Race Thread

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A couple of moves going on between teams. Earlier in the year Thomas Mein and Emiel Verstrygne have signed for the Tormans CX team, with the team apparently wanting to expand to have a couple of women on it aswell. Shirin van Anrooij has obviously signed with Telenet Baloise, with her sister now presumably replacing Manon Bakker at Experza CX. Speaking on of Bakker, her and the other rider in black Mees Hendrikx have both been scooped up by Creafin Fristads.
Interestingly Hendrikx had signed for Creafin last year when it wasn't part of the Roodhooft conglomerate of teams. However he seemed to end up with Acrog Balen for the first half of the season and was left teamless when they swapped from Pauwels Sauzen to Tormans.
 
Having watched the last races of the season I must say that Annemarie Worst looks very good on the bike. She together with Alvarado have progressed markedly in terms of solid technique and speed. The rest of the field look sketchier though. There is probably going to be a quick development in improved technique and speed as the younger riders are more likely to be better bike handlers. Guess this follows what we see among junior men that look really solid. Shows that cyclocross has a positive momentum and that it is a good way into all kinds of professional cycling.

On a side note will we see Ryan Kamp closing in on the top 10 elite men next year or is it too early yet?
 
Michael Vanthourenhout has got to be one of the most frustrating riders to be a fan of - he really lacks a winning instinct. I truly think he was the strongest guy this weekend and came away empty handed twice. He just seems to lack confidence. He never seems to want to carry on with an attack and is always looking back for someone else to take over despite the fact he seems to have one of the worst sprints in the field.
 
Having watched the last races of the season I must say that Annemarie Worst looks very good on the bike. She together with Alvarado have progressed markedly in terms of solid technique and speed. The rest of the field look sketchier though. There is probably going to be a quick development in improved technique and speed as the younger riders are more likely to be better bike handlers. Guess this follows what we see among junior men that look really solid. Shows that cyclocross has a positive momentum and that it is a good way into all kinds of professional cycling.

On a side note will we see Ryan Kamp closing in on the top 10 elite men next year or is it too early yet?
I think he might do what Iserbyt did and spend a year in the rainbow stripes and then move up, but in the non u23 races I think it's pretty likely. At the end of the season we've seen Vandeputte really come alive in the final few races so they could both be up there next season.
 
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/veldrijden/2020-06/thibau-nys-17-zet-profs-een-neus-in-slag-om-balenberg-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.
 
Reactions: TourOfSardinia
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.
 
Reactions: Axel Hangleck
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!
 

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