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Race Thread

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Feb 20, 2019
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This is a better view of how things stand currently. Iserbyt in optima forma vs van der Poel working towards optima forma. This is the time to strike for Iserbyt. Once van der Poel is in top form they won't be getting this close anymore.

Today was much better in terms of viewing enjoyment. Would have loved to see a sprint-a-deux at the end but van der Poel just too strong for Eli to close the gap.
 
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Feb 20, 2019
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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.
Probably not for the rest of the season. For the moment, yes. I hope I'm wrong, of course. I just don't see anyone troubling Mathieu once he hits top form unfortunately.
 
Yeah the gap is really close today. But there's 2 things at play here

1) Obviously Iserbyt made a step. I think he's close to WvA last year level (not WvA prime level, which was the years before)

2) MvdP is simply not in top shape. He can ride hard pace all race same as last year, but not the killer 1/2 laps that make the difference.

I think the last lap is same as his 'pace' laps last year. But the extreme killer acceleration or preposterous lap is missing. The laps where he made the difference last year. This is why MvdP himself isn't "happy" with the feeling so far. He misses that 5% extra.
If top shape WvA would be here it would be a problem. Top shape Iserbyt is close, but not close enough
 
Yeah the gap is really close today. But there's 2 things at play here

1) Obviously Iserbyt made a step. I think he's close to WvA last year level (not WvA prime level, which was the years before)

2) MvdP is simply not in top shape. He can ride hard pace all race same as last year, but not the killer 1/2 laps that make the difference.

I think the last lap is same as his 'pace' laps last year. But the extreme killer acceleration or preposterous lap is missing. The laps where he made the difference last year. This is why MvdP himself isn't "happy" with the feeling so far. He misses that 5% extra.
If top shape WvA would be here it would be a problem. Top shape Iserbyt is close, but not close enough
If top shape (2016) van Aert were here, he would have won today with a minute and a half. Top shape van der Poel obviously as well. It's clear Mathieu isn't on the same level as last year (not even close). Indeed, that excruciating acceleration isn't there yet. If the Belgians would like to win one or two races this year, the time is now. In a week or two it will all be too late.
 
Ok so first of the field today was weak, but still that looked a LOT more like the real Van der Poel.
Myeah. He also said he felt better. But you can't really judge when Thijs Aerts finishes on the podium a bit over a minute down. I don't think we'll see anyone beat him this year, unless he has a mechanical. He's already improving day over day, and the only one that "might" have challenged him is only going to decline gradually from here on. Maybe in a year or two, Iserbyt and Pidcock can really challenge him, but it looks like his level was just good enough to beat the best of the rest in his first races.

Well, the Euro championships was entertaining at least :)
 
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Jose Been raised a point on twitter about Belguim's dominance at all age levels in men's cyclocross, but Sanne Cant aside, they're uncompetitive in women's races. I haven't been into cyclocross long enough to know if this has always been the case, or why it might be so?

Of course, almost the exact opposite is true for the Dutch at the moment
 
Dutch women have been strong for years in cx, and especially from the years Vos started doing CX. That kinda snowballed into a lot more women.
Cant however has been top for years but was also the first and only real top Belgian (in my opinion) they never had a history of doing well there before Cant.
 
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Jose Been raised a point on twitter about Belguim's dominance at all age levels in men's cyclocross, but Sanne Cant aside, they're uncompetitive in women's races. I haven't been into cyclocross long enough to know if this has always been the case, or why it might be so?

Of course, almost the exact opposite is true for the Dutch at the moment
Well, Jolien Verschueren was very competitive as well, beating Cant quite often, but she got a malicious braintumor and has been out for the past 3 seasons i think. Now she's trying to come back, but she's at a level now that she is happy if she doesn't get lapped before the race ends. Verdonschot at one time gave the impression that maybe she could become a contender in the future, but chances of that ever happening have become... slim.

But like Dekker said, and this is really not that different from road racing, Belgian women simply have never had the same passion for cycling. Though, the Belgian men haven't always been this dominant either. There were always contenders, but not entire droves of in Belgium born riders (hehe, see what i did there) completing the entire top 10 like now. The fact that the Suiss, Italian, Czech, German, French... have become very rare in CX also has something to do with that obviously.
 
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There were definately more foreign challengers than there are now. You had some Suisse riders, you had Czech riders (Stybar, Simunek etc), you had French (Mourey, Chainel), in the pasT Italian (Pontoni), German (Walsleben) they're now more or less gone, either to road or just gone gone.
I think sometimes you have Orts in the top 10 (Spain) or Boros (Czech) and then that's pretty much it.
 
https://cyclocross24.com/calendar/1995-1996/ME/

a random top 10 from that era:
https://cyclocross24.com/race/7594/

sure a lot of Belgians but not dominant at all indeed.
This was one or two years before Nys started raiding the season. And right before MTB became an olympic sport (1996)...

Like i said, if you look a bit further back:
 
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Watching Thibo Nys jump over the barriers is actually a bit of an embarrassment for the women. Today the barriers are not easy (uphill) but plenty of other races they are very easy and still none of the women try to jump over them. When you see Nys jump today, you realize there is still a huge gap with even the best women purely on a technical basis.
 
Well, I know the mathematical reason. It's just... we've been hearing about that kid for ages! Did he just have his breakthrough when he was 12, or something?
He's the son of the most successfull CX rider in history (still). And the hype he's known is also due to the fact that he's from november, so he's always been one of the youngest riders in his age bracket. He's actually a more exciting prospect than his father was (which is saying something).
 
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