Race Thread

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Happy to see Vanthourenhout get another win. He is absolutely one of the most technically skilled riders and clearly has a massive engine.

Pidcock’s entry clearly shows that the level of racing is high. There are no free lunches to have.

Van Aert delivers a solid ride and as someone said he looks a little heavy at the moment. With some more races and a few kg less he’ll be hard to beat.
 
Noticed that too. That's actually one of the things I don't like about the GT's - everybody looks unhealthy and the GC contenders look downright sickly. Not a good look for cycling.
The difference is well beyond one or two kgs. If anything, it shows his weight during the TDF was far from his "winter weight" which has been listed as 78 since 2 years.
Edit: looking back at images from RVV, he seemed heavier there as well already.
 
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Van Aert always looks kinda 'big', especially amongst mostly lightweight cyclocrossers.

And Sven Vanthourenhout said the opposite, that he actually still looked really sharp. I'd say he has a better view on it than we do.
 
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Van Aert always looks kinda 'big', especially amongst mostly lightweight cyclocrossers.

And Sven Vanthourenhout said the opposite, that he actually still looked really sharp. I'd say he has a better view on it than we do.
Not implying that he wasn't relatively sharp (for his first weekend), just that I prefer disciplines like cross/classics/mtb where there is a bigger premium on raw power and bike handling vs. w/kg. A bunch of emaciated guys grinding up a mountain at 12mph get a bit boring. Just a guess, but even in his top cross form, Wout will be close to 10lbs heavier than he was when he was dropping the worlds best climbers at the TDF - will actually look like an athlete.
 
Not implying that he wasn't relatively sharp (for his first weekend), just that I prefer disciplines like cross/classics/mtb where there is a bigger premium on raw power and bike handling vs. w/kg. A bunch of emaciated guys grinding up a mountain at 12mph get a bit boring.
I much prefer disciplines/events that aren't solely about fitness or watts/kg, etc
So track, hill climbs, 'everesting', 'trenching', all leave me a little cold. Fine achievements, but very little in the way of technical skills. Which is why I prefer MTB, CX, and the classics.


Something else I find slightly amusing; all through the road season we hear constant marvelling at the 'CX stars' and how 'CX is good for road riders'. So, where are they all? It will be the usual riders; the chances of seeing any GT contenders doing a series of CX races are slim/remote.
 
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I much prefer disciplines/events that aren't solely about fitness or watts/kg, etc
So track, hill climbs, 'everesting', 'trenching', all leave me a little cold. Fine achievements, but very little in the way of technical skills. Which is why I prefer MTB, CX, and the classics.


Something else I find slightly amusing; all through the road season we hear constant marvelling at the 'CX stars' and how 'CX is good for road riders'. So, where are they all? It will be the usual riders; the chances of seeing any GT contenders doing a series of CX races are slim/remote.
The roadies will most likely not be trying their luck with CX racing for different - and maybe good - reasons:
  • seasonal preparations and programs are not really compatible
  • different training focus, physical requirements and skill set
  • risk of crashes and injuries
  • no real chance for any glory/money, when even such a proficient rider as Stybar is left way behind by the top CX riders. Anyway hats off to him for trying!
  • mental: very few pros/competitive athletes likes to look like amateurs - which basically all of the road pro peloton would look like if competing at pro level CX. The MTB riders have a better chance but very few (if any) do both disciplines.
 
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The roadies will most likely not be trying their luck with CX racing for different - and maybe good - reasons:
  • seasonal preparations and programs are not really compatible
  • different training focus, physical requirements and skill set
  • risk of crashes and injuries
  • no real chance for any glory/money, when even such a proficient rider as Stybar is left way behind by the top CX riders. Anyway hats off to him for trying!
  • mental: very few pros/competitive athletes likes to look like amateurs - which basically all of the road pro peloton would look like if competing at pro level CX. The MTB riders have a better chance but very few (if any) do both disciplines.
Yes. Stybar's forays back into cross the last couple of years definitely showed just how high the level is these days. It's too bad that there are so many pure road fans out there that seem to have no concept of just how good the top level cross guys and MTB guys are. Look at how long it took MVDP (even with his phenom handle and cross background) to overtake the best on the MTB.
 
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The roadies will most likely not be trying their luck with CX racing for different - and maybe good - reasons:
  • seasonal preparations and programs are not really compatible
  • different training focus, physical requirements and skill set
  • risk of crashes and injuries
  • no real chance for any glory/money, when even such a proficient rider as Stybar is left way behind by the top CX riders. Anyway hats off to him for trying!
  • mental: very few pros/competitive athletes likes to look like amateurs - which basically all of the road pro peloton would look like if competing at pro level CX. The MTB riders have a better chance but very few (if any) do both disciplines.
I've seen this argument a few times, but i'm not sure where it comes from. As soon as you leave your house, you risk crashes and injuries. You could even fall down your stairs. But how is CX any more dangerous? No large peloton, no cars, camerabikes. Unlike road racing, excellent knowledge of the parcours (it's only a few km long, and everybody gets plenty of time to examine every corner and every obstacle before the race starts). Extremely low speed, usually single file, no mass sprints at 70+km/h. Crashes usually mean, falling in the sand, the mud, or grass, at 15km/h. When was the last time we saw an injury in CX like the one of van Aert, Evenepoel, Jakobsen, Froome...? How often have you heard of a CX rider breaking his colarbone? Not a week goes by during the road season, or someone somewhere breaks his colarbone.

I'm sure an average CX rider falls/crashes more often, but more often than not, there are no injuries at all, other than a scuffed knee. Last week van Anrooij cut herself in a disc brake, which i do not consider an injury related to CX, it could happen in any cycling branch, as most use disc brakes now. Last year Toon Aerts broke a rib (i think). Sure, if you want to be the hero and jump the barriers when you can't, you could crash, but even there, there aren't many actual or serious injuries to speak of.

As for Stybar, he quit riding for results in 2013 or 2014. When he enters a race now, it's just a form of training. Surely not just physical, but also to maintain bike handling skills that he can use in cobbled classics etc. And it's probably more fun (and financially interesting) while no more risky, compared to training on the road, in daily traffic.
 
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It's too bad that there are so many pure road fans out there that seem to have no concept of just how good the top level cross guys and MTB guys are. Look at how long it took MVDP (even with his phenom handle and cross background) to overtake the best on the MTB.
It's not just pure road race fans - look at cycling journalism; CX, MTB, etc get a raw deal from them. We're now in the road off season, but CX is in full swing, yet I've hardly seen anything written/commented/tweeted about it. This ignorance really annoys me.
 
It's not just pure road race fans - look at cycling journalism; CX, MTB, etc get a raw deal from them. We're now in the road off season, but CX is in full swing, yet I've hardly seen anything written/commented/tweeted about it. This ignorance really annoys me.
UCI has some blame on it too, as they do a lousy job on promoting the sport.

I don't even go with how things went at this year's World Cup, with almost half of the races originally planned being cancelled (among them some classics like Zonhoven, Koksijde or Hoogerheide) while the Superprestige and the X2O Badkamers managed to have a "full" season. But even in normal conditions we have the main world circuit being broadcasted almost in secrecy. Gone are the days of the YouTube broadcast for all but the belgians and the dutch who have these races live on TV. Now, if you want to watch, you have to subscribe to some fringe subscription service like GCN Pass or Eurosport Player (in Europe).

And also Eurosport, the so called "home of cycling". With Van der Poel and Van Aert reaching global projection and being idolized by so much more people now, wouldn't the usual "summer" cycling fans have some interest in some duels in the winter between them? After all, cross isn't a sport that one could consider boring. For an outsider, I think it's easier for an "alien" to watch a 1 hour race with constant action, lots of obstacles and steep chutes and climbs and sometimes horrible weather than the usual 2 hour flat stage with a 10 km interesting final. Wouldn't they be able to generate some buzz if they showed some of the races, if not live, with some delay later in the afternoon (if they didn't want to cut their winter sports schedule)? I think that for that they would only need some kind of different approach. Not only showing images of the race but have someone with an insight for the sport who could give some valuable feedback. At least here in Portugal we don't have that in the commentators that Eurosport chooses for the Worlds and Euros. I prefer watching Sporza than the boring commentators that they put.
 
I just saw that the junior and U23 races for the World Cups of Namur and Dendermonde were cancelled due to the covid restrictions in Belgium which only allow professional races to take place.

What will happen if the same restrictions are extended until the World Championships? Will we have only races for the elites or the Belgium government may allow some exception for the other races?
 
I just saw that the junior and U23 races for the World Cups of Namur and Dendermonde were cancelled due to the covid restrictions in Belgium which only allow professional races to take place.

What will happen if the same restrictions are extended until the World Championships? Will we have only races for the elites or the Belgium government may allow some exception for the other races?
Maybe the same as the Road race worlds with only elites. However, I read somewhere (may have been on this website) that the restrictions that have lead to the cancellations of the junior/u23 categories are to be either reviewed or relaxed around the 13th January. That would allow the Overijse World Cup and Oostende Worlds to take place, as well as the world cup in Hulst, but being in the Netherlands is different.
 
UCI has some blame on it too, as they do a lousy job on promoting the sport.

I don't even go with how things went at this year's World Cup, with almost half of the races originally planned being cancelled (among them some classics like Zonhoven, Koksijde or Hoogerheide) while the Superprestige and the X2O Badkamers managed to have a "full" season. But even in normal conditions we have the main world circuit being broadcasted almost in secrecy. Gone are the days of the YouTube broadcast for all but the belgians and the dutch who have these races live on TV. Now, if you want to watch, you have to subscribe to some fringe subscription service like GCN Pass or Eurosport Player (in Europe).

And also Eurosport, the so called "home of cycling". With Van der Poel and Van Aert reaching global projection and being idolized by so much more people now, wouldn't the usual "summer" cycling fans have some interest in some duels in the winter between them? After all, cross isn't a sport that one could consider boring. For an outsider, I think it's easier for an "alien" to watch a 1 hour race with constant action, lots of obstacles and steep chutes and climbs and sometimes horrible weather than the usual 2 hour flat stage with a 10 km interesting final. Wouldn't they be able to generate some buzz if they showed some of the races, if not live, with some delay later in the afternoon (if they didn't want to cut their winter sports schedule)? I think that for that they would only need some kind of different approach. Not only showing images of the race but have someone with an insight for the sport who could give some valuable feedback. At least here in Portugal we don't have that in the commentators that Eurosport chooses for the Worlds and Euros. I prefer watching Sporza than the boring commentators that they put.
I think some of the world cups were cancelled due to the local government having restrictions due to being in higher tiers in early autumn so the best thing was to cancel events. I can see with places like Hoogerheide as that takes place on the edge of the town with the teams and riders having all their campers in front of houses or the belgian airforce not wanting a large event on their property at Koksijde. Similarly Kruibeke being moved to another venue and Wachtebeke changing to Dendemonde.

As for the broadcasting, you would almost not think the world cups are taking place. There was hardly any coverage on the uci social medias and not much promotion the creation of the CX World Cup accounts on Twitter or Instagram, saying these are the new online homes of the series. As for the U23 and Junior events, with no TV broadcast, these may as well not have been taking place, as the UCI only put pictures of the winners up. Tweets/Instrgram stories of the progress of these races would have helped, as the first Junior Womens world cup was not publicised as much as it should have been.
As much as I do enjoy the commentary team of Marty Macdonald and Jeremy Powers, I do wish that Red Bull continued to broadcast the series like they did last year. Rob Hatch and Helen Wyman did a great job with a similar broadcast level to that of the XC WCs with Rob Warner, and Bart Brentjens or Claudio Caluori. Being free to air in many countries helped alot, as well as Wyman being very natural in describing the events for those who weren't so familiar with the discipline. Eurosport need to at least start by putting the world cups on live for everyone. As they're only an hour, if they do have ad breaks, then what they need is what I've seen with the Ethias/when it was Brico Cross on VTM with the Ads taking up the main screen and then a smaller pop out with the racing on.
 
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As much as I do enjoy the commentary team of Marty Macdonald and Jeremy Powers, I do wish that Red Bull continued to broadcast the series like they did last year. Rob Hatch and Helen Wyman did a great job with a similar broadcast level to that of the XC WCs with Rob Warner, and Bart Brentjens or Claudio Caluori. Being free to air in many countries helped a lot, as well as Wyman being very natural in describing the events for those who weren't so familiar with the discipline. Eurosport need to at least start by putting the world cups on live for everyone. As they're only an hour, if they do have ad breaks, then what they need is what I've seen with the Ethias/when it was Brico Cross on VTM with the Ads taking up the main screen and then a smaller pop out with the racing on.
I think this is a massive error; the RedBull coverage was fabulous last season - as good as the MTB coverage; proper previews, track walks, interviews - then the race - the post race analysis and interviews. And free to air!!
So what did we get on Sunday? On air 5 mins before the race, no track preview, etc A real downgrade. - and not free to air.
Now I'm normally a fan of GCN, but they've got this one wrong.
 
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Half the time I can't even get my GCN Race Pass to work. Luckily, I also have Flobikes. Curious, when this damn covid thing is done by this time next year, I'm hoping to hop non-stop from Phoenix to London and then train it to Belgium either right before Christmas (definitely catch Namur) or right after to catch races like Diegem, etc. Any recommendations on the best races to catch live around the Christmas/New Year period. Of course I'll want to hit ones that VDP starts.
 
I think this is a massive error; the RedBull coverage was fabulous last season - as good as the MTB coverage; proper previews, track walks, interviews - then the race - the post race analysis and interviews. And free to air!!
So what did we get on Sunday? On air 5 mins before the race, no track preview, etc A real downgrade. - and not free to air.
Now I'm normally a fan of GCN, but they've got this one wrong.
Exactly. I know they're broadcasting from the UK (and Jeremy in the US) so have quarintine restrisctions if they wanted to travel to europe for the events, but a post show (even if it were delayed) with presenters who raced cx like Simon Richardson or Tom Last and video links to the riders and Jeremy Powers would be better than what they do currently.
 
I've seen this argument a few times, but i'm not sure where it comes from. As soon as you leave your house, you risk crashes and injuries. You could even fall down your stairs. But how is CX any more dangerous? No large peloton, no cars, camerabikes. Unlike road racing, excellent knowledge of the parcours (it's only a few km long, and everybody gets plenty of time to examine every corner and every obstacle before the race starts). Extremely low speed, usually single file, no mass sprints at 70+km/h. Crashes usually mean, falling in the sand, the mud, or grass, at 15km/h. When was the last time we saw an injury in CX like the one of van Aert, Evenepoel, Jakobsen, Froome...? How often have you heard of a CX rider breaking his colarbone? Not a week goes by during the road season, or someone somewhere breaks his colarbone.

I'm sure an average CX rider falls/crashes more often, but more often than not, there are no injuries at all, other than a scuffed knee. Last week van Anrooij cut herself in a disc brake, which i do not consider an injury related to CX, it could happen in any cycling branch, as most use disc brakes now. Last year Toon Aerts broke a rib (i think). Sure, if you want to be the hero and jump the barriers when you can't, you could crash, but even there, there aren't many actual or serious injuries to speak of.

As for Stybar, he quit riding for results in 2013 or 2014. When he enters a race now, it's just a form of training. Surely not just physical, but also to maintain bike handling skills that he can use in cobbled classics etc. And it's probably more fun (and financially interesting) while no more risky, compared to training on the road, in daily traffic.
I completely agree with the risk assessment - CX is way less risky than road in my opinion - but I wonder how the world UCI teams and their coaches are reasoning.

My speculation is that the different seasons and training focus are the main obstacles for pro road riders to not race CX and then possibly the reluctance to get outclassed in an event where skill is major factor.

Personally I think CX is a great complement to road and it would be fantastic to see Sagan, Alaphilippe, and other established pro riders race at least some CX races.
 

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