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Cyclocross racer Joris Nieuwenhuis scored his first-ever elite men’s World Cup podium Wednesday, riding his TCX Advanced Pro bike to an impressive third place at Round 7 in Zolder, Belgium.

The special midweek Boxing Day event was held at the Circuit Terlamen motorsport track. Conditions were dry and fast, and the 22-year-old Nieuwenhuis said his recent results, including a fourth-place finish at Round 6 in Namur, Belgium, just three days prior, gave him confidence to battle near the front of the field.

“The race in Namur gave me enough confidence to know I was able to ride a good race here,” said Nieuwenhuis, who wore the Giant Rev helmet at Zolder. “The results in the past show that this is a race that suits me well.”

The former Under-23 World Champion is racing his first season in the elite men’s category, going against formidable champions including Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert. He showed some of his best form yet at Zolder, launching a late-race attack to earn the podium placing.

“I was able to recover from riding over my limit when I was trying to follow Wout,” Nieuwenhuis said. “On the last two laps, two guys almost caught me back, which was mentally hard. But I’m glad I made the podium in the end.”

Two more rounds remain in the 2018-2019 Cyclocross World Cup season, which concludes January 28 in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands.

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