Belgian prodigy Fleur Moors emerged as the European Road Cycling Champion in the Junior Women’s category on the storied VAM-berg circuit in Drenthe, Netherlands. Moors triumphed over Italian favourite Federica Venturelli and French contender Léane Tabu to claim the title in a race that showcased a plethora of burgeoning talents from across Europe.
Taking place on the final day of the European Championships, the race spanned just under 70 km with five circuits around the iconic VAM-berg, known for its challenging garbage dump climb. From the outset, it was palpable that nerves would play a role in the race as it proved difficult to create significant gaps among the contenders. However, after roughly 30 km into the race, a more defined pecking order emerged. At the forefront were the Italian racers, commanding the peloton and dictating the tempo early on.
Entering the fifth and final lap, the selection had whittled down to a leading group of around 25 riders. As the peloton stretched out in the last few kilometres, small cracks began to appear, setting the stage for the electrifying finale on the VAM-berg. It was here that Moors demonstrated her unparalleled strength and pacing. The soon-to-be 18-year-old Belgian not only neutralised Venturelli, who had already snagged European titles in time-trial and Mixed Relay earlier in the championship, but she did so with unparalleled composure and tactical acumen. France’s Léane Tabu rounded off the podium, securing third place.
For the home crowd, the Netherlands couldn’t replicate their usual dominance in women’s cycling, already seen in Bredewold’s win in the Elites race on Saturday. Lauren Molengraaf, who recently secured a professional contract with FDJ-SUEZ, was the best Dutch finisher, crossing the line in seventh place. Belgium, on the other hand, had more to celebrate as Lore De Schepper clinched a top-10 spot, finishing ninth.
2023 European Championships Juniors result
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Main photo credit: Cor Vos