• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Race Thread

Page 247 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Yes, Alvarado is still better than Verdonschot as well, but beating her is probably a more realistic goal than beating Fem or Puck.

I don't know if a bigger road season will hurt Fem's form in cross though, if you look at Van der Poel it's not exactly made him any worse. She'll probably only get better. As for the form of the other two, with Van Anrooij you can't really tell, before she really got going she was out already. Pieterse during the Christmas period seemed like the Pieterse of last year.
I think Verdonschot has improved massively over the course of the season, but she would still need another big jump to get to Alvarados level, which would really get the spidey sesnse tingling. In my view Brand and Alvarado at their best are pretty evenly matched, so I disregard Alvarados Worlds performance, clearly not at her best.

For me, at their best it's Fem-->Pieterse, Van Anrooij-->Brand, Alvarado, maybe Vas-->Backstedt, Casasola, Verdonshot, Van der Heijden etc. Not including Persico, Vos who did no cross this winter, Betsema who was completely out of sorts and to a lesser extent Worst.
Without MvdP, you could have said the same thing about Van Aert (certainly in CX). People thought Gimondi was a freak until Merckx came. What if Merckx had never been born or had chosen to become a lawyer or a teacher? So it's all very relative. There are billions of people on earth, but only a few hundreds-thousands are involved in professional cycling.
yup, this is true, the chance is big that some random Chinese inhabitant (1.5 billion inhabitants) has better DNA/potential than MVDP, but is wasting away in some table tennis hall.
Remembering and already missing Stybar I had to rewatch some of the memorable races he took part in. If you never saw Strade Bianche 2016 it’s a must watch!

View: https://youtu.be/Ocw26S1ucP0?si=AHhY9MPfcdBfB-z6

Closely all of the best of the late “rim brake era” was there. Sagan as the World Champion, Cancellara with multiple wins and Olympic TT World Champion, Valverde, Kwiatkowski, Nibali, Benoot, Brambilla, Oss, Van Avermat… the list just goes on and then of course Stybar. Fantastic race with a very exciting finish.

Stybie might not go down in the history books as one of the all time great but at his peak he was good.

low key enough for me
Only watching Brussels this morning. Is there an exemption in this event from the 3m wide route rule, or do the Eurosport commentators mis-state that?
The Belgian courses routinely bend the actual wording of course rules both in width of course, placement of first "bottleneck" after the start, and stationary objects (generally trees) within the course parameters. I think they have a kind of a "*** you we invented it" attitude
I hate to say it but the Sint-Niklaas race was a bit of a sleeping pill. Something like a lingering hangover after Tabor and now that the big guns are focusing on the upcoming spring classics.

Will Nys and Ronhaar participate in some notable road
Last year Nys took part in a few lesser Belgian races like Denian and de Panne, then mostly one week stage races. Maybe similar this year.
Theres an intervew with Ronhaar today on WF where he talks about road this season, suggesting he could be a hilly classics rider, but all very vague with comments about an internship. So no I guess to any notable races.
He also talks about improving his diet, but again no concrete plans having used a nutritionist in the past, but did not work out.
Puck Pieterse will start her road season this Saturday, in the Omloop. She'll also do Omloop van het Hageland on Sunday, Strade Bianche next week, and the Ronde van Drenthe the week after.

Fem van Empel will start in Gent-Wevelgem, then do the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Amstel Gold, and possibly Fleche Wallonne and Liege. Her trainer has said that the Ronde and Amstel are her big goals this spring.

Curious if Puck can do as well as last year. Given how poorly January went for her, I'm doubting it a bit. Fem's spring last year was a dud, so any result she gets will already be progress.
Transfer news; Anna Kay leaves Cyclocross Reds (and the Roodhooft empire) and signs for Proximus-Cyclis-Alphamotorhomes.

When she was an U23, I thought she might become a regular top 5 /10 rider depending on the courses.....

more UCI domineering
I guess it was coming, this is the stick bit. But what everyone wants is to see the carrot bit.
Let's see the WC calendar with a hopefully reduced number and the races with protected status.
Where is a teams list with their designated status.
How many WC races are there going to be, will there more that one race in US, either a double header or an additional venue.
As regards if top 20 cannot race in a national competition, I'm not sure if that happens other than rarely. Although I'm not totally sure what the difference is, I guess it's anything not on the international calendar. In the UK our national series( is listed on the calendar) occasionally has international riders, but not top 20. I think Jense Michels was the only one this winter.

The issue is cross is Belgian centric sport and where most of the money comes from.
Yes some riders earn decent money and a decent size group make a living from wages and start money. . But what we do not see are the
wages paid which I suspect are low for a majority. Racing in the US is costly and even bingo riders were themselves financially contributing for their flights and accommodation.
Last edited:
I understand UCI/Flanders Classics position; they want the top riders to prioritise the World Cup over the other series - as we see in MTB. However, they've gone OTT in having 14 rounds....totally unsustainable, and meaning clashes with other series.
8-10 rounds is the absolute limit, mostly run every 2 weeks allowing the other series the non World Cup weekends.

Forcing riders/teams into doing X amount of races isn't the way to go......and will only backfire.