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Race Thread

Page 147 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Mathieu basically backed off as soon as he realised it was not winnable.
Tom on the other hand tried until the very end.
Wout bringing last year’s CX legs to this part of the season… should get interesting.
Anyone care to update the head-to-head battle please?
 
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I think women's cyclocross, and maybe cycling in general, needs a rethinking of the whole U23 category. Maybe make it U21. You now have the youngest of the 'big three' in women's cyclocross being an elite rider, and the oldest two remaining U23. In February you'll probably get Pieterse and Van Empel racing with the elites, and Van Anrooij with the U23... opening up a podium spot for the rest in the elite race, and killing the chances of someone like Backstedt to win the U23 race.
I think that’s right on: U21 today would be closer to what U23 (talent& physical development wise) U23 used to be. It’s not only in cycling but in many professional sports that athletes are doing professional-like training programs and coaching in their teens (of course some sports like figure scaring and tennis have long been that way). The weird thing is that on the whole (looking at the whole system and not just an individual) it doesn’t necessarily extend careers? Are there only so many years a cyclist can maintain the physical and mental edge to be a top performer. I don’t think the data is there yet for cycling: will be interesting to see what the career arcs for Pog and his generation look like when they hit 35. As fans we certainly don’t benefit from a rider be at their peak from, let’s say, 2019–2032 as opposed to 2021- 2034, do we?
 
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As long as both of them can stay on the bike, Mathieu imho has the advantage. As soon as they have to start running, it's the opposite. Obviously whoever can stay on the bike when the other can't, has the upperhand. That means when Mathieu has to get off and Wout doesn't, he's in more of a problem than when the scenario is reversed though, because Wout is the better runner. But i think Wout has to get off more often than Mathieu anyway.

EDIT: to be clear, i was talking about the sand sections.
 
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You can't fail to be impressed by Wout; a very good performance. MvdP didn't look anywhere near as good as Antwerp; when he's on his game he looks fluid and smooth. I'm suspecting he's had a heavy load from a training camp - and last week's race in Val di Sole was a 'recovery ride'. Pidcock had a decent race, and is the best of the rest. There are only a few courses that really suit him....and Gavere is probably one of them.

In the women's another super performance from Van Anrooij, and a promising result for both Brand & Worst. And Backstedt with 4th, and ahead of her team mate Honsinger, who had another horrible start.
 
Well, hats off to Wout. Looked extremely strong. MVDP seemed a touch flat, but that 6:12 lap Wout dropped was legit. Looking forward to seeing MVDP set things straight in the upcoming Christmas races!

In 2016 Mathieu beat Van Aert in Mol. The total time was 53:30 and it looks like it was a 8 lap race. This year Wout had an average lap time of 6:30 (9 laps) vs the winning average lap time of Mathieu in 2016 of 6:41. Very fast race by Wout who seems to be in an absolutely great shape. In 2015 WVA won in a 7 laps race with lap times at about 7:10.

ps the course have changed slightly and a barrier that was placed after the beach has since been removed but still I think Wout was much faster this year.
 
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Interesting. Never really thought about comparing times year to year in cx given the many variables, but I imagine they are both much stronger/faster now than in the earlier years, despite the fact they specialized in CX back then. I think the only two people who know where things are at right now are MVDP and Wout. I am hoping MVDP had a bit of an off day on Friday. We'll find out soon enough, although if Gavere is as heavy as they are predicting, we may have to wait until Zolder to really get a true picture. Regardless, the only race that really matters this time around is still 6 weeks away.
 
Interesting. Never really thought about comparing times year to year in cx given the many variables, but I imagine they are both much stronger/faster now than in the earlier years, despite the fact they specialized in CX back then. I think the only two people who know where things are at right now are MVDP and Wout. I am hoping MVDP had a bit of an off day on Friday. We'll find out soon enough, although if Gavere is as heavy as they are predicting, we may have to wait until Zolder to really get a true picture. Regardless, the only race that really matters this time around is still 6 weeks away.

Often it’s not relevant to compare times as the course and conditions change a lot between the years. Zilvermeer is nice in the sense that it more or less stays the same no matter the weather and the course layout has changed almost nothing over the years.

Wout just looked superfast, particularly the running. Should he repeat that in Hoogerheide he will be very hard to beat.
 
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