Race Thread

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She says she feared the artery problems had returned, but it turns out they didn't... so there's bad news and good news. I think the current level of Puck and Fem especially is so high that they destroy everyone straight from the start. Not just PFP. But it maybe forces her to push a little harder than she's currently capable of, resulting in some physical issues.

I don't really get what she's saying about riding two good closing laps though. She lost more than 2 minutes on the leaders in those two laps alone.
Yeah it doesn't make much sense that statement as they were also her slowest. Perhaps they were technically better than the others.
 
She says she feared the artery problems had returned, but it turns out they didn't... so there's bad news and good news. I think the current level of Puck and Fem especially is so high that they destroy everyone straight from the start. Not just PFP. But it maybe forces her to push a little harder than she's currently capable of, resulting in some physical issues.

I don't really get what she's saying about riding two good closing laps though. She lost more than 2 minutes on the leaders in those two laps alone.

Agree, the bar is substantially higher with these new kids.

In fact lots of the other "old(er) generation" riders are also struggling e.g. Worst, Kastelijn, Cant, Lechner etc and even some of the "new" like Blanka Vas, Bakker, Van Alphen and Schreiber. I think it's a good thing that Pieterse and Van Empel have pushed the level both technically and physically. It will elevate the interest for cyclocross and in particular women's CX just like MVDP and WVA has.
 
Agree, the bar is substantially higher with these new kids.

In fact lots of the other "old(er) generation" riders are also struggling e.g. Worst, Kastelijn, Cant, Lechner etc and even some of the "new" like Blanka Vas, Bakker, Van Alphen and Schreiber. I think it's a good thing that Pieterse and Van Empel have pushed the level both technically and physically. It will elevate the interest for cyclocross and in particular women's CX just like MVDP and WVA has.
I think it's even a little demotivating for someone like Blanka Vas. You can see it in her whole body language, she's not enjoying her cyclocross season so far. She even walked instead of ran through the sand in Antwerp at some point.
 
Agree, the bar is substantially higher with these new kids.

In fact lots of the other "old(er) generation" riders are also struggling e.g. Worst, Kastelijn, Cant, Lechner etc and even some of the "new" like Blanka Vas, Bakker, Van Alphen and Schreiber. I think it's a good thing that Pieterse and Van Empel have pushed the level both technically and physically. It will elevate the interest for cyclocross and in particular women's CX just like MVDP and WVA has.
I wouldn't count Schreiber in that. She's a year younger than the others and is possibly in a similar place to where Van Empel and Pieterse were at the end of 2020/21 beginning of 2021/22 seasons.
 
I think it's best to compare Schreiber with her former teammate Backstedt.

And while GCN like to go in full excitement mode everytime the "friend of the show" appears on screen, I think so far Schreiber is having a much more consistent season (probably too because of different focus in preparation).

EDIT: And I know they are not from the same year of birth, but last season Zoë was clearly superior than Schreiber. But this season the jump in performance has been great in Schreiber while some could argue that Zoë hasn't shown so far nothing she hasn't shown last year.
 
Schreiber has impressed me this season; good starts which is a massive help, the endurance will come and she'll hang near the front longer. I'm guessing after a hard road season, Zoe is probably targeting the later season - the Nationals, where she'll only have Anna Kay to beat - and then the U23 Worlds.

Blanka Vas is a massive talent, but I've no idea what her best discipline is - as yet, she doesn't have many major titles to her name even at U23 level, most of the others have done that. She seems to come up short. I do think she jumped up to Elites too early.

Agree, the bar is substantially higher with these new kids.

In fact lots of the other "old(er) generation" riders are also struggling e.g. Worst, Kastelijn, Cant, Lechner etc and even some of the "new" like Blanka Vas, Bakker, Van Alphen and Schreiber. I think it's a good thing that Pieterse and Van Empel have pushed the level both technically and physically. It will elevate the interest for cyclocross and in particular women's CX just like MVDP and WVA has.

I'd guess Kastelijn is now a road rider, who does a bit of CX, Cant & Lechner are at the end of their careers. Another name who gets talked up is Honsinger - but she simply isn't fast enough, and needs a heavy mudbath to get near the front, and I don't think she's brilliant on the technical side. The two youngsters are fast, and have the technicals skills; the new breed of CX racers!!
 
I think it's best to compare Schreiber with her former teammate Backstedt.

And while GCN like to go in full excitement mode everytime the "friend of the show" appears on screen, I think so far Schreiber is having a much more consistent season (probably too because of different focus in preparation).

EDIT: And I know they are not from the same year of birth, but last season Zoë was clearly superior than Schreiber. But this season the jump in performance has been great in Schreiber while some could argue that Zoë hasn't shown so far nothing she hasn't shown last year.
Backstedt is an interesting case... did she just have a massive physical advantage among the juniors? Big and powerful, she just rode them straight off her wheel. No technique or agility involved at all. This is different among the pros. Maybe time trials on the road is where her future really lies, I can certainly see an Ellen van Dijk in her.
 
Backstedt is an interesting case... did she just have a massive physical advantage among the juniors? Big and powerful, she just rode them straight off her wheel. No technique or agility involved at all. This is different among the pros. Maybe time trials on the road is where her future really lies, I can certainly see an Ellen van Dijk in her.

I haven’t looked that closely but I assumed (even took for granted) that Backstedt had excellent CX skills. I need to take another look at some of the junior races where she participated.

My thinking is that nobody will suffice with just a big engine if aiming for the top in the women’s or the men’s elite category. Skill is an integral part of the package and that’s exactly what makes cyclocross THE standout discipline in cycling!
 
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I think it's best to compare Schreiber with her former teammate Backstedt.

And while GCN like to go in full excitement mode everytime the "friend of the show" appears on screen, I think so far Schreiber is having a much more consistent season (probably too because of different focus in preparation).

EDIT: And I know they are not from the same year of birth, but last season Zoë was clearly superior than Schreiber. But this season the jump in performance has been great in Schreiber while some could argue that Zoë hasn't shown so far nothing she hasn't shown last year.
Maybe, but the direct fair comparison is with Leonie Bentveld, when they have raced each other this season Zoe has generally beaten her by similar margins to last year.
Bentfield is riding a full season and has herself made good progress.
Backstedt's has been limited so far due to late start following road worlds, illness and team training camp.
 
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Backstedt is an interesting case... did she just have a massive physical advantage among the juniors? Big and powerful, she just rode them straight off her wheel. No technique or agility involved at all. This is different among the pros. Maybe time trials on the road is where her future really lies, I can certainly see an Ellen van Dijk in her.

Cards on the table, am a big Backstedt fan so have been following her perhaps more closely than others and would agree with Ricco that she initially didn't progress at all. But I don't think it's anything to do with riding in the elites per se. She won the 2021 Essen elite race for example and got a string of top tens towards the end of the season. A better comparison is with Bentveld, who was consistently behind Backstedt at Junior level, but has beaten her a couple of times this year.

I was surprised when she came back to CX (mid-October) so soon after the Road Worlds, and her form seemed to indicate that. But there were signs she was improving again before her training camp break, so maybe it's all part of a plan aimed at her peaking for the business end of the season?
 
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Cards on the table, am a big Backstedt fan so have been following her perhaps more closely than others and would agree with Ricco that she initially didn't progress at all. But I don't think it's anything to do with riding in the elites per se. She won the 2021 Essen elite race for example and got a string of top tens towards the end of the season. A better comparison is with Bentveld, who was consistently behind Backstedt at Junior level, but has beaten her a couple of times this year.

I was surprised when she came back to CX (mid-October) so soon after the Road Worlds, and her form seemed to indicate that. But there were signs she was improving again before her training camp break, so maybe it's all part of a plan aimed at her peaking for the business end of the season?

…and her technique?
 
My thinking is that nobody will suffice with just a big engine if aiming for the top in the women’s or the men’s elite category. Skill is an integral part of the package and that’s exactly what makes cyclocross THE standout discipline in cycling!

I'm not sure I'd quite agree with that; XC MTB requires a greater technical prowess than CX. Even MvdP struggled when he first tried it; I recall him crashing a few times trying to keep up with Nino on some descents.....
 
I'm not sure I'd quite agree with that; XC MTB requires a greater technical prowess than CX. Even MvdP struggled when he first tried it; I recall him crashing a few times trying to keep up with Nino on some descents.....

That wasn’t exactly my point but on that I really don’t agree. MTB takes lots of skills but yet CX riders seem to be able to break into the elite ranks of MTB as well as road. I don’t know of many MTB riders doing that (CX and road) nor roadies (CX and MTB).

But maybe it’s the wrong perspective. A talented cyclist today can do most disciplines and do them well yet the optimal starting point is still CX ;)
 
She walked because she can't run. If you watch any race requiring lots of running in sand or mud she is way off the pace...way off.
I know, the most famous example being the Koksijde worlds where Van Empel won simply by taking the shortest line through the sand and Vas was adamant about taking a super long detour to be able to ride rather than run. But in Antwerp she started out running and then simply gave up... that was quite painful to see.
 
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Cards on the table, am a big Backstedt fan so have been following her perhaps more closely than others and would agree with Ricco that she initially didn't progress at all. But I don't think it's anything to do with riding in the elites per se. She won the 2021 Essen elite race for example and got a string of top tens towards the end of the season. A better comparison is with Bentveld, who was consistently behind Backstedt at Junior level, but has beaten her a couple of times this year.

I was surprised when she came back to CX (mid-October) so soon after the Road Worlds, and her form seemed to indicate that. But there were signs she was improving again before her training camp break, so maybe it's all part of a plan aimed at her peaking for the business end of the season?
Backstedt was 11th in Overijse, that was pretty good. And 5th in Overijse ahead of Bakker and Van Alphen, also a very decent result. But with these super talents, you usually see at least once or twice in the world cups that they can mix it with the big guns. We haven't yet seen that with Backstedt, but as you say, maybe her form is on the rise.
 
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I'm not sure I'd quite agree with that; XC MTB requires a greater technical prowess than CX. Even MvdP struggled when he first tried it; I recall him crashing a few times trying to keep up with Nino on some descents.....
MvdP crashes a lot and it results in his history of knee injuries. I blame it on overconfidence or lack of focus during the races sometimes.
 
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Is the UEC Cyclocross European Cup the worst marketed event of the year?

I honestly didn't know that a competition of the kind would take place already this season and, being a series of only one event, don't know what is meant to do since it's basically the same as an European championship for the espoirs but without a jersey.
 
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It was mentioned on the Crosscast Podcast a few episodes ago when they had someone from the UCI and UEC cross commissions as a guest and it was mentioned that to help development of u23/juniors a European cup for those categories only was in the works for next season. I can only assume this might be a test event. But it was a bit surprising when I saw it listed on cx24 the other day, so I just excepted it as a thing.
 
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It was mentioned on the Crosscast Podcast a few episodes ago when they had someone from the UCI and UEC cross commissions as a guest and it was mentioned that to help development of u23/juniors a European cup for those categories only was in the works for next season. I can only assume this might be a test event. But it was a bit surprising when I saw it listed on cx24 the other day, so I just excepted it as a thing.

I just found the inscription platform and if the information there is updated, so far there are 7 men U23 and 2 women U23 lined up for the race. For the juniors, 21 junior men and 9 women.
 
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Is the UEC Cyclocross European Cup the worst marketed event of the year?

I honestly didn't know that a competition of the kind would take place already this season and, being a series of only one event, don't know what is meant to do since it's basically the same as an European championship for the espoirs but without a jersey.

Probably yes. Had missed this completely and it is hard to get a clear grip on what races (for what riders) the CUP comprises but it seems to be(?):
Jesolo (ITA), 3 October
Slaný (CZE), 9/10 October
Namur (BEL), 4-6 November
Samorin (SVK), 20/21 November
Ostrava (CZE), 17/18 December

Open for juniors, U23 as well as masters racers...
 
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Backstedt was 11th in Overijse, that was pretty good. And 5th in Overijse ahead of Bakker and Van Alphen, also a very decent result. But with these super talents, you usually see at least once or twice in the world cups that they can mix it with the big guns. We haven't yet seen that with Backstedt, but as you say, maybe her form is on the rise.
She's not yet getting the sort of results Pieterse and Van Empel were in their first year after junior racing, but as I said before, was amazed she started the season so early after the Road Worlds. Will be interesting to see how she goes after nearly a month's break/training.
 
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She's not yet getting the sort of results Pieterse and Van Empel were in their first year after junior racing, but as I said before, was amazed she started the season so early after the Road Worlds. Will be interesting to see how she goes after nearly a month's break/training.
Fun result from three years ago. 15-year-old Backstedt, Van Empel who had only done a few cross races, another 15-year-old in Bentveld, and of course the Americans with the coolest names. Madigan Munro, born to be a Hollywood star.

Junior Women Results: 2019 Azencross Helen 100 Trophy
PlaceNameCountryTime
1Lizzy GunsalusUSA28:06
2Zoe BackstedtGBR+0:06
3Fem van EmpelNED+0:07
4Madigan MunroUSA+0:09
5Leonie BentveldNED+0:14
 
Fun result from three years ago. 15-year-old Backstedt, Van Empel who had only done a few cross races, another 15-year-old in Bentveld, and of course the Americans with the coolest names. Madigan Munro, born to be a Hollywood star.

Junior Women Results: 2019 Azencross Helen 100 Trophy
PlaceNameCountryTime
1Lizzy GunsalusUSA28:06
2Zoe BackstedtGBR+0:06
3Fem van EmpelNED+0:07
4Madigan MunroUSA+0:09
5Leonie BentveldNED+0:14
Good to all five are are progressing their careers.
 
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