Young CX riders take top step

Trek talent win national CX titles in Belgium, United Kingdom, and The Netherlands

The weekend of national championship cyclocross races around Europe is a fun one at Trek. We tune in to the action in many different countries on Saturday and Sunday to watch young riders compete for their national jersey. How would 18-year-old Hattie Harnden fair in the British race? Would 17-year-old Thibau Nys claim the Belgian juniors title? We couldn’t wait to find out.

The national championship competitions are fierce and fueled by national pride. At Trek, we love the races featuring young riders at the junior and U23 levels where some of the brightest new cycling talent will show their grit. This last weekend of CX national championships was a shining example.

Belga Photo by David Stockman

In the British women’s race, all ages ride together and the competitor who crossed the line first was teenager Hattie Harnden.

“I’d dreamt of that moment but it came way sooner than I expected and felt more amazing than I ever could have imagined,” Harden said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better race, a good start and set of legs put me in a good position. From there I just gave it everything to see how long I could hold the lead.”


Eighteen-year-old competitor Hattie Harnden rounds a corner in the British CX national championship race. Photo: Man Down Media

We were particularly keen to cheer on Harden, who rides a Trek Boone on her team T-Mo Racing, because she just joined the Trek Factory Racing enduro team. In 2020, she will race the U21 Enduro World Series, but we wouldn’t be surprised if she is competitive above her age class there as well.

Thibau Nys during the men's U18 race in the Belgian CX national championships. Belga Photo by David Stockman

We watched the Belgian CX championships with the anticipation of seeing some of the world’s top cross riders in action. It was exciting to see Trek riders rise to the top in the younger categories. Both Thibau Nys and Telenet-Baloise rider Marthe Truyen took home a coveted black, yellow, and red jersey in the U18 and U23 categories, respectively. Eighteen-year-old Nys said he wasn’t taking that for granted.

“This tough competition was proof that you will never receive a title as a gift,” Nys said. “I have been able to win a number of competitions this season, but today it was a fierce battle from start to finish. With this national title, I have successfully accomplish a new goal.” Truyen, who is now Belgium’s female U23 national champion, agreed.

“This very first Belgian title is a wonderful reward for me after a difficult season,” Truyen said.

Belgian Marthe Truyen celebrating on the podium after claiming the U23 national champion title. Belga Photo by David Stockman

Another young star was shining in The Netherlands as 17-year-old Shirin Van Anrooij took home the Dutch juniors title.

“It feels really good to be the Dutch national champion. I came second last year with a disappointing performance so it’s extra special to be able to win it this year,” Van Anrooij said. “The course suited me really well so most challenging for me was to stay calm and trust in myself.”

That is the kind of growth we love to see in riders. We had a blast watching these four take home their national jerseys and can’t wait to see what they do next.