best home rider Misch Leyder is best home rider
Unfortunately, things didn't stay quite as well for the home riders, who were starting to loose positions as Anthonin Didier, Arno Debeir and Daniel Mayer, among others, passed them. Misch Leyder and Vincent Dias Dos Santos tried as best they could to hold on, but Reichling had to let them slip away and Schreiber, suffering from back problems, had completely disappeared from the top placings. The former Grand-prix COMAT winner in the junior category, Jarno Liessens, seemed to be the strongest in the chasing pack and took third place in the race on his own, less than 30 seconds behind Van Kessel and Goeman, before losing a lot of time due to a mechanical problem. Meanwhile, Emil Hekele had come back to Bellens, Van de Putte and Derveaux: this quartet was fighting for the last place on the podium now. Because in front, the two Telenet-Fidea riders had widened the gap in the meantime and, even if Goeman had obviously some pain to keep Van Kessel's rythm, the double win was probable. Less used to the one-hour distance in elite races, U23 rider Andreas Goeman was strugglin and started to make small mistakes, having to put his foot down to the ground in the same place where he was still riding up without problem two laps ago. Each time, he lost a few meters and had to fight to get back into Van Kessel's wheel, the Dutchman who completed his loops with the regularity of a metronome. With two laps to go, it was too much for Goeman: he had to let his teammate fly away to victory in this 14th edition of the Grand-prix de la Commune de Contern. After finishing second twelve months ago, Corne Van Kessel won the race alone with a 15 second lead over Andreas Goeman and around 30 seconds over Emil Hekele. The amazing Czech veteran had a very remarkable end of the race and, in the last two laps, he overtook his three young Belgian rivals to climb onto the podium in Contern for the third time, after 2004 and 2006. As for the home riders in the race, Misch Leyder was the one who limited the damage the best: the rider from VC Diekirch finished the race in a very nice 15th place, two positions and about forty seconds ahead of Vincent Dias Dos Santos. Lex Reichling completed Luxemburg's podium with a 21st place, only a few seconds behind Dias Dos Santos who remains the leader of the Skoda-Cross-Cup.

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Contact: ACC Contern - c/o M. Alain Conter - 47, Op der Hobuch - L-5832 Fentange -