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Race Thread

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Today Kevin Pauwels celebrated his final cyclo-cross race by finishing in first place.
It was a moving ceremony attended by everyone except MVDP.
When asked why he didn't participate, MVDP responded by saying he has no wish to rain on someone s parade.
No one would believe me if KP finished ahead of me, said MVDP. The spectacle would resemble the post Tour crits, said MVDP.
Let the man have his day.
 
Aug 2, 2012
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............i still don't believe KP finished ahead of everyone else...............

..................nice story though.............................
 
May 21, 2010
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I can't believe it's cross season already, feels like it's starting way earlier than the couple of years...
Iserbyt won the men's race yesterday in Iowa, and Rochette the women's. I have to admit I had never heard of her before and I was super confused for a while since her jersey looks somewhat like a world champs jersey with the colour bands and all (turns out it's the Pan-American Championship Jersey).

Let's see how this cx season will turn out, with WVA still recovering from the TdF crash and MVDP doing other things, while Cant is skipping the US World Cups and I'm not sure about the schedule of other riders like Vos, PFP, etc.
 
Jan 7, 2017
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Watched both races on the Eurosport Player (no build up, no commentary) and it felt as though most riders weren't really ready for the races. Iserbyt winning wasn't a massive surprise, he looked good a week before - and has decent form - Aerts didn't look great the week before, and looked better, but couldn't keep the pace up - he will surely get better with more racing in his legs. Some of the others looked miles off form.

I'm not a sure why people skip races unless they have other races or injury (MvdP, Vos, Wout, etc)
After watching the MTB World Cups, the top riders don't really skip races, so to see many CX riders not bothering to go to the USA is pretty poor in my opinion.
 
Just here to say that Eurosport Player coverage is pure garbage.

The broadcast for the women's race took ages to start and when I finally gave up and turned on my VPN to watch illegally the YouTube feed, they were already near the start of the 2nd lap (more than 10 minutes into the race). Needless to say, I stayed with the VPN for the rest of the women's race and also for the men's race.

UCI shouldn't let the exclusive broadcaster of the major series of the sport for Europe treat the sport this way, relegating it for the hidden part of their online streaming service, not respecting the race schedule, not giving race commentary and at the same time geoblocking the YouTube feed which gives the race a decent coverage.
 
Reactions: Axel Hangleck
Jan 7, 2017
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Have to agree Ricco; the coverage is poor. After a season of excellent coverage of the MTB World Cup on RedBullTV, we get this half hearted amateur coverage.
No course previews, no build up, nothing......how this is selling the sport is beyond me.
There haven't even been any adverts for the CX on Eurosport....
 
Have to agree Ricco; the coverage is poor. After a season of excellent coverage of the MTB World Cup on RedBullTV, we get this half hearted amateur coverage.
No course previews, no build up, nothing......how this is selling the sport is beyond me.
There haven't even been any adverts for the CX on Eurosport....
It would be great to see Redbull tv cover the world cups. They have about four or five riders that are sponsored by them who ride cx (van Aert, PFP and Richards spring to mind) plus in the past they have had others like Tim Johnson. Telenet can do their own thing in belgium but if you had something similar to the MTB world cups, i'm sure the sport would become even more popular throughout the world
 
Reactions: Axel Hangleck
Jan 7, 2017
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Have a look at the geo-blocked countries......a shame.
As long a Eurosport show it properly with commentary and build up....otherwise it's pointless them having the rights, when RedBull would do so much better.
 
As for the races... Iserbyt really stepped up. It's remarkable really. He said he peaked early in the season, because he knew Mathieu and Wout wouldn't be there, so there will definitely be a decline of form the coming months. But still i didn't expect him to be, well, dominant as he has been. Of all the young Belgians, he was surely the one with the highest expectations, but (also given his miniature frame, probably expected him to be more of a van der Haar 2.0) it was never clear to me how he would transition in the pro peloton among physically powerful riders. It was clear in the U23 that he was a more talented crosser than the nearly 2 years older Nieuwenhuis (who i thought would move away from CX) who was one of his main rivals in the U23, but it was also clear on the other hand, that his other rival in the U23, the nearly 2 years younger Tom Pidcock, was more talented still.

I actually thought, after last years U23 WC, that Pidcock would have leapfrogged him by now, but that hasn't happened yet. It's quite possible though that Pidcock did not peak early in the season, coming from his crash in Tour de l'Avenir in August and that the tables might still be turned in the next few months. It will also be interesting to see how substantial Iserbyt's decline will be. I obviously do not expect him to rival van der Poel, but on the other hand it is remarkable that he's toying with guys like Aerts (who usually also tries to start the season well prepared) who was van der Poel's "closest rival" last year for the most part.

I'm kind of expecting Pidcock to also step up in a few weeks and really be a contender for top spot (behind Mathieu, when he's back). It seems guys like Sweeck, van der Haar and some others, can't really be taken as competitors any more. Their progress just halted 2 years ago. They should be gunning for wins in the absence of Mathieu and Wout, but in reality, they're already being overtaken by the younger guys like Pidcock and Iserbyt. I'm expecting Mathieu to take control with relative ease when he gets back, Aerts will improve steadily and will be battling Iserbyt, Pidcock, Hermans and Vantourenhout for second spot in the next months. Behind them, van Kessel, van der Haar, Sweeck, Merlier, Aernouts, Nieuwenhuis... will be filling the rest of the top 10 spots, with van der Haar, van Kessel and Sweeck occasionally competing for a podium spot or even a victory on a good day (in the absence of better riders) and with the form of Iserbyt and Hermans likely regressing slightly throughout the season (but maybe soon enough to be able to peak again towards January/February).
 
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As for the races... Iserbyt really stepped up. It's remarkable really. He said he peaked early in the season, because he knew Mathieu and Wout wouldn't be there, so there will definitely be a decline of form the coming months. But still i didn't expect him to be, well, dominant as he has been. Of all the young Belgians, he was surely the one with the highest expectations, but (also given his miniature frame, probably expected him to be more of a van der Haar 2.0) it was never clear to me how he would transition in the pro peloton among physically powerful riders. It was clear in the U23 that he was a more talented crosser than the nearly 2 years older Nieuwenhuis (who i thought would move away from CX) who was one of his main rivals in the U23, but it was also clear on the other hand, that his other rival in the U23, the nearly 2 years younger Tom Pidcock, was more talented still.

I actually thought, after last years U23 WC, that Pidcock would have leapfrogged him by now, but that hasn't happened yet. It's quite possible though that Pidcock did not peak early in the season, coming from his crash in Tour de l'Avenir in August and that the tables might still be turned in the next few months. It will also be interesting to see how substantial Iserbyt's decline will be. I obviously do not expect him to rival van der Poel, but on the other hand it is remarkable that he's toying with guys like Aerts (who usually also tries to start the season well prepared) who was van der Poel's "closest rival" last year for the most part.

I'm kind of expecting Pidcock to also step up in a few weeks and really be a contender for top spot (behind Mathieu, when he's back). It seems guys like Sweeck, van der Haar and some others, can't really be taken as competitors any more. Their progress just halted 2 years ago. They should be gunning for wins in the absence of Mathieu and Wout, but in reality, they're already being overtaken by the younger guys like Pidcock and Iserbyt. I'm expecting Mathieu to take control with relative ease when he gets back, Aerts will improve steadily and will be battling Iserbyt, Pidcock, Hermans and Vantourenhout for second spot in the next months. Behind them, van Kessel, van der Haar, Sweeck, Merlier, Aernouts, Nieuwenhuis... will be filling the rest of the top 10 spots, with van der Haar, van Kessel and Sweeck occasionally competing for a podium spot or even a victory on a good day (in the absence of better riders) and with the form of Iserbyt and Hermans likely regressing slightly throughout the season (but maybe soon enough to be able to peak again towards January/February).
Its good to see Aernouts back towards the front after a couple of seasons where he wasn't quite up there in the top tens with consistent top 20 finishes. He recaptured it right at the end of the season in the last couple of races but seems to be a tiny bit more consistent up there this year. Riders who I thought would have been more prominent this season so far are Gianni Vermeersch and Thijs Aerts. Despite being Aerts was belgian u23 champ a couple of times, he's always fallen in the shadow of his older brother performing and also Iserbyt who has had off days it seems (or competed with the elites) in the national champs most years since winning it as a junior. Vermeersch may have won in Ardooie against Pidcock and Merlier, but at the big races he starts off well but then fades slightly.
Other riders who I thought would be further up near the front so far are Pim Ronhaar, Ben Tulett and Luke Verburg. Some of the top riders from junior last year seem to a have struggled a bit more than riders hitting the u23/elite ranks this year than those in the past couple of years.
 
Thijs Aerts is nearly a full year older than Iserbyt. Seems that he, just like his brother before him, is also a bit of a latebloomer. I can't really remember that he was ever considered to be in the same league as Iserbyt or Nieuwenhuis. Of course, it's difficult to compare one rider with another in an age where supertalents seem to have taken over.

Also wondering if Arensman is going to keep riding CX or if he's going to focus on the road.
 
May 21, 2010
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As for the races... Iserbyt really stepped up. It's remarkable really. He said he peaked early in the season, because he knew Mathieu and Wout wouldn't be there, so there will definitely be a decline of form the coming months. But still i didn't expect him to be, well, dominant as he has been. Of all the young Belgians, he was surely the one with the highest expectations, but (also given his miniature frame, probably expected him to be more of a van der Haar 2.0) it was never clear to me how he would transition in the pro peloton among physically powerful riders. It was clear in the U23 that he was a more talented crosser than the nearly 2 years older Nieuwenhuis (who i thought would move away from CX) who was one of his main rivals in the U23, but it was also clear on the other hand, that his other rival in the U23, the nearly 2 years younger Tom Pidcock, was more talented still.

I actually thought, after last years U23 WC, that Pidcock would have leapfrogged him by now, but that hasn't happened yet. It's quite possible though that Pidcock did not peak early in the season, coming from his crash in Tour de l'Avenir in August and that the tables might still be turned in the next few months. It will also be interesting to see how substantial Iserbyt's decline will be. I obviously do not expect him to rival van der Poel, but on the other hand it is remarkable that he's toying with guys like Aerts (who usually also tries to start the season well prepared) who was van der Poel's "closest rival" last year for the most part.

I'm kind of expecting Pidcock to also step up in a few weeks and really be a contender for top spot (behind Mathieu, when he's back). It seems guys like Sweeck, van der Haar and some others, can't really be taken as competitors any more. Their progress just halted 2 years ago. They should be gunning for wins in the absence of Mathieu and Wout, but in reality, they're already being overtaken by the younger guys like Pidcock and Iserbyt. I'm expecting Mathieu to take control with relative ease when he gets back, Aerts will improve steadily and will be battling Iserbyt, Pidcock, Hermans and Vantourenhout for second spot in the next months. Behind them, van Kessel, van der Haar, Sweeck, Merlier, Aernouts, Nieuwenhuis... will be filling the rest of the top 10 spots, with van der Haar, van Kessel and Sweeck occasionally competing for a podium spot or even a victory on a good day (in the absence of better riders) and with the form of Iserbyt and Hermans likely regressing slightly throughout the season (but maybe soon enough to be able to peak again towards January/February).
Good post. Just saw that Iserbyt won another race and wanted to get on here to ask how he's suddenly so dominant, but you already answered all my questions :grin: Originally I expected Toon Aerts to clean up all the races with MVDP and WVA absent and his impressive riding last season. Will be interesting to see where everyone is in relation to MVDP in the coming weeks and when Iserbyt will start fading. Smart tactics though to peak when the biggest competitors are absent.

Haven't seen any news on Wout's recovery in a while, is there a chance he will be able to ride any cx races towards the end of the season?
 
Interview with Mathieu, in Dutch. You can Google/DeepL translate the article if you wish: https://sporza.be/nl/2019/10/28/mathieu-van-der-poel-ik-heb-nog-maar-3x-in-het-bos-gereden/
There is also the original audiofile of the interview (in Dutch) (bottom of the page).
He wanted to have a decent level before entering the cross peloton, that's why he waited this long. Looking forward to face Iserbyt, whom he's impressed with, hopes he can find a challenge in him (like he did in Wout the past years). Sad van Aert isn't there.

Outtake of an interview with van Aert, in Dutch (translate if desired): https://www.hln.be/sport/wielrennen/wout-van-aert-ik-ben-bang-dat-ik-nooit-meer-de-oude-zal-worden~a4fd6970/. Van Aert is working with a mental coach. There are still doubts whether he will ever regain the same level and become as good as he once was. Surgery in France was a hackjob.

Haven't seen any news on Wout's recovery in a while, is there a chance he will be able to ride any cx races towards the end of the season?
Recovery is going better than expected, but he himself doesn't know if he will ever be as good as he was. He was said to maybe start riding some CX races in december. But expectations aren't that he will be competing for top spots.
 

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