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Race Thread

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big three
 
Pidcock and Van Aert finding out CX aren't little TdF breakaways
Pidcock and Wout have both beaten MVDP on this course, which is why I was a bit surprised that he was able to win in the manner that he did. Perhaps the muddy conditions neutralized TP's climbing advantage, while it wasn't quite the tractor pull mud that Wout would need to win if Mathieu was on a good day.

Zolder is usually a fast course, which one expect to go to MVDP, but the results of the last two races have been contrary to my expectations, so who knows.
 
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fun cross. VDP still a different beast in CX when he's on form.
People often talk about the big 3, or big 2 w/o Pidcock. But there's really only the big 1.

VDP is on a staggering 90 out of 130 vs Van Aert in crosses. 66vs26 in big crosses (superprestige, world cup, x20) and 4-3 in world ch.

Unless Van der Poel gets it completely wrong for the WC he should win in Hoogerheide. He is already on five wins there, i.e. all of his starts (3rd in U23 at the WC 2014).

Yet credit has to be given to WVA that on his best days is always a real challenge and keeps Van der Poel on his toes, just like in Mol last week.
 
Some interesting results from the North Americans, especially in the women's race. Honsinger did well enough on a course that should suit her. Munro was the surprise high finisher. Rochette DNFed on the first lap, apparently due to a hamstring knock suffered in pre-ride (per her IG). Kind of surprising to see 17-year old Isabella Holmgren finishing so far ahead of her twin sister Ava, since the latter is the elite Canadian women's champ.
 
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He is already on five wins there, i.e. all of his starts (3rd in U23 at the WC 2014).

He has at least a World Cup start there where he finished way behind the rest, out of top-10 or even top-20.

Don't remember the exact year, but it was one of the dullest races I remember to watch, where the riders went for a group ride in the majority of the race and Van der Haar won after a sneaky attack.
 
Some interesting results from the North Americans, especially in the women's race. Honsinger did well enough on a course that should suit her. Munro was the surprise high finisher. Rochette DNFed on the first lap, apparently due to a hamstring knock suffered in pre-ride (per her IG). Kind of surprising to see 17-year old Isabella Holmgren finishing so far ahead of her twin sister Ava, since the latter is the elite Canadian women's champ.

Though it was interesting that Munro rode in the Team USA colours, and not for TFR; I've seen it said elsewhere, that they don't provide much support for their riders CX races.
 
fun cross. VDP still a different beast in CX when he's on form.
People often talk about the big 3, or big 2 w/o Pidcock. But there's really only the big 1.

VDP is on a staggering 90 out of 130 vs Van Aert in crosses. 66vs26 in big crosses (superprestige, world cup, x20) and 4-3 in world ch.
Yeah, well, just a few days ago Van der Poel was wondering if he was going to have to chase Van Aert for the whole season, so let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we. Van der Poel's highs are probably higher than Van Aert's, but his lows are also way lower.
 
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Yeah, well, just a few days ago Van der Poel was wondering if he was going to have to chase Van Aert for the whole season, so let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we. Van der Poel's highs are probably higher than Van Aert's, but his lows are also way lower.
Is this so? My impression from watching the last 4-5 years is that Van Aert is more likely to beat MVDP by a multi-minutes time gap due to the nature of the courses he excels at, while WVA has also finished more often 3rd or off the podium in the company of the non-aliens of CX.
 
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Is this so? My impression from watching the last 4-5 years is that Van Aert is more likely to beat MVDP by a multi-minutes time gap due to the nature of the courses he excels at, while WVA has finished more often 3rd or off the podium in the company of the non-aliens of CX.
Van der Poel has a bigger natural talent for cx, put him on a cx bike and he can almost immediately win a race. That's different for Van Aert, that's why maybe you've seen him struggling a few times here and there when he gets back to cx. But he almost always puts up a decent fight, and almost always has a decent level. I've seen MVDP completely blow up a couple of times, can't remember seeing the same for WVA actually.
 
Looking back at the results of both riders (crossresults.com) of course the most common placings for each are 1st and 2nd. Van Aert has far more finishes in the 3-10 range. As you suggest van der Poel does have a handful of "low lows" type finishes -- 20th or worse -- every season up until a few years ago, but only once or twice a year. I only watched one of those races but it seemed he pulled the plug when things weren't going his way. I don't think he was fully blown as he won easily the following race.

Both clearly head and shoulders above any other rider in the sport, including Mr. Pidcock. We're lucky to get to watch them battling in their prime.
 
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They are both mentally tough in the extreme. As physically gifted as they both are, you don't get to their beyond elite level without that. They clearly have very different temperaments - and that is what makes it a great rivalry. MVDP is all or nothing and feeds off emotion. He was obviously chomping at the bit today after Friday. Sure he occasionally lets off the gas when he isn't going to win, but when you win at the phenomenal rate he does in CX, so what. He clearly doesn't care if he comes 2nd or 22nd. Wout seems more process-oriented and strategic and it obviously works for him, especially at a team like JV. I doubt MVDP could even ride for a team like JV. As far as the rest of the season goes (CX and road), I could see it being a "ding dong" sort of deal between these guys. I think MVDP wins no matter what today, but it looked like Wout was a bit off too. The fatigue he thought would get him on Friday probably caught up to him today. Going to be one helluva a Christmas period.
 
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Both clearly head and shoulders above any other rider in the sport, including Mr. Pidcock. We're lucky to get to watch them battling in their prime.

Pidcock's problem is his lack of weight, which is a handicap in most CX courses; no matter how skilled you are, if you haven't got the power, you're not going to challenge the 'big two'. It's rather different on the MTB where his light weight is a benefit......
 
Good race yesterday in the men's race. Vanthourenhout was also very close for quite a long time, though it's not surprising after courses like Namur and Overijse. Shame about Pieterse getting a stick in her wheel, otherwise I think it might've been a close battle judging by the way she came back on the final lap.

Decent women's race, with Alvarado only really making the difference on that hairpin where she stayed on and van der Heijden got off. Only 1 point separating Betsema and Alvarado now, so it's close coming into Diegem tomorrow.
 

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