Emil Siegers wins the Katjeskoers

Emil Siegers wins the Katjeskoers

Road  21/04/2024

Emil Siegers has won the Gent-Wevelgem Men's U17 event. The Belgian champion embarked on a solo after the Kemmelberg, was caught by a group of chasers on the road to Ypres, but then finally sealed the deal in the sprint.

The Men U17 kicked off the very first edition of the Gent-Wevelgem Youth Day. Before the start, a bagpiper provided a subdued moment in the Grote Markt in Ypres, while the peloton was treated to a shower of rain. At first, the Katjeskoers remained a close affair. Mauro Keppens, beforehand seen as one of the favourites, was involved in a crash during the first hour of the race.

We had to wait until the hilly zone before the spectacle really began to unfold. The Monteberg was the setting for several attacks. Many riders at the back were dropped, but it was not until the Kemmelberg that a leading group managed to form. Belgian champion Emil Siegers and Sune De Valck set the pace on the cobblestones of the iconic climb and succeed in dropping the rest of the field.

De Valck could not follow on the descent of the Kemmelberg, leaving Siegers alone in front. This situation then forced the Belgian champion to embark on a 23 km solo effort towards Ypres. Behind him, a chasing group of seven riders formed that included Jinze Joris, wearing jersey number 1, and Mauro Keppens. Together, they tried to close the gap of about fifteen seconds on the lone leader.

Fifteen kilometres from the finish, Siegers was caught by the seven chasers. Several riders attempted to clinch victory with a late attack, but without success. A sprint would decide who would win. In this, it was Belgian champion Siegers who was the strongest.

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