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Race Thread

Skinny tyres, drop handlebars and mud. Lots of mud.

Moderator: Valv.Piti

29 Jan 2017 16:49

I think it's strange that Adri, who designed the course, was not aware of the consequences of the changing weather on this track. Richard Groenendael already said what the weather would loosen the rocks from the soil, with the water flushing away the ice and mud and clearly indicated that punctures would play a big role. The entourage of Van Aert clearly knew, since they decided to go with tires nobody uses anymore, resullting in powerloss due to the profile, and more tire pressure, which meant taking the technical sections slower due to more risk of slipping and sliding. This race wasn't decided by mechanicals, but by good tactics/mechanics. You could also clearly see this in the race. Van Aert never gave the impression of being able to generate the same speed as Matthieu, but he only had one semi-puncture. This wasn't a coincidence if you know some guys had 8 punctures.
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12 Feb 2017 20:22

Mathieu van der Poel won the final round of the DVV trofee at Lille (Belgium) last weekend with Wout van Aert second to claim the series win and Meeusen third.
The next day in the Superprestige at Hoogstraten, van der Poel won again with van Aert second and Kevin Pauwels third.

Yesterday in the final round of the Superprestige in Middelkerke, van der Poel won again to clinch the overall series and van Aert again came second. Laurens Sweeck came third which is alot better than last year where he crashed on the start and limped home with a season ending injury.
Today van der Poel also won the final round of the Brico Cross series in Hulst (Netherlands). To break things up a bit Lars van der Haar finished in second with Wout van Aert coming home in third. The course was alot different to the previous three races which were either sandy, rainy and muddy. The fast course was broken up by a couple of steep rideable banks and a couple of run ups around two of the Stars of the city moat/defences/dike. (Thats what I presume the star shaped city/town centres are are for?)

Next week is the final weekend of cx with the Soudal Classics Leuven moving to the final weekend from it's Kerstperiode spot. Then on sunday is the final big UCI race at the Sluitingsprijs Oostmalle (once part of the DVV/Bpost/GVA trofee).
After that it is then the Soudal Classics Masters in Waregem for effectively an after party with a bunny hop competition then a short race.
Then it's when the proper road season starts the next weekend with Omloop Het Niewsblad and KBK.
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15 Feb 2017 15:41

So far, Van der Poel won 21 of the 30 races he entered this season (70% success rate)

Wout Van Aert won 16 of the 38 races he entered (42% success rate).
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Re: Race Thread

16 Feb 2017 07:52

and unless I missed a thing, Wout Van Aert has always hit the top3 but in Maldegem which he finished 4th, am I right?

38 crosses at age 22 is pure madness. :surprised:
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Re: Race Thread

16 Feb 2017 09:54

Echoes wrote:and unless I missed a thing, Wout Van Aert has always hit the top3 but in Maldegem which he finished 4th, am I right?

38 crosses at age 22 is pure madness. :surprised:


Also in:

Berencross - Meulebeke (9th)
Cyclocross Otegem (5th)
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Re: Race Thread

16 Feb 2017 12:41

Okay, thanks. So much for me then. Only "smaller" crosses. In ranking events, only first two, wasn't he? But it's still amazing in terms of consistency. His trainer Mark Lamberts claimed he wouldn't keep up at that rhythm and that his knee injury was a sign that he's racing too much. He'll probably cut short his agenda next season.
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Re: Race Thread

16 Feb 2017 19:07

Ricco' wrote:
Echoes wrote:and unless I missed a thing, Wout Van Aert has always hit the top3 but in Maldegem which he finished 4th, am I right?

38 crosses at age 22 is pure madness. :surprised:


Also in:

Berencross - Meulebeke (9th)
Cyclocross Otegem (5th)

Meulebeke, Maldegem and Hulst are all part of the Brico Cross series. So Van Aert must not care about these races much as the only ones he won were Geraardsbergen, and Bredene. Both of which Van der Poel wasn't in. The former because of his knee injury and the latter because of the Loenhout crash. and landing on his head. Kruibeke was won by Vanthourenhout after van Aert fumbled on an off camber and Van der Poel wasn't there either.
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Re: Race Thread

17 Feb 2017 08:26

I think Wout did care about these races too, though. Tom Meeusen said that the will to win is very high for these two guys - Wout & Mathieu, that crosses like Otegem or Maldegem, they don't give it for free and that on each of them they are flying away from lap 1 on. They are so dedicated. They are better than Nys was in prime in that though Nys could reach their maximum speed on one lap, they can maintain that speed for 7 laps or more.

Also Wout wanted to shine in his rainbow jersey all season long. In summer he showed his rainbow during trainings and road criteriums. :p Hence his insanely heavy calendar.
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Re: Race Thread

17 Feb 2017 18:50

Echoes wrote:I think Wout did care about these races too, though. Tom Meeusen said that the will to win is very high for these two guys - Wout & Mathieu, that crosses like Otegem or Maldegem, they don't give it for free and that on each of them they are flying away from lap 1 on. They are so dedicated. They are better than Nys was in prime in that though Nys could reach their maximum speed on one lap, they can maintain that speed for 7 laps or more.

Also Wout wanted to shine in his rainbow jersey all season long. In summer he showed his rainbow during trainings and road criteriums. :p Hence his insanely heavy calendar.

It's just a coincidence that most of the races he has been off the top/second step of the podium are ones that are in the same series.
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Re: Race Thread

18 Feb 2017 12:46

Of course ranking events and championships matter more to him than Brico Cross or other non-ranking events but still he's won his share of these non-ranking events: Ardooie, Geraardsbergen, Waterloo (Wisconsin), Boom & Bredene and 2nd to Vanthourenhout in Kruibeke and to Mathieu in Mol or in Overijse (though Overijse is a special race that is coveted by most of the top guns).

His relative counter-performances in Maldegem and in Hulst also have to do with his form level at the end of an exhaustive season more than them being Brico Cross. Besides Maldegem was just after the Worlds.
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18 Feb 2017 19:24

Great finale today and what a comeback from MVP!
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Re: Race Thread

18 Feb 2017 20:18

Echoes wrote:Of course ranking events and championships matter more to him than Brico Cross or other non-ranking events but still he's won his share of these non-ranking events: Ardooie, Geraardsbergen, Waterloo (Wisconsin), Boom & Bredene and 2nd to Vanthourenhout in Kruibeke and to Mathieu in Mol or in Overijse (though Overijse is a special race that is coveted by most of the top guns).

His relative counter-performances in Maldegem and in Hulst also have to do with his form level at the end of an exhaustive season more than them being Brico Cross. Besides Maldegem was just after the Worlds.
Lack of form was highlighted again today. Really not on the ball. Either his mind is now in the off season, or he is already thinking about the road season now. To be honest, for anyone, three double weekends in a row is quite tough, so I don't expect to see him up at the top in Oostmalle tomorrow.

It would have been interesting to see how the race had panned out if MVDP hadn't got back on after his bike change. Would Vanthourenhout have worked with Pauwels like he let him go when van der Poel was there? Would Pauwels have been able to outsprint the two young guns? How would Sweeck ride being outnumbered 2:1? (They are all rhetorical by the way).

I think van der Poel punctured because Philipp Walsleben had a double puncture just before tiny bank before the big banks. And that was similar to the point van der Poel started dropping off before his bike change:
https://twitter.com/pwalsleben/status/832987255237120001
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19 Feb 2017 17:17

Tom Meeusen will join Beobank - Corendon next season! Great, my two favourite cx riders on the same team. Now Mathieu won't be alone at the end of most races.
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19 Feb 2017 17:57

Kind of torn after this season about what I'm watching between WvA and MvdP completely dominating. On one hand it's been amazing to watch them duke it out, but race after race it's really only one or the other. Both have been quoted saying that their 2 man battle is good for the sport, but I can't help to look back at the Nys era when there were at least a half dozen riders that could upset Sven for the win. That seemed a bit more exciting as opposed to knowing with absolute certainty these days who's going to be occupying 1st and 2nd just about every single race.
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Re:

19 Feb 2017 21:15

Giuseppe Magnetico wrote:Kind of torn after this season about what I'm watching between WvA and MvdP completely dominating. On one hand it's been amazing to watch them duke it out, but race after race it's really only one or the other. Both have been quoted saying that their 2 man battle is good for the sport, but I can't help to look back at the Nys era when there were at least a half dozen riders that could upset Sven for the win. That seemed a bit more exciting as opposed to knowing with absolute certainty these days who's going to be occupying 1st and 2nd just about every single race.


We've had many fabulous and memorable battles on such a high level we haven't seen in ages (except Stybar vs Nys during the 2014 Worlds), so this season will absolutely stay vivid in my memory for quite some time.

But you're right that the difference between them and the rest was too big. When one of the two had a less good day or bad luck (Oudenaarde, Zolder, Essen,...) it was just a walkover. Though I do enjoy it from time to time (like MVDP's demonstration of superb bike handling and pure class in Overijse for example), it starts to get kind of boring after a while, as in today's case.
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Re: Race Thread

19 Feb 2017 23:29

Women's racing the last few years has been been so interesting to watch emergence of Cant, De Boer, Verdonschot, Kaptheijns, etc. Seeing US riders do well, Compton being a tremendous ambassador to the sport and leaving breadcrumbs for the ones coming up. Such a deep pool of supertalent, and for years to come!
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Re:

19 Feb 2017 23:54

Giuseppe Magnetico wrote:Kind of torn after this season about what I'm watching between WvA and MvdP completely dominating. On one hand it's been amazing to watch them duke it out, but race after race it's really only one or the other. Both have been quoted saying that their 2 man battle is good for the sport, but I can't help to look back at the Nys era when there were at least a half dozen riders that could upset Sven for the win. That seemed a bit more exciting as opposed to knowing with absolute certainty these days who's going to be occupying 1st and 2nd just about every single race.

I think they say that because when one is missing the race is often a complete snoozer and it's better to see two guys going head-to-head rather than one dominating.

Anyway, I tend to agree with your post. And they tend to start so fast that often they've separated themselves in the 1st lap or two and the race is already over. Sven at least often took awhile to get to the front.
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03 Sep 2017 09:39

I'm writing here just to say that we have only one week left to the arrival of the most exciting period of the year!

The racing starts next sunday, September 10th, with the Brico-Cross series (started last year, I think, but for me it already carved it's way into the calendar) in the GP Stad Eeklo. Van der Poel said yesterday that he will race this cross and I hope Van Aert joins him too, so we can get the first of many exciting duels. Then, they are heading to America, for the double World Cup races.

For me, September is going to be a good appetizer for the "real" start of the season, which for me happens when the Superprestige kicks off in Gieten.

If the rumours are true, we could be going into the last full season (whatever "full" means) of Van Aert and Van der Poel, so I want nothing more, nothing less, than many battles between the two, and I want all of them to keep injury free. For now, both of them had a nice summer, with plenty of good results, so they will arrive here in optimal condition. After two years with summer injuries, can Van der Poel challenge finally for a World Cup general title?

Between World Cups, Superprestige, DVV Trofee, Brico Cross, Soudal Classics, European and World Championships, we will have 39 crosses between September and February, plenty of real cycling to watch. Here is the World Cup calendar, with the European and World Championships signaled too:

17/09/2017 - World Cup - Jingle Cross Iowa City, Iowa, USA
24/09/2017 - World Cup - Waterloo, Wisconsin, USA
22/10/2017 - World Cup - Koksijde, Belgium
05/11/2017 - European Championships - Tabor, Czech Republic
19/11/2017 - World Cup - Bogense, Denmark
25/11/2017 - World Cup - Zeven, Germany
17/12/2017 - World Cup - Namur, Belgium
26/12/2017 - World Cup - Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
21/01/2018 - World Cup - Nommay Pays de Montbéliard, France
28/01/2018 - World Cup - Hoogerheide Provincie Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
04/02/2018 - World Championships - Valkenburg-Limburg, Netherlands
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Re: Race Thread

05 Sep 2017 08:09

Nice to see that Waterloo, Wisconsin is now World Cup. There's been a large Belgian colony in Wisconsin but more up North around Green Bay. :D Last year it was a lone event but Wout Van Aert won it like the two World Cup events. I seem to remember that Piet Allegaert said it was the trek Headquarters (as he said in the Krant van West Vlaanderen, he was a stagiair from Trek racing the Tour of Alberta among others).

The two World Cup events in the US were a major financial gamble for many last year. Globalisation is already a major risk for road cycling teams but even more for cyclocross. Sanne Cant regretted going there last year. Mathieu Van der Poel was still in full recovery but I think he claimed that he would also have been reluctant even if he were fit. So he seemed to have changed his mind now. ;)
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Re: Race Thread

05 Sep 2017 16:07

Echoes wrote: Mathieu Van der Poel was still in full recovery but I think he claimed that he would also have been reluctant even if he were fit. So he seemed to have changed his mind now. ;)


Unfortunately, he has to go if he wants to win the overall. Losing 200 points in two weekends to someone like Van Aert is pretty much game over already from the start.
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