Race Thread

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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.
 
Great course for the EuroChamps in Rosmalen, with a bit of everything: mud, sand, stairs, short climbs, technical bends...

Alvarado and Worst once again battling it out between them...
I also really like this track and having raced it in 2018 I know it is not as easy as the pros make it look.

Anyhow, for the pro men and perhaps also the women the Rosmalen track is almost too easy for being a championship track. I don’t think I saw Iserbyt make one single mistake and MvT made just one. The skill level is so high that the organisers just may have to up the game just another notch.
 
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Iserbyt had one small crash on the drop after the stairs right after the woods, but yeah, I get what you're saying.

Btw, in 2022 the Euros will be in Namen. I hope they will also change the date and do them in December. Don't know why but Namen's cross with its damp and moody atmosphere has some kind of christmas feeling.
 
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Iserbyt had one small crash on the drop after the stairs right after the woods, but yeah, I get what you're saying.

Btw, in 2022 the Euros will be in Namen. I hope they will also change the date and do them in December. Don't know why but Namen's cross with its damp and moody atmosphere has some kind of christmas feeling.
Last year’s race in Namur was epic. When the best riders in the world look wasted and have multiple problems with the course then you it is HARD. Not sure if the riders appreciated the conditions but is was fascinating to watch and absolutely one of the toughest in the whole season.
 
Great racing by the women again today.

Third year in a row I'm looking more forward to the women's race than the men's. It started with MVDP's domination being way over the top, but it hasn't gotten any better with uninspiring riders like Aerts, Sweeck, Vanthourenhout (the latter to a lesser extent), and whiny Iserbyt, jumping onto the big scene in the absence of MVDP and Wout. Even though it's much more levelled now. Meanwhile the women's level continues to develop nicely and Alvarado, Worst and Betsema are pleasant to watch.
 
Great racing by the women again today.

Third year in a row I'm looking more forward to the women's race than the men's. It started with MVDP's domination being way over the top, but it hasn't gotten any better with uninspiring riders like Aerts, Sweeck, Vanthourenhout (the latter to a lesser extent), and whiny Iserbyt, jumping onto the big scene in the absence of MVDP and Wout. Even though it's much more levelled now. Meanwhile the women's level continues to develop nicely and Alvarado, Worst and Betsema are pleasant to watch.
Yeah, I came up with an expression for this feeling on the men's races, Vanilla Riders. Toon has some performances of aggression sometimes (like the BK of 2019 or Ronse last year) but most of the times they don't seem to have that aggression we had with the VDP and WVA duels. On the other hand I see that drive in Pidcock, can't wait for next weekend to see him back. Hope we can have some good threeway battles between Tom, Mathieu and Wout this year.
 
Pidcock's return is indeed something to look forward to.

Yesterday was another perfect example of why I can't warm up to a rider like Aerts. He raced like a loser. Once Vanthourenhout was chasing them solo, he should have always waited. Then it was up to Sweeck and Vanthourenhout to ride at the front and try to drop him, and he could gamble on a sprint/the last lap. What was he thinking? That he could still beat Sweeck after riding full gas on the front the whole race? Right.

On social media, you even saw people criticizing Sweeck, lol, while he just did what he had to do.
 
Clearly something is missing when MVDP and WVA are not racing, but calling Vanthourenhout, Iserbyt, Sweeck and Aerts "vanilla racers" is really harsh.

MVDP and WVA are almost impossibly skilled paired with massive FTPs and VO2s. Just as a comparison, Iserbyt is said to have 82 ml/kg/min in VO2 which is exceptionally high, he is also extremely skilled. Another rider (that unfortunately rarely makes it to the podium) is Tom Meeusen who must be said is one of the absolutely most gifted and skilled technical CX riders as of today.

Michael Vanthourenhout is also very technically skilled and from time to time makes it on the podium. Toon Aerts is an entertaining and aggressive rider with a super high FTP and also a very high technical level (one of the few that beat MVDP last year). Sweeck and van der Haar also have a punchiness paired with technical provess. Pidcock is fantastic and also realises it's as much about results as entertainment, being "the CX Peter Sagan". Another super strong road racer - Tim Merlier - always struggles when the technical complexity increases.

Maybe one just has to face that the level of CX has increased massively. Boom, Alberts, Nys and Stybar wouldn't stand a chance - not even against the vanilla riders - and clearly not against MVDP and WVA.
 
Let's first see if Pidcock can rival Iserbyt before putting him next to van Aert & van der Poel. Last year he got his ass handed to him throughout the entire season by Iserbyt, except for his impressive showing at the WCC. I'm sure Iserbyt hasn't peaked yet (not in his career, nor this season) so for the moment i think he's still the most likely candidate to really put the pressure on Wout & Mathieu. Aerts will surely have his moments (as always) and i'm glad to see Sweeck back in the game. We might see a less impressive van der Poel (with a bigger focus on the road season and less cross races to "get into the groove" compared to last year, which was already less dominant than it was the year before) and some better opposition with both Iserbyt and Pidcock narrowing the gap, plus Sweeck & Vantourenhout getting more constant results so far this year, which could lead to a bigger "teamwork" factor than we have seen the past few years.

I'm also glad van der Haar is showing signs of life (though the past two weekends it wasn't that great), always liked him and his "all in" style when he's on his day.

I'm not a fan of Aerts (as i've stated before) and while i agree Iserbyt may be a bit of a twerp (which also goes for Pidcock imho) i do like it that he's showing the brass and balls to claim a race (even if it means hitting a brick wall). He also showed he had to nerve to dare van der Poel last year, even if Mathieu was clearly still out of his league. At least he tried. I can respect that. Not starting a race with the idea to fight for second best.

Pidcock's return is indeed something to look forward to.

Yesterday was another perfect example of why I can't warm up to a rider like Aerts. He raced like a loser. Once Vanthourenhout was chasing them solo, he should have always waited. Then it was up to Sweeck and Vanthourenhout to ride at the front and try to drop him, and he could gamble on a sprint/the last lap. What was he thinking? That he could still beat Sweeck after riding full gas on the front the whole race? Right.

On social media, you even saw people criticizing Sweeck, lol, while he just did what he had to do.
By social media, do you mean the drivel at WF? :tearsofjoy:

***

Just noticed Tiz is now doing CX as well?
 
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Let's first see if Pidcock can rival Iserbyt before putting him next to van Aert & van der Poel. Last year he got his ass handed to him throughout the entire season by Iserbyt, except for his impressive showing at the WCC. I'm sure Iserbyt hasn't peaked yet (not in his career, nor this season) so for the moment i think he's still the most likely candidate to really put the pressure on Wout & Mathieu. Aerts will surely have his moments (as always) and i'm glad to see Sweeck back in the game. We might see a less impressive van der Poel (with a bigger focus on the road season and less cross races to "get into the groove" compared to last year, which was already less dominant than it was the year before) and some better opposition with both Iserbyt and Pidcock narrowing the gap, plus Sweeck & Vantourenhout getting more constant results so far this year, which could lead to a bigger "teamwork" factor than we have seen the past few years.

I'm also glad van der Haar is showing signs of life (though the past two weekends it wasn't that great), always liked him and his "all in" style when he's on his day.

I'm not a fan of Aerts (as i've stated before) and while i agree Iserbyt may be a bit of a twerp (which also goes for Pidcock imho) i do like it that he's showing the brass and balls to claim a race (even if it means hitting a brick wall). He also showed he had to nerve to dare van der Poel last year, even if Mathieu was clearly still out of his league. At least he tried. I can respect that. Not starting a race with the idea to fight for second best.


By social media, do you mean the drivel at WF? :tearsofjoy:

***

Just noticed Tiz is now doing CX as well?
No, reactions on Sporza report (FB).

Van Aert adds Tábor and Boom to his cx schedule. Very nice.
 
Clearly something is missing when MVDP and WVA are not racing, but calling Vanthourenhout, Iserbyt, Sweeck and Aerts "vanilla racers" is really harsh.

MVDP and WVA are almost impossibly skilled paired with massive FTPs and VO2s. Just as a comparison, Iserbyt is said to have 82 ml/kg/min in VO2 which is exceptionally high, he is also extremely skilled. Another rider (that unfortunately rarely makes it to the podium) is Tom Meeusen who must be said is one of the absolutely most gifted and skilled technical CX riders as of today.

Michael Vanthourenhout is also very technically skilled and from time to time makes it on the podium. Toon Aerts is an entertaining and aggressive rider with a super high FTP and also a very high technical level (one of the few that beat MVDP last year). Sweeck and van der Haar also have a punchiness paired with technical provess. Pidcock is fantastic and also realises it's as much about results as entertainment, being "the CX Peter Sagan". Another super strong road racer - Tim Merlier - always struggles when the technical complexity increases.

Maybe one just has to face that the level of CX has increased massively. Boom, Alberts, Nys and Stybar wouldn't stand a chance - not even against the vanilla riders - and clearly not against MVDP and WVA.
I didn't use that expression to disqualify their physical abilities.

It's just the way I see them racing. Maybe the fact that Pauwels Sauzen dominates the races with Sweeck, Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout adds to that also, it doesn't give me any excitement most of the times. This year, one of the few races I enjoyed from start to finish this year was Ruddervoorde (and Niel would also if I hadn't watched it knowing who won it beforehand).

Van der Haar, for example, is usually a level below the top riders but something in the way he races appeals more to me. Meeusen the same, although at the moment he is in the third tier of riders at best.

I like to see close battles between the riders and most of the times someone goes clear in the beginning and that's it, the others spend the rest of the race chasing with usually Vanthourenhout or Sweeck policing Aerts when Iserbyt goes clear. For example, I'm a huge Van der Poel fan and even with that I have to admit that I fell asleep last year in some races. The way the belgians broadcast the races doesn't help either, with lots of shots of the first rider even if he is well clear at the front.
 
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I didn't use that expression to disqualify their physical abilities.

It's just the way I see them racing. Maybe the fact that Pauwels Sauzen dominates the races with Sweeck, Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout adds to that also, it doesn't give me any excitement most of the times. This year, one of the few races I enjoyed from start to finish this year was Ruddervoorde (and Niel would also if I hadn't watched it knowing who won it beforehand).

Van der Haar, for example, is usually a level below the top riders but something in the way he races appeals more to me. Meeusen the same, although at the moment he is in the third tier of riders at best.

I like to see close battles between the riders and most of the times someone goes clear in the beginning and that's it, the others spend the rest of the race chasing with usually Vanthourenhout or Sweeck policing Aerts when Iserbyt goes clear. For example, I'm a huge Van der Poel fan and even with that I have to admit that I fell asleep last year in some races. The way the belgians broadcast the races doesn't help either, with lots of shots of the first rider even if he is well clear at the front.
Understood, and I partly agree. Some of the last races haven’t been that interesting. The women’s races are tighter.

It has to be said that Aerts and Iserbyt challenged MVDP a couple of times last year and Iserbyt really gave his best at the Worlds in Dubendorf. Nevertheless some excitement is lacking without the two big and Pidcock. Lets hope that some of the new talents will be able to give the rest a serious match eg Vandeputte, Kamp and of course Nys.
 
I didn't use that expression to disqualify their physical abilities.

It's just the way I see them racing. Maybe the fact that Pauwels Sauzen dominates the races with Sweeck, Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout adds to that also, it doesn't give me any excitement most of the times. This year, one of the few races I enjoyed from start to finish this year was Ruddervoorde (and Niel would also if I hadn't watched it knowing who won it beforehand).

Van der Haar, for example, is usually a level below the top riders but something in the way he races appeals more to me. Meeusen the same, although at the moment he is in the third tier of riders at best.

I like to see close battles between the riders and most of the times someone goes clear in the beginning and that's it, the others spend the rest of the race chasing with usually Vanthourenhout or Sweeck policing Aerts when Iserbyt goes clear. For example, I'm a huge Van der Poel fan and even with that I have to admit that I fell asleep last year in some races. The way the belgians broadcast the races doesn't help either, with lots of shots of the first rider even if he is well clear at the front.
A lot of it is because the new generation are mostly Goody two-shoes, good sports, honorable chaps, polite and ... boring. I hated Groenendael, i hated De Clercq, but those were guys that made it interesting at the same time. The new generation doesn't have a "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" but "The kind, The Honest & The Boring". I think that's a big part of why we're feeling that way. Three years ago, when Wout could still rival Mathieu, they were each other's nemesis. But with Wout starting to focus more on the road since 2 years, even that rivalry has lost a lot of tension (at least in CX). Maybe with them crossing paths again on the road, that the rivalry in the field can be rekindled.

Let's hope both Iserbyt and Pidcock can break through for good, because i think both can be little shitheads and will be sure to ruffle some feathers.
 
Pidcock is likely to cut the number of Cross races he does once he's in Ineos colours; it maybe only for 'training' purposes, so any rivalry will be a short one.
Possibly. But he isn't officially signing for them till March 1st, which suggests he's going to have a fair crack at the cyclo-cross season. Maybe using it partly as training leading up to the classics, But he wouldn't be any different from other road/cross riders in that respect
 

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