Race Thread

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I thought Iserbyt was in October form again. Guess not, or even October form isn’t good enough to remotely trouble Mathieu.

Oh well, was good to see Piddy being up there though. Just didn’t have enough to best Iserbyt. Still a positive performance and hopefully a sign of things to come.
 
Definitely almost back on early season form I'd say. Looked like he was able to recover well after the beginning effort marking VDP. Id say if Pidcock had been a little more conservative in the way he compeleted bridging over to Iserbyt he might have hung on to a sprint, as the way he charged through Vanthourenhout and paced the penultimate lap looked almost as if he expected the race to be one lap shorter than it was.
 
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Definitely almost back on early season form I'd say. Looked like he was able to recover well after the beginning effort marking VDP. Id say if Pidcock had been a little more conservative in the way he compeleted bridging over to Iserbyt he might have hung on to a sprint, as the way he charged through Vanthourenhout and paced the penultimate lap looked almost as if he expected the race to be one lap shorter than it was.
Yep, only problem is, by the time he recovered Mathieu was too far gone. No one recovers better than Mathieu. As for the final laps, I think it was more that Mathieu consolidated and took it easier than Iserbyt actually making ground head to head.

As for the women, Sanne Cant has been such a disappointment this season. She’s been a shadow if her former self. The Dutch will take 1-5 at the worlds unless she peaks just at the right time.
 
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Alpecin-Fenix doubled again.
Tripled actually, with Antoine Benoist winning the U23 race. And it' not the first time this year. From memory this happened too at least in Hamme (Vandeputte, Alvarado, MVDP), Koksijde (Vandeputte, Alvarado, MVDP), Loenhout (Rouiller, Alvarado, MVDP), and now in Baal.

Marcel Meisen also has won in Pétange, Luxembourg, making it 4 wins on the new sponsors first day.
 
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Nothing new in the New Year.
MVdP keeps smashing the field and Iserbyt continues with strong performances though he needed a couple of laps to recover from matching MVdP's tempo before securing the second place.
To me it seemed rather that Iserbyt just consolidated his lead. He knew or felt Mathieu was gone and couldn't match him, and it seemed like he was waiting for the group with his teammate Vantourenhout, not to recover but because riding alone for more than half the race was pointless. It was just that for the classification he didn't need to worry about Mathieu, and there was nobody else to cause a threat there. I think the idea was to get Vantourenhout on the podium, but that didn't work out. His GC was never in any danger. I think he also alluded to it in the post race interview.
I thought Iserbyt was in October form again. Guess not, or even October form isn’t good enough to remotely trouble Mathieu.
Had Iserbyt had this current form the first few weeks Mahtieu made his comeback, he might have troubled Mathieu a bit more. But it's illogical to think Mathieu hasn't improved since then either. I think both are now better than 6 or so weeks ago, so nothing changed. Whether or not Iserbyt is better than in october, i don't know. It's almost like what happened in Namen (hypothermia) sparked his form again.

Also, we can all agree Mathieu is a phenomenon. It would be a bit disingenuous to assume Iserbyt who is riding his first full pro year, would casually be kicking Mathieu's ass. If you would take away Mathieu, who is an outlier, Iserbyt would pretty much be dominating the season in his own right.

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Thibeau Nys now showing his skills. A few months ago he did it in practice, now he actually did it in the actual race. Watch the videos:


He want's to go pro in two or three years.
 
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Awesome show of technique by TNys. Will be fun to follow him as we are probably seeing a star in the making.

Today's up and coming MVDPs and WVAs are Pidcock and Iserbyt - Pidcock with a handful of playfulness and skills and Iserbyt with a WVA-engine and iron will. As MVDP (probably) is moving towards other goals - outside cyclocross - I believe we will see Pidcock and Iserbyt develop an entertaining rivalry just like MVDP and WVA did some 1-5 years back. It is also going to prove tough for the "old" generation to be competitive as cyclocross continually seems to be improving.

Finally I think Stybar in particular should be given lots of credits for still showing up despite almost no chances of making it to the podium. He lends credibility and status to the cyclocross community and shows to the cycling world that today's level of CX is absolutely super high. Good going Stybar!
 
Tripled actually, with Antoine Benoist winning the U23 race. And it' not the first time this year. From memory this happened too at least in Hamme (Vandeputte, Alvarado, MVDP), Koksijde (Vandeputte, Alvarado, MVDP), Loenhout (Rouiller, Alvarado, MVDP), and now in Baal.
I suppose the real surprise would be the day it's not MVDP who wins the men's elite race for them.
 
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So, you're saying he might not dominate that race as much as expected?
Judged historically that would be a correct assessment. Mathieu tends to dominate during regular season and more often than not having to labour more than usual at the worlds. Wout, on the other hand is like Sanne Cant, a master at peaking for the worlds.

Gonna be interesting to see how it unfolds this year.
 
Judged historically that would be a correct assessment. Mathieu tends to dominate during regular season and more often than not having to labour more than usual at the worlds. Wout, on the other hand is like Sanne Cant, a master at peaking for the worlds.

Gonna be interesting to see how it unfolds this year.
I don't know how spectacularly Wout will improve, or how much Aerts will suffer from his ribs. But in all seriousness, i think there is even less of a chance that someone else will win this year, even though i'm convinced Mathieu isn't as good as he was last year. Even when Mathieu isn't 100% and Iserbyt is as good as can realistically be expected to be, Mathieu is still too good. Wout can't realistically be expected to be better than he was last year (which will be necessary if he want's to have a shot), and Toon will also have to be 100% in order to have a slight chance.

I remember from watching all seasons with Sven Nys, that they always showed Thibau when he was there, playing on some little hills with his bike. From really young age as well. His technique must be pretty awesome compared to most..
I know exactly what you are talking about :tearsofjoy:
 
Awesome show of technique by TNys. Will be fun to follow him as we are probably seeing a star in the making.

Today's up and coming MVDPs and WVAs are Pidcock and Iserbyt - Pidcock with a handful of playfulness and skills and Iserbyt with a WVA-engine and iron will. As MVDP (probably) is moving towards other goals - outside cyclocross - I believe we will see Pidcock and Iserbyt develop an entertaining rivalry just like MVDP and WVA did some 1-5 years back. It is also going to prove tough for the "old" generation to be competitive as cyclocross continually seems to be improving.
I'm not sure how long any rivalry between the youngsters will last; Pidcock isn't just a CX specialist like Iserbyt is; he's already shown he's going to be a decent road rider, and is also the current U23 MTB XCO British champ. Before moving to the road he's going to have a diverse programme starting this year, including the Cape Epic.
One gets the feeling he's having 'fun' trying different things before he signs a full road contract - and any other disciplines are likely to be knocked on the head.

As for Nys jr, I'd love to see him on a MTB in some XCO World Cups.
 
Judged historically that would be a correct assessment. Mathieu tends to dominate during regular season and more often than not having to labour more than usual at the worlds. Wout, on the other hand is like Sanne Cant, a master at peaking for the worlds.

Gonna be interesting to see how it unfolds this year.
Definitely going to be interesting, although I still at the moment feel Cant is actually a dark horse for the title as the strength in depth the Dutch have in all three women's categories. Van Anrooij and Pieterse for Juniors. Alvarado, Van Der Heiden and van Alphen for U23. Worst, Vos, Brand, Kastelijn for the elite. I feel it may be a top three lockout with the first three and then depending on course conditions a top 5 or 10 for Kastelijn. Even Kaptheijns may be up there if she can rekindle the early season form she had.

Also to Dutch speakers: how does one pronounce Puck Pieterse name? I've heard some pronounce it as Peet-ers and others as Peet-er-ser.

I'm not sure how long any rivalry between the youngsters will last; Pidcock isn't just a CX specialist like Iserbyt is; he's already shown he's going to be a decent road rider, and is also the current U23 MTB XCO British champ. Before moving to the road he's going to have a diverse programme starting this year, including the Cape Epic.
One gets the feeling he's having 'fun' trying different things before he signs a full road contract - and any other disciplines are likely to be knocked on the head.

As for Nys jr, I'd love to see him on a MTB in some XCO World Cups.
Definitely would be good to see Thibau Nys on the XCO world cup circuit. Even the junior world series events this season.

I didn't know Pidcock was doing Cape Epic. It would be interesting who he does it with as his TP racing teammate from last Cx season Tulett is no longer in the set up, but his current teammate Cameron Mason has done alot of XC in the past and wanted to do a bit more this year. Similarly Ben Healy, who I think will race on the road for Trinity was a very good MTBer as a youth and junior. (Presuming he does it with one of the Trinity boys and he doesn't enter as a composite team)
 
Van Aert training on jumping the barriers... not exactly Nys or van der Poel, but it'll do.

Also to Dutch speakers: how does one pronounce Puck Pieterse name? I've heard some pronounce it as Peet-ers and others as Peet-er-ser.
That should be sounding like:
"Pie" sounds like "pee" (like "eat", or... yeah, pee) - "ter" sounds like "t+er" ("er"as in, errrr... i don't know) - "s+e" sounds like "a" (basically the same sound again, "a" as in "a house, a car").

So basically, you should pronounce the ending "e" sound.
 
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