Van der Poel and Kastelijn win European ‘cross titles: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Mathieu van der Poel wins his third straight men’s title at the European Cyclocross Championships after a close battle with Eli Iserbyt, Yara Kastelijn storms to a convincing victory in the women’s race, Matthew Glaetzer has surgery to treat thyroid cancer but remains focused on 2020 Olympics. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Van der Poel and Kastelijn take Euro ‘cross titles

Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) nabbed his third straight gold medal at the European Cyclocross Championships on Sunday in Silvelle, Italy, after a close battle with Eli Iserbyt (Belgium). Yara Kastelijn (Netherlands) rode a dominant race to claim her first ever win in the women’s event.

Kastelijn stormed to the lead in the first of four laps on the muddy course and was hardly threatened from there on out. Eva Lechner (Italy) and Annemarie Worst (Netherlands) were the only two chasers within striking distance of bringing her gap back by lap two.

Lechner put Worst in the rearview mirror to chase alone on the third lap. She cut into Kastelijn’s gap, but there would be no catching of the 22-year-old Dutchwoman, who took the win with a 12-second advantage over Lechner. Worst rounded out the podium in third.

Yara Kastelijn wins the women’s race at the European Cyclocross Championships. Photo: Dario Beligheri/LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2019

In the men’s race, constant attacks from Belgian riders kept van der Poel’s hands full on the tricky course. Toon Aerts and Quinten Hermans challenged van der Poel early, but he held the pace as the front of race quickly turned into a select group. Iserbyt and Michael Vanthourenhuot applied pressure in the ensuing laps, but van der Poel responded to those attacks too.

In the seventh and final lap, van der Poel and Iserbyt pulled clear of the field. Van der Poel finally distanced Iserbyt to take a close victory by three seconds. Iserbyt and Belgium’s Laurens Sweeck rounded out the podium.

Mathieu van der Poel wins the European Cyclocross Championships. Photo: Dario Beligheri/RB/Cor Vos © 2019

Socially Speaking

Saturday was the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, and a cyclist marked the event with an meticulous ride in the German capital.

Race Radio

Australian track sprinter Glaetzer has surgery to treat thyroid cancer, still targets 2020 Olympics

Matthew Glaetzer was diagnosed with thyroid cancer earlier this month and underwent surgery to remove the cancerous growth in his neck last week, but the 27-year-old track sprinter from Adelaide says that he remains focused on his central goal of competing at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“It puts everything into perspective, but I’m not going to let this stop me,” Glaetzer said in a statement from Cycling Australia. “If I’m able to, and it’s safe to, I’m not going to let this have power over what I want to do.”

According to the statement, Glaetzer underwent tests to determine the cause of neck pain in October, and scans showed nodules on his thyroid gland. Following further tests, doctors confirmed a cancer diagnosis. Glaetzer received the difficult phone call while he was in a taxi on the way home from wind tunnel testing.

“You never want to hear that you’ve got cancer, it’s got such an ominous connotation to it, and it’s pretty heavy. And I’m there with some taxi driver next to me, and I’ve just been notified that I’ve got cancer and you need to take a moment and be okay,” he said.

“But I anticipated this throughout the process, I was preparing myself for the worst-case scenario.”

Doctors told him the cancer was in its most treatable form, and he then had surgery. Now, he is spending a short period off the bike, but expects to resume training soon and then race at the December World Cup events in Cambridge, New Zealand, and Brisbane, Australia.

Modolo reportedly headed to Corendon-Circus

According to Wielerflits, Sacha Modolo is headed to Corendon-Circus next year.

The 32-year-old Italian sprinter, closing out his second season with EF Education First, is a two-time Giro d’Italia stage winner, although he has picked up only one victory in the past two seasons. Corendon-Circus will hope he can get back to winning ways next year as the Belgian Pro Continental outfit looks to garner race invites with results beyond those that Mathieu van der Poel regularly racks up.

Moving Pictures

The latest episode of EF’s Gone Racing series bids farewell to Taylor Phinney, who is retiring from WorldTour road racing this year. Last month’s Japan Cup was his final start for the team. It was also a chance for Mike Woods to put his skillset on display, and the race offered some interesting storylines of its own.

Feature Image: Mathieu van der Poel at the European Cyclocross Championships. Photo: Dario Beligheri/RB/Cor Vos © 2019

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