• We're giving away a Cyclingnews water bottle! Find out more here!

Race Thread

Page 32 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Yeah, though I do think in the last lap when Pidcock realized he was not going to win he didn't really go full out anymore. Or couldn't anyway.

But with the gaps they have on Aerts etc... you do start to wonder. It's not really different from Mathieu is it.
 
May 21, 2010
64
3
8,685
Until now, I had no idea the Koppenberg was included in cyclo-cross. Does anyone know what the spectator at the top of the climb meant by holding up a sign saying UCI Kills Cross?
I guess it's in reference to the UCI's recently announced plans of expanding the CX World Cup to 16 races (currently it's 9) with races every sunday, which would put the other cx series (Superprestige, DVV Trophy) in jeopardy, and who knows what such an expanded series would do to the riders.
 


Yeah, though I do think in the last lap when Pidcock realized he was not going to win he didn't really go full out anymore. Or couldn't anyway.

But with the gaps they have on Aerts etc... you do start to wonder. It's not really different from Mathieu is it.
It is different from Mathieu (last year) in the sense that Iserbyt doesn't ride away whenever and wherever he wants. Sometimes he has to try a couple of times (like two weeks ago when facing Hermans). Last year Mathieu rode way when he felt like it. But still, who expected this from Iserbyt? As for Pidcock not going full out... he looked knackered, completely spent. Iserbyt looked very much in control, facial expression seemed very much at ease compared to Pidcock.
 

KZD

Feb 21, 2019
314
18
810
I think the course benefitted lighter guys like Iserbyt and Pidcock but the gap they opened especially Iserbyt, with the mechanical, was huge.
I don't think anyone would have beaten him in this course.
Let's see how does Mathieu returnon Sunday but even if he manages to win, he will have to fight hard.
 
I think the course benefitted lighter guys like Iserbyt and Pidcock but the gap they opened especially Iserbyt, with the mechanical, was huge.
I don't think anyone would have beaten him in this course.
Let's see how does Mathieu returnon Sunday but even if he manages to win, he will have to fight hard.
Last year Aerts won. Not exactly a light guy. The year before Mathieu won, also not the lightest. And the three years before that, Wout won, one of the heaviest riders of the CX peloton. Not sure light guys automatically have the advantage here.

I'm very curious for sunday. And i've learned not to underestimate Mathieu. I won't be surprised if he rides 30-60 seconds away from Iserbyt.
 
Regarding Pidcock and Isybert. I'm sure the latter had a sluggish start last year as well. I think the European Champs were the first time he beat Isybert? Maybe Pidcock has a more intense road season or takes longer to recover from it. Also Isybert has apparently aimed to peak early to capitalse on the absence of of MVDP and WVA. I'd be very impressed if he's still riding away from Pidcock at Christmas.
 
Regarding Pidcock and Isybert. I'm sure the latter had a sluggish start last year as well. I think the European Champs were the first time he beat Isybert? Maybe Pidcock has a more intense road season or takes longer to recover from it. Also Isybert has apparently aimed to peak early to capitalse on the absence of of MVDP and WVA. I'd be very impressed if he's still riding away from Pidcock at Christmas.
There is obviously more to it than just peaking early. Iserbyt (or Easy Bert as you call him ;) ) is simply dominant, and no matter of "peaking early" explains his form compared to last year, unless he made some huge steps in his development. Otherwise by now, guys like Aerts, Vantourenhout etc should have overtaken him. As such, you can't really predict how Pidcock will compare in a few weeks. His trainer was interviewed two days ago, and he thinks Iserbyt should be able to keep his form for most of the season. Personally, i'd be surprised if he keeps it up, but on the other hand the guy has been training him since he was 13 or 14 years old.

It wouldn't surprise me if Iserbyt still rides away from Pidcock come Christmas, but the gap should be smaller. Tomorrow will be very interesting, with Mathieu back in the field. Like Adrie said earlier this week, you don't really have a point of reference without Mathieu or Wout.
 
Feb 20, 2019
110
1
335
Iserbyt was probably still feeling the effort of friday in his legs. Even Mathieu said that it could be a reason for having an off day.

With that being said though, Mathieu has also stated that he didn’t really find that “cross feeling” today and basically just rode on his own tempo for the whole cross. It was visible too. He said he didn’t have the acceleration today, which was also visible. Things can only get better from here, he said in conclusion.

This doesn’t bode well for the competition, Iserbyt and everyone else included. If what he said is true we’ll see a very familiar sight in cross this season. Mathieu winning wherever he starts and no one can do anything about it.

I hope there’ll at least be some excitement, of course. So I hope to see a better Eli and Pidcock come the next race.
 
I agree this doesn't bode well for the competition. That being said a top Iserbyt could have at least made it difficult today. But Mathieu never looked like his normal self today, and still won pretty easily. So if he gets that acceleration bad I think it's going to be a lot of the same story.

Iserbyt did mention it was hard to follow Mathieu in the corners today so that means, despite riding almost no cross training, he is still technically superior to the rest of the field. Iirc they are wasting powers getting back after corners so they can't really pressurize him, even when he's not at the top of his game yet
 
Things to consider (as already stated), Iserbyt and Pidcock were dominant in Koppenbergcross, which may be the toughest race of the entire season, and they are both still young (and no powerhouses). That was only 2 days ago and it's not unlikely that this played a big part in their performances today. I expect both to be better next week, and maybe better than the opposition save Mathieu. If Iserbyt were as good today compared to Aerts, Sweeck, etc as he's been the rest of the season, he would have been able to follow, and who knows even beat Mathieu. Aerts has been subpar this season so far, Sweeck hasn't exactly been lighting up the peloton either, and yet today they were the closest rivals to Mathieu.

What am i saying, is that we could still see a few weeks/races where Mathieu doesn't necessarily dominate like last year. Mathieu clearly isn't in top form yet, because otherwise there is no way Sweeck could have finished this close. Iserbyt clearly wasn't as good as he's been this far, or he would have finished ahead of the pack (save Mathieu) by quite a margin. So, now the question that needs answered is: how long until Mathieu is in top shape, and how long can Iserbyt keep his form up (or has it already started to decay)?

If today was the start of Iserbyt's form regressing and if things are only going to get worse for him, then we're looking at another boring season with Mathieu dominating wherever he starts. If it was simply the result of going deep in the Koppenbergcross, but the form is still there, then we might still see some nice duels until Mathieu hits his top form.
 
Last edited:
Feb 20, 2019
110
1
335
I have a deep respect for Mathieu and the amazingly rare talent that he is. I would never blame him for dominating a sport (across multiple disciplines). It's hardly his fault he's so good compared to the rest.

However, I do understand that it can get real old, real fast and that it deters people from watching at some point. This is the reason I hope Eli, Pidcock, or maybe Aerts can at least give us some exciting duels while Mathieu is still working on his form.

When he hits top form I'm afraid it's going to be riding for second place for the rest. I mean, I can still appreciate just how good he is on a bike, but will probably switch to another sport I'm interested in quicker than if it were an exciting duel.

Let's see how it goes.
 
I have a deep respect for Mathieu and the amazingly rare talent that he is. I would never blame him for dominating a sport (across multiple disciplines). It's hardly his fault he's so good compared to the rest.

However, I do understand that it can get real old, real fast and that it deters people from watching at some point. This is the reason I hope Eli, Pidcock, or maybe Aerts can at least give us some exciting duels while Mathieu is still working on his form.

When he hits top form I'm afraid it's going to be riding for second place for the rest. I mean, I can still appreciate just how good he is on a bike, but will probably switch to another sport I'm interested in quicker than if it were an exciting duel.

Let's see how it goes.
It's not gonna come from Aerts. Mathieu is only going to get better and he's already a level or two beyond Aerts. Realistically, the only guy that might give us a fight is Iserbyt if he can keep his form up, and if yesterday wasn't the beginning of the end rather than just a lesser day after going deep two days earlier. Outside chance for Pidcock, who might also start taking the next step in his evolution rather than his form. And i'm guessing, in a few weeks Mathieu will hit top form and this will all be moot.
 
Reactions: Mavic
Luckily he can still have slip ups, like Koppenberg last year, or the World Ch in Yorkshire this year.
I don't think anybody is really waiting for him to tank or crash or get mechanicals. We (at least i think i speak for most people) just want to see an interesting battle. But i'm afraid there is only one guy out there that can provide that, and for that to be the case, he also has to be in top shape. Or we can watch replays of 3 and 4 years ago :weary::laughing:
 
Reactions: Mavic
Does anybody know if there is an overview somewhere of the dates of all major cross races of the season (the ones shown on Belgian television)? I think it's unreasonably difficult to find that and UCI's calendar includes all kinds of lower-level races which makes it almost useless.
 

KZD

Feb 21, 2019
314
18
810
Van der Poel did a good race but Iserbyt showed that he still didn't lose his shape despite making a few mistakes.
I predict good battles between these two for the rest of the season.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS