Race Thread

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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)?
Yes, there's a rule that the world champ, continental champ, and world cup winners qualify outside the allocated spots based on nation ranking so the Netherlands could get 7 but looks like Wouters dropped a place behind Van der Heijden in the rankings ,not that you have to follow that.
 
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Pleasantly suprised to see Evie Richards lining up tomorrow and for the Worlds. Thought she had given up on CX this season to concentrate on MTB as she moves up to the elites in Olympics year.

Rebecca Fahringer continues sniping at Betsema after today's race. But more vitriol for Norbert, accusing her of weaving across lines at the starts. Did anyone see the race?
 
From the gps tracking, the u23 race looked like a good battle. Does anyone know what happened to the Kuhn as he was way down considering he is world cup leader. Similarly Thomas Mein as he was up in the leading group as well. but dnfed again. I presume mechanincals for both riders.

Conditions look fast though.
 
If they find a way, it will be a one shot trick. Something they can't try out or he'll know how to neutralize it. Not much they can do.
Van Aert is probably the ace up their sleeve, the unpredictable factor, but he has to start on the 3rd or 4th row.
Yeah, a team on dirt doesn't make such a difference as on the road.
Keeping Van der Poel under pressure would mean there are riders able to match him. Something that hasn't been seen for a while.
 
Feb 20, 2019
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I’ve said this this many times right before the Worlds; Mathieu looks unbeatable, imperious. However, like I’ve stated before, come the worlds, he always seems to labour a lot more than the final rehearsal, which was today.

I’m not saying he isn’t the overwhelming favorite, cause he obviously is, but the worlds brings extra stress for the favorite and extra motivation for the challengers. I hope for an all-out war. We’ll see.
 
Betsema not selected for the WCC?
No she won't be, as the national coach want's to keep peace within the team and not have her selection overshadow the week leading up. I think there would be protest from some of the other dutch riders who raced the whole season and are now ranked ahead of her (dropped to 284th with 30pts) after her results were removed if she was selected
 
Never write off WvA for the worlds.... he'll make one of those magic tyre choices again.
Not unless he has some special tyres that launch him to the front of the bunch and across the first 3 starting rows in front of him. The Belgians may try to block van de Poel's path as much as possible, but the Dutch that have to start behind the Belgians, will certainly do their best to delay van Aert as much as possible as well.
 
No she won't be, as the national coach want's to keep peace within the team and not have her selection overshadow the week leading up. I think there would be protest from some of the other dutch riders who raced the whole season and are now ranked ahead of her (dropped to 284th with 30pts) after her results were removed if she was selected
Makes sense. The fact that they have the 3 overwhelming favorites for victory made that a relatively easy decision.
Not unless he has some special tyres that launch him to the front of the bunch and across the first 3 starting rows in front of him. The Belgians may try to block van de Poel's path as much as possible, but the Dutch that have to start behind the Belgians, will certainly do their best to delay van Aert as much as possible as well.
I thought he had a 3rd row start? Is it 4th? For me, that's a big difference. 3rd is manageable, 4th is a disaster.

In any case, nothing the Belgians do is likely to make any difference. Barring an untimely mechanical, on that course, 95% chance Mathieu wins.
 
Makes sense. The fact that they have the 3 overwhelming favorites for victory made that a relatively easy decision.

I thought he had a 3rd row start? Is it 4th? For me, that's a big difference. 3rd is manageable, 4th is a disaster.
It was 3rd or 4th last week. The results of this weekend could push him back to 4th. I don't know whether he scored enough points to start from the third row, but he only finished 9th yesterday.
 
Feb 2, 2019
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I expect a lot from Toon Aerts. Clearly the #2 in the world atm, ahead of Iserbyt. Could give Mathieu some problems, especially when the course is muddy.
 
Any news from Dubendorf on the course conditions? Quick & dry or wet & muddy? Hope for an epic all out battle where MVDP at least is being challenged by Iserbyt/Aerts and WvA.
The forecast for the weekend and the next few days is either rain or showers. It looks surprisingly warm with a max temp of between 10 and 11 celcius. If the rain (and a bit of snow tommorrow) are correct it could be quite muddy and a bit of a slog as a quick google of the geology of switzeland says that area is quite clayish. High minimum temps (2-4) so it won't freeze overnight.

Course reminds me somewhat of Ruddevorde crossed with Silvelle, which means it might be alot of running, certainly by the end of the weekend for the elite mens race. If Aerts and Isebyt et al race it well, it may not allow VDP to get into a rhythm (e.g Ronse this year, WK @ Valkenberg, Spa superprestige a couple of years ago) it may hamper him. Don't know though as he has improved his running this year from previously, and it isn't hilly like the three mentioned above, so will be interesting.

I'm personally looking forward to the U23 races as they seem the most open. The Elites seem to be VDP verses the belgians and a battle of Alvarado vs Worst vs Brand and maybe Cant. The Junior men look the most certain with Nys the favourite then a battle between the other belgians, the swiss Dario Lillo and maybe some dutch. THe junior women might be Van Anrooij vs Pieterse and then Gunsalus vs Munro, with some French, Czechs and Brits thrown into the top ten as well. (Interestingly the highest ranked belgian female junior is nearly 30th ranked in the world (of the u19s)).

The U23 men looks really wide open with Kuhn, Mein, Vandeputte and Kamp all winning rounds of the world cup. Mason and Tulett seem to have come on leaps and bounds in the last few races. Benoist, Rouiller and Vandenbosch have been up there as well, and others who have performed strongly this year I believe are still in with a chance , like euro champ Crispin, Kielich, Turner, Hecht and Van Dijke.
Similarly the U23 women is pretty wide as well. Van der Heijden is obviously defending champ. Kay, Bakker, Norbert Riberolle from Experza have also featured this season, along with Vas, and Van Alphen. Other riders who havn't been so present are Harnden (who excels in muddy conditions) Clouse (u23 us champ) and West. I think it was also clear this season the strength in depth the u23s have as well as the world champs last year where pretty much 10+ riders could have won going into those steep banks for the last time last year.
 

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