Van der Haar Wins Gold at ‘Cross Worlds!
Just one year out of the Junior ranks, Lars Van der Haar of the Rabobank-Giant team captured the Under-23 Cyclocross World Champion’s title in Germany on Saturday. The Rabobank-Giant Team has as a tech bussines partner VREDESTEIN, wich is the tyre provider.
The 19-year-old, representing The Netherlands, unleashed a powerful finishing kick, surging ahead of a lead group on his Giant TCX Advanced SL in the closing meters of the race. Van der Haar’s Rabobank-Giant teammate Mike Teunissen finished right behind him, giving Giant and The Netherlands gold and silver.
Van der Haar’s win put the finishing touches on a masterful season: In U23 racing, he won the EuropeanChampionship, the World Cup overall and the World Championship, emerging as the dominant young riderin elite cyclocross racing.
The 47 starters in the men’s U23 race had favorable conditions on the course in St. Wendel, in Southwestern Germany. The course thawed out in time for their race, softening it up so that it was somewhat muddy but not frozen.
Teunissen put on an aggressive display, attacking several times in the final laps. But Van der Haar diligently maintained his position near the front, and chose his moment to attack. He launched it just before the finishing stretch on an athletic track, then held it to the line.
Gerben De Knegt was the top Rabobank-Giant finisher in Sunday’s elite men’s race. The Dutch rider finished 11th.