Race Thread

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As It wasn't broadcast due to British Cycling "not being able to afford it" i'll give a run down.
I truly find it hard to believe that. Just what do they spend our money on? If they can't afford to highlight a national championship in a sport were we've won 6 Gold medals in Junior/U23 World level in recent years, then they're failing in their duty of running & promoting 'their' sport.
Other countries seem to manage it.......
 
The red carpet section on the docks!
The mega-carousel in the Dutch course was great too.
Not a fan of the spiral of doom personally. It's a bit of a gimmick that has come over from a couple of american courses from a few years ago that only promotes single file racing with a pinchpoint in the centre. Plus it can be quite confusing for both fans and riders to see where a rider actually is in the spiral and gauge the distance.
 
Cant’s rivals for the WC keep diminishing. First Ceylin, unfortunately choosing to ride the U23 category, and now Vos is out too, due to surgery.

Cant looked good at the BK though, might just pull it off again for the WC. She’s a master peaker.
I don't see it. For me, it's Alvarado, Brand, and Worst in some order with Kastelijn an outside shot depending on the course which I haven't looked into yet. I think Cant is a long shot at best.

So glad to see Ceylin switch to elites. She's ranked #1 in the world, the Dutch champ (in a year when all the best riders are Dutch), and leading the DVV, World Cup, and Superprestige series. It would have made no sense for her to race U23s, especially considering she'd never wear the jersey. As an added bonus, the women's U23 race will be so much better now.

I didn't realize there was this much cross talk going on here this season. A shame I missed it.
 
Not a fan of the spiral of doom personally. It's a bit of a gimmick that has come over from a couple of american courses from a few years ago that only promotes single file racing with a pinchpoint in the centre. Plus it can be quite confusing for both fans and riders to see where a rider actually is in the spiral and gauge the distance.
Agree, I've raced courses with spirals and the typical thing that happens is at best a slow single file or worse a big bunch of tangled up riders. Not fun at all and not particularly technically challenging either.

On the other hand, long sand stretches, curves in sand and steep off-camber sections are great in testing riders skills - like at the Belgian championships. More of that.
 
Not a fan of the spiral of doom personally. It's a bit of a gimmick that has come over from a couple of american courses from a few years ago that only promotes single file racing with a pinchpoint in the centre. Plus it can be quite confusing for both fans and riders to see where a rider actually is in the spiral and gauge the distance.
I'm another to dislike it - it's just a gimmick. And I feel that we need more technical courses rather than more muddy field/ park circuits. If the sport is to grow, then we need to see far more variety in course design. Cross has to be more than just 'Mud'.
The Europeans course in Italy, and the upcoming Worlds in Switzerland are both pretty flat, featureless and not obviously technically challenging courses - not a great advert for the sport.
 
I'm another to dislike it - it's just a gimmick. And I feel that we need more technical courses rather than more muddy field/ park circuits. If the sport is to grow, then we need to see far more variety in course design. Cross has to be more than just 'Mud'.
The Europeans course in Italy, and the upcoming Worlds in Switzerland are both pretty flat, featureless and not obviously technically challenging courses - not a great advert for the sport.
I saw Jens Dekker tweeting about the amount of flat courses recently for important races like european and world championships. Bogense followed by Dubendorf and 's-Hertogenbosch then Silvelle and back to 's-Hertogenbosch don't really show enough variety, because I reckon the conditions will be very similar to that of Bogense but on a course more akin to the euros this season. The pictures i've seen don't look very inspiring and the long term weather forecast looks relavtively cold, with snow forcast in the run up
 
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I would not agree that s-Hertogenbosch is technically unchallenging. It is flat but still more demanding than e.g. Silvelle. I think it is a good course albeit not the most challenging.

Silvelle less so. Italy is lovely but that course is not good for UEC or UCI races. Too flat and all to prone to become a running course rather than a cyclocross course as it is mainly laid on farm land. Organisers got lucky that it dried up sufficiently the day before the European championship and they also made some adjustments to avoid too much mud.

Bogense I have only seen on TV but it proved difficult enough for the best in the world. Only MVDP rode the whole course consistently without any major mistakes.

However the worlds should preferably be on a exceptionally challenging course with room for lots of mistakes, decisions of on&off the bike, mixed terrain and more altitude differences than the aforementioned courses. My 5 cents.
 
Since we are talking about challenging courses, what are the odds of Spa-Francorchamps appearing again on the calendar?

It appeared in the first year I started watching cross and always liked it (I even thought it was a staple on the calendar until I saw that it ran for only 3 editions), even though always came out of it slightly disappointed with VdP bad days there.

And it's one of those races from which I can't find a full race on YouTube to get nostalgic with the circuit.
 
The most disappointing thing is, when you think of Switzerland, you almost immediately think of the hills & mountains. So, they use the seemingly only flat part for the Worlds; it really beggars belief. What is wrong with using an EKZ course, or even a MTB venue? If you can host a XC short track, then you can host a CX race.
But of course, it's about money; and also, I remember reading after the Europeans, that the UCI/ organisers seem to like venues which are easy to set up - and quite flat.
 
The most disappointing thing is, when you think of Switzerland, you almost immediately think of the hills & mountains. So, they use the seemingly only flat part for the Worlds; it really beggars belief. What is wrong with using an EKZ course, or even a MTB venue? If you can host a XC short track, then you can host a CX race.
But of course, it's about money; and also, I remember reading after the Europeans, that the UCI/ organisers seem to like venues which are easy to set up - and quite flat.
It is one of the reasons why i don't understand that CX isn't given a more prominent role, or is being kept off the Olympics (I mean, FFS, BMX is an Olympic discipline!). It is much easier for large crowds to attend, as well as for broadcasting (and directing) compared to mountainbike. Mountainbike trails don't allow for easy access by visitors, are much harder to set up camera's for, and often (to me) seem much harder to follow on tv, because you never get the same overviewing camera shots that you can get in cyclocross where additionally you can recognize certain parts of the terrain more easily compared to mountainbike (where biking in the woods doesn't give me the same clear visual markers i get in CX). In cyclocross, you can have one camera, shoot 3 parts of the course if placed properly.
 
I think the primary issue is that it's a winter sport but the Winter Olympics requirement is that the sport be held in ice or snow.
That's not the reason that was given 15 years ago. And in any case, there is no reason why they can't have a CX race in the snow. There are plenty of CX races in the snow. There have been plenty of worldchampionships in the snow. Or they could do away with that asinine notion that a wintersport has to have ice or snow.
 
There have been much more recent attempts to get cross in the Olympics and I remember that being brought up as one of the issues. Obviously, I know there are races in the snow. Hell, the last Worlds in the US was in the snow.

I wonder if it became an Olympic sport and that rule wasn't changed if it would have a significant effect on the sport? At the very least I guess we'd see more races held in those conditions during the season. Maybe the Czechs would make a resurgence? At the very least, I would think/hope Olympic inclusion would grow the sport in some other nations and bring an infusion of younger fans.
 
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I wonder if it became an Olympic sport and that rule wasn't changed if it would have a significant effect on the sport? At the very least I guess we'd see more races held in those conditions during the season. Maybe the Czechs would make a resurgence? At the very least, I would think/hope Olympic inclusion would grow the sport in some other nations and bring an infusion of younger fans.
Definitely. I'm 100% convinced that by turning into an olympic discipline, the sport would attract a larger following, a renewed interest among Czech, French, Italian, Suisse... riders, more riders staying in CX longer (before moving to road or XC). As a result, race organizers would indeed take that into account. I think it would pull the sport out of the obscure niche it's been in since XC turned into an olympic discipline, stealing a lot of CX's thunder, and it would give the sport the much needed oxygen to help it grow.
 
Tomorrow is one of those rare days where the men's race looks to be better than the women's . Too bad Wout won't be racing but with MVP out, you've got 6-7 guys who could realistically win while the women's race looks likely to be a Worst-Alvarado battle with a few top riders not racing.
 
Belgium for the WC, without surprises (the only doubt would be between Hermans and Vermeersch):


Men Elite:
  • Toon Aerts
  • Quinten Hermans
  • Eli Iserbyt
  • Tim Merlier
  • Laurens Sweeck
  • Wout van Aert
  • Michael Vanthourenhout
Women Elite:
  • Sanne Cant
  • Ellen Van Loy
  • Laura Verdonschot
 
Am I right in thinking there is the rule that if your country won the world championship in the previous season you get an extra rider? And therefore Sieben Wouters should get a ride at worlds (also just squeezing into the top 50 in the world ranking)?
 
So...Betsema is back and racing on Saturday. It will be interesting to see where her form is. Maybe a long shot, but I wonder if she showed good form if she'd have an outside shot at being chosen for Worlds since so many of the top Dutch riders will be racing juniors or U23. It seems like they could conceivably qualify for 8 spots and looking at the top ranked Dutch riders 23 and up, assuming she's kept her self in good shape she could conceivably be as good or better than all but the top 4:

Wurst
Alvarado
Brand
Kastelijn
Hoeke
Kaptheijns
De Boer
Rooijakkers

I know national federations aren't obligated to use all their spots.
 

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