2018 European Championships Preview/Predictions

The 2018 European Championships (UEC) take place this Sunday at the Autotron Rosmalen in the Netherlands. This is the third time the Netherlands has hosted the race and the first time in Rosmalen. The UEC started in 2003, but only added an Elite Mens category in 2015. Lars van der Haar won the inaugural championships, Toon Aerts won the following year, and last year’s winner was Mathieu van der Poel.

It should come as no surprise that the Belgians dominate the start list with 12 riders competing on Sunday. The Netherlands will have nine riders and most other nations have four to five riders, with some smaller nations only sending a single rider. The only two nations to land on the podium in the UEC are the Dutch and the Belgians. This trend looks like it will continue this weekend.

The course at the Autoron Rosmalen is very tight and twisty. It has two sections of sand and what appears to be some sort of water crossing. As with most European courses, it has a set of planks and three flyovers. One flyover contains a set of stairs, the other two are rideable. It should provide some great action and exciting racing.

All the top names will be in action this Sunday, including Wout van Aert, who has podium both times he’s race the UEC, but never won. Last year Mathieu van der Poel got out to his traditional strong start and never looked back. He was able to hop the barriers and on the second lap he took off, winning the race by 23 seconds. Lars van der Haar finished second, nearly a minute a head of Toon Aerts who out sprinted Michael Vanthourenhout for third.

Predictions

  1. Mathieu van Der Poel
  2. Toon Aerts
  3. Wout van Aert

Dark horse: Lars van der Haar