JOERI Adams got the host nation off to a winning start when he claimed the junior title at the World Cyclo-Cross Championships in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium.
The 17 year old outsprinted Danny Summerhill, of the USA, and Jiri Polnicky, of the Czech Republic, after a group of five which had dominated the race came back together in the closing kilometre.
Finishing in 13th place, Liverpool?s Jonathan McEvoy achieved Britain?s best result. The second-year junior profited from a strong start and rode consistently throughout the race. David Fletcher finished 28th, Scott Thwaites was 32nd and national champion Alex Paton picked himself up from a crash to come in 42nd.
In the under-23 championship which followed, the Belgians were denied a second victory when Dutchman Lars Boom left the field with an early attack and remained out front for the rest of the race. Neil Alberts (Belgium) finished second and Romain Villa (France) took the bronze medal.
Ian Field was Britain?s only entry in the event and rode solidly to finish 16th. He did move into the top 15 on the final lap but collided with a rider he was trying to overtake and crashed.
Despite predictions of a quagmire, the three-kilometre course remained relatively firm throughout the day?s racing. These conditions will favour Britain?s Helen Wyman who is hoping to step onto the podium in the women?s championship this morning. The men?s race takes place this afternoon with Belgian?s Sven Nijs the favourite for the title.
Juniors.- Joeri Adams (Belgium) 15km in 41-18; 2, Danny Summerhill (USA); 3, Jiri Polnicky (Czech Republic) all same time.
Under 23s.- Lars Boom (Netherlands) 21km in 53-53; 2, Niels Albert (Belgium) at 1-22; 3, Romain Villa (France) at 1-44. .