Race Thread

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In these corona days, Sven Nys decided to organize a new concept for cyclocross riders. "De Slag om Balenberg" is a series of short CX trials, where riders can earn points, which accumulate towards an overall classification. Get the fastest time in a sprint through the woods, get the best distance on a sandy hill, get the best time on a 2k course, with different segments that also count as a separate trial (short climb, 100m running with your bike in hand...).

There were 6 women and 5 men taking part. Worst, Cant, van Anrooij, Betsema, Verdonschot, Van Loy and Mathieu van der Poel, Thibau Nys, Aerts, Iserbyt, Laurens Sweeck.
My prediction was van Anrooij for the women, and Nys for the men. It was indeed 17 year old Nys who won ahead of Mathieu van der Poel, but it was Annemarie Worst who won the women's trial ahead of, indeed, van Anrooij.

Fun concept, and a confirmation of the talent that both van Anrooij and Thibau Nys have.

Mathieu van der Poel did say he hadn't ridden a CX bike for months, and it was clear that Thibau Nys would be super motivated. Still, he won basically every trial, except for the climbing segment inside the 2k course.

You can see video's here: https://sporza.be/nl/matches/veldri...berg-worst-wint-bij-de-vrouwen~1592558106392/
If they are geoblocked, you can try a free VPN (Hola VPN) to watch them.
 
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That was a fun sporting event, with the atmosphere of a summer challenge in a youth camp. In absence of Alvarado, Worst didn't have much competition. Nys beating MVDP in every discipline was remarkable, but of course he had the advantage of knowing the terrain and being prepared and motivated. It confirms his talent for technical courses.
 
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This Sunday, the first international cross for elite riders in the 2020-2021 season is being held in Baden (Switzerland).

More importantly:
  1. there's a livestream on the website of EKZ Cross Tour
  2. it's the first pro race for Thibau Nys (still only 17), as he becomes U23 and those categories ride together here
There are no really big names attending, but it's still kind of exciting.
 
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The first race seemed to be pretty good (the mens anyway, as I missed the womens). Lars Forster breaking away on the last lap from a group of of five with Vincent Baestens winning the sprint for 2nd over Kevin Kuhn (recently signed with Tormans Wanty CX) with Lukas Flueckliger and Timon Ruegg in fourth and fifth. I dont think Thibau Nys can be too disappointed with 13th, after running in the top ten for most of the race and then puncturing towards the end.
Elizabeth Brandau won the womens race from Nicole Koller and Nicole Goeldi, with a couple of others in a lower position than expected. Sophie de Boer was a little off the pace, as was U23 World Champ Marion Norbert Riberolle, though I believe both have been recovering from injury and illness over the past few months.

Interesting day/weekend in that on the road, CXers came to the fore with Tim Merlier and MVDP winning Tirreno, Marriane Vos in the Giro, Gianni Vermeersch in Antwerp Ports Classic and WVA dropping Colombians on a climb. Then in CX the XCers were winning with Brandau and Forster!
 
Does anyone know how is the situation of the broadcast of the races this year? (Europe, outside Belgium and Netherlands).

From what I can see, GCN Race Pass only has indication of the Ethias Cross and Trofee Veldrijden races.

I hope the World Cups will stay with RedBull TV or, at least, back to the UCI YouTube. But what about the Superprestige ones? From my experience they are also the more difficult to find "online".
 
Does anyone know how is the situation of the broadcast of the races this year? (Europe, outside Belgium and Netherlands).

From what I can see, GCN Race Pass only has indication of the Ethias Cross and Trofee Veldrijden races.

I hope the World Cups will stay with RedBull TV or, at least, back to the UCI YouTube. But what about the Superprestige ones? From my experience they are also the more difficult to find "online".
Maybe GCN, depending on location, may have the world cups as Eurosport were showing them last year. Although redbulls coverage was far better than Eurosports.
 
Maybe GCN, depending on location, may have the world cups as Eurosport were showing them last year. Although redbulls coverage was far better than Eurosports.

To add to my previous post, just saw that Eurosport Player will broadcast the Ethias Cross race in Lokeren this saturday. So we can assume that all the GCN content will be shown there too. Good news, since it saves me from subscribing to the Race Pass.
 
This cross season started better than usual with the rain giving us some slighty muddy early races, instead of the usual grassy boring ones.

Today in Kruibeke a great battle between Toon Aerts and Laurens Sweeck and the first top-5 among the elites for Thibau Nys, only in his 3rd race in this age group.
 
This cross season started better than usual with the rain giving us some slighty muddy early races, instead of the usual grassy boring ones.

Today in Kruibeke a great battle between Toon Aerts and Laurens Sweeck and the first top-5 among the elites for Thibau Nys, only in his 3rd race in this age group.
Great ride by Nys, who has to start all the way in the back, like last week, because he's not a pro yet. It wasn't an easy course, quite hard actually. So it's remarkable for Nys, who isn't used to riding 1 hour races. I expected he'd be able to show himself on faster and more technical courses, and drop back in the second part of the race, so i'm pleasantly surprised by his showing.

Aerts better than last year, early season. Sweeck starting to be more consistent since last year, compared to the two or three seasons before then.
 
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Great ride by Nys, who has to start all the way in the back, like last week, because he's not a pro yet. It wasn't an easy course, quite hard actually. So it's remarkable for Nys, who isn't used to riding 1 hour races. I expected he'd be able to show himself on faster and more technical courses, and drop back in the second part of the race, so i'm pleasantly surprised by his showing.

Aerts better than last year, early season. Sweeck starting to be more consistent since last year, compared to the two or three seasons before then.

Totally agree. I was quite surprised to see Nys moving up the field in the second half of the race. Thought he might fade towards the end but it was rather the opposite and that was on relatively tough and not so technical (in relative terms) course. Impressive!

Anyone knows what Pidcock is doing? Has INEOS planned only road racing for him or will he be in the CX circus this season?
 
Totally agree. I was quite surprised to see Nys moving up the field in the second half of the race. Thought he might fade towards the end but it was rather the opposite and that was on relatively tough and not so technical (in relative terms) course. Impressive!

Anyone knows what Pidcock is doing? Has INEOS planned only road racing for him or will he be in the CX circus this season?
I read he is going to be doing CX at Ineos too, but i have no idea about his schedule.
 
Pidcock is with Trinity for the whole season; his contract starts on 1st March. After that who knows? He's said that he looks forward to continuing his multi discipline career. Hopefully it happens........but...it's Ineos.

He's currently in Leogang at the World Championships; he's a strong favourite for the U23 Title. However, he's also in today's E-MTB race, and it's a pretty decent field; Hatherley, Andreassen as well as Absalon - and his former boss, Sven Nys.
 
After Dublin, Waterloo, Koksijde, Besançon and Diegem, now it's time for Hoogerheide and Villars to announce that their World Cups won't be taking place this year. Rumors say that Zonhoven is next on the line.

It's absolutely criminal from the UCI/Flanders Classics to ask the same fee (250.000 € I think) from the organizers in a year where they don't have one of the major revenue sources (entry tickets and food/merchandise sales). What a way to promote the sport.
 
It's Flanders Classics, what do you expect? They're not interested in promoting the sport, they just want to make money.

There is a real danger most rounds could go, especially if figures rise in Belgium. Time to think outside the box - and the hosting fees will have to be cut.

Looking at last weeks MTB World Cup in Nove Mesto, they ran a double header; that is something to look at. As are races in countries were it's possible to race.

However, it all depends on how flexible UCI/Flanders Classics are. If they're not, then they're dumb.
 
To add to my previous post, just saw that Eurosport Player will broadcast the Ethias Cross race in Lokeren this saturday. So we can assume that all the GCN content will be shown there too. Good news, since it saves me from subscribing to the Race Pass.
From GCNs Instagram Story today, it sounds like they will be showing the Superprestige aswell and the Ethias Cross and Trofee Veldrijden, that were already listed, in most countries excluding Belgium. I'd guess it might be on the Eurosport Player if they showed the Ethias Cross on that.
 
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Alvarado wins again in a sprint. Worst came back several times on the flat sections, but she didn't have anything left for the sprint. The Duchess of Alva keeps winning the big races. The top 4 is completely Dutch.
Lechner finished 6th, despite the Italian NT messing up. They forgot her bikes in Bergamo and when she confronted the coach he said that transporting bikes is not his job.:mad: She had to borrow one bike and use one of the training bikes that she has in Belgium.
Source: https://www.tuttobiciweb.it/article/2020/11/06/1604683035/ciclocross-europei-ciclocross-bici-lechner-lechner-senza-bici-luca-bramati-bramati-accusa-scotti-fausto-scotti
 
Van der Haar seems to perform slightly better than the previous years.
Yes. Also very good again today. At some point i thought he would overtake Vantourenhout for silver. Fast courses usually suit him (championships do too), but still him (easily) beating Aerts and Sweeck was very encouraging. Let's hope he can reach his old level again. Some more fireworks at the top wouldn't be bad. It's gotten a bit too predictable the past 3 years. I'm also hoping Iserbyt will be able to tickle the big boys once in a while this year, when they grace us with their presence.