ZOLDER, Belgium (VN) — Logan Owen (Redline) had another strong outing on Wednesday in Zolder, finishing second to World Cup leader Mathieu Van der Poel in the juniors race.
Martijn Budding rounded out the podium in third.
Owen — who won Sunday in Namur — found himself the lone American in a group with a pair of Belgians and Budding, who would not chase with Van der Poel off the front.
“There was a big group that would keep catching up with two Belgians and two French, so tactically I really wasn’t in a great position,” he said.
“So I just made sure I was at the front, I never went back farther than third, and just made sure that I was up there and I was ready for anything that went.”
Owen said he tried a few attacks of his own, but without success.
“On this course, it’s so fast that it’s like a road race, and you can’t really get a gap as easily as if it were in Namur or a hard course like that,” he said. “I felt the strongest, because I could just keep attacking and attacking and I noticed that I was definitely hurting them.”
On the final run-up Owen was sitting third and came out second, running past a Belgian who tried riding a sandy stretch.
“If he had made it through, he might have been able to hold on to me, and it would have been much closer,” he said. “But I ran right by him right before he got stuck. I ran through it faster than he could get onto his bike, and then I don’t know what happened to him.”
When Owen looked back and saw that he had a small gap, he drilled it and rode in for his first second place in a World Cup race.
“It was awesome,” he said. “Winning in Namur was great, but the race was missing a lot of the fastest guys. It’s so great to know that I’m in the top three top two going into Louisville.”
Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this story.