In wake of Van der Poel and Van Empel, Dutch promise Del Grosso is also working on 100% score Cyclo-cross

In wake of Van der Poel and Van Empel, Dutch promise Del Grosso is also working on 100% score

In wake of Van der Poel and Van Empel, Dutch promise Del Grosso is also working on 100% score

Cycling-loving Holland was able to enjoy Fem van Empel and Mathieu van der Poel again Saturday in Antwerp, but in the shadow of the elite stars, someone else is working on a 100% score this winter: Tibor del Grosso won all three World Cup races in which he has competed so far. IDLProcycling caught him after another victory on the Scheldt!

Del Grosso, from the province of Groningen, won in the Belgian city by seven seconds ahead of Ward Huybs. A handsome performance, especially considering how the past few weeks went for the versatile rider. While national coach Gerben de Knegt expressed his admiration for Del Grosso and was busy taking pictures of the 'Bodhi' print - Del Grosso's brother is so named - on the World Cup jersey, the rider told his story.

We already spoke to Del Grosso in early December in Boom, where he finished in thirteenth place at his first pro showdown. At the time, he let slip that he had not been feeling well for a while, which turned out to be no excuse at all: a little later it turned out to be tonsillitis, which forced him to take antibiotics and also to miss out on the cross in Namur. That infection was already in my body a bit, I think," he recalls;

Del Grosso surprised himself after infection at Antwerp World Cup

'I was stuck with those inflamed tonsils, so I really needed some antibiotics to make that go away,' said the rider who recently made the switch from Metec to Alpecin-Deceuninck. 'Because of that, I didn't ride Namur. Also the feeling on training this week was not super, so I was a little uncertain heading into this cross," he told Antwerp.

There was little of that uncertainty in the field, as Del Grosso took control of the cross from the start. 'I liked the round a lot. So it was a bit of a question how it would go, but in the end it went well. But I did surprise myself a little bit," to which national coach De Knegt laughingly responded with "not me. 'I thought: don't go crazy at the beginning and just see how it would go, but it went pretty well,' he said with a sense of understatement.

tibor del grosso

So in Antwerp he took care of the competition and the infection he had during his training camp in Spain. 'I feel fit and this week it was a bit of a blow, but if I can win here I can't complain. It was during training camp that I was on antibiotics, so it was hard to see Jente and Emiel (Michels and Verstrynge, ed.) training well and having to take it easy myself. But those doubts are gone now," Del Grosso concludes.

Del Grosso on World Cup U23Ps and racing among the pros

After winning the World Cups in Troyes, Dublin and now Antwerp, surely we can tout him as a top favorite for the World Cup, right? 'That could be the case,' he laughs. 'But that's not for me to say anyway. I think that's the most important race of the season for everyone, so that includes me. I hope to compete for the win.'

On the course in Tábor, where the World Championships will be held in early February, Del Grosso has so far been unable to impress. 'It's a nice round, but I've never ridden well there before. It is also now in a different part of the year than usual, so the question is how white it is in February.'

But first the rest of the winter, where the Dutchman also wants to show himself among the pros. 'I can do better than in Boom, because I wasn't satisfied over there. I hope to do well there too, but I'm not going to name a place for that. Normally I ride in Zolder anyway,' he states.

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