Race Thread

Page 70 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
You’re right about the money grab being silly, but I still enjoy the beer/ cookie/bacon grabs since that shows extra skilz ;) Wonder if having the CX worlds here in the US in 2022 will give the sport a bump in this country? Perhaps not, since the folks who pay attention to the event are those who already compete in or follow the sport?
 
Reactions: jmdirt
You’re right about the money grab being silly, but I still enjoy the beer/ cookie/bacon grabs since that shows extra skilz ;) Wonder if having the CX worlds here in the US in 2022 will give the sport a bump in this country? Perhaps not, since the folks who pay attention to the event are those who already compete in or follow the sport?

It's interesting as when I watched Jeremy Powers Behind the Barriers series when he raced for Cannondale or Rapha, there always seemed to be such an enthusiastic crowd where-ever the race was. From Bend in Oregon to Gloucester in Massachusetts or races in the mid-west and Colorado, there always seemed to be masses of crowds there. When the series came back with Aspire, or even at the last few national champs, there seemed to be an emptiness at the races. Even the world cups at Waterloo and Iowa City seemed much quieter than something like he Louisville worlds. Maybe it was the editing, but US CX seems to be slipping in interest.
From a European perspective anyway.
 
Reactions: will-10 and jmdirt
I started racing mountain bikes in 1990 and by the mid '90s even 'small' local races had 1000+ entries while regional races could easily triple that, and NORBA Nats were crazy. When I was finally able to kick the habit five years ago, those same local races were lucky to crack 100. Why? Racing is hard! Yes, its fun, but many people can't overcome the hard part. People (and sponsor $$) look for other fun avenues. Obviously we can't use 2020 as an indicator for anything, but gravel racing will likely meet the same fate as the other dirt (mtb and 'cross) booms did in the USA.

'Cross specific: the USA 'cross boom in all but a few pockets was fuel by short races in easily accessible places (parks etc.), but once your toes get frozen, or you miss your dismount a few times...its not fun anymore either. Its much easier, and more fun for the masses who want to ride to roll down a nice road or path chatting with their friends (nothing wrong with that).

Cycling in general is a niche sport, and I'm OK with that. If 'cross is a Euro sideshow, so what, its a good show.
 
Been racing endurance MTB since the early 2000's, focusing on XC marathon to 24hr solos. Never thought about doing cross cause the thought of going b_lls out from the gun for 40 minutes didn't appeal to me. But, gave it a try a couple falls ago after I started watching cause of MVDP and now I think it is a great sport to watch and do for fun. Great if you have a job/family and can't disappear all day/weekend and come home completely wasted after a 12 hour solo MTB race/or now endurance gravel race - let alone put in all the boring training hours you need for endurance racing. Also cross is great for the family to come hang out/picnic depending on the venue. Finally, it's a helluva a lot safer than doing crits on the road where your main goal is DNC. Hopefully, cross will start picking up more popularity here in the US...
 
Reactions: red_flanders
...
Its much easier, and more fun for the masses who want to ride to roll down a nice road or path chatting with their friends (nothing wrong with that).
...
Exactly. It's the reason why CX will never get a large practicing userbase, because it simply is too hard and too repetitive to enjoy recreationally. On top of that, it's a winter sport, to be done at freezing temperatures in the rain and wind. It's not about the scenery, riding in the woods, sunny breeze, making a trip. It's a fcking hard sport, that also requires a ton of specific skill to get going in the first place. To compare it to endurance or gravel means you're not getting the picture. Either the sport would need to get dumbed down a lot, or it needs the recognition it deserves. But instead, IOC feels it needs to add breakdancing to the Olympic roster. Those people deserve to get fired on the spot.

Maybe if they could come up with a concept, a "MTB lite" trail which could be done on a CX bike in summer, a combination of gravel roads, forrests, fields... still managable both in technique and physique, and still retain that "trip" feeling, as a gateway to actual CX... something like that could spark some interest, but i think, as a professional sport, the Olympics are key.

You’re right about the money grab being silly, but I still enjoy the beer/ cookie/bacon grabs since that shows extra skilz ;) Wonder if having the CX worlds here in the US in 2022 will give the sport a bump in this country? Perhaps not, since the folks who pay attention to the event are those who already compete in or follow the sport?
Flashback to 9 years ago. It sparked some interest, but it was short lived.
 
Last edited:
Van Aert seems to either be unaware of where he is or just unlucky as a few times in the last few races he's been too far back behind the Van der Poel and been playing catchup to chase the leader. Even the world cup in Tabor he slipped back and let off the wheel of Vanthourenout meaning he missed the final attack from that group.
 
Van Aert seems to either be unaware of where he is or just unlucky as a few times in the last few races he's been too far back behind the Van der Poel and been playing catchup to chase the leader. Even the world cup in Tabor he slipped back and let off the wheel of Vanthourenout meaning he missed the final attack from that group.
Van Aert said he trained this week in function of the upcoming championships. Read: he wasn't the freshest he could be. Only in the final 2 laps he started to feel better.
 
Van Aert didn't actually lose any time to van der Poel since Mathieu attacked. He was hanging at the back of the group and the gap at the moment was 8 seconds. When Mathieu attacked, it went up to roughly 12-13 seconds, until van Aert started to chase and brought it back again. Wout also said he had issues with his gears when Mathieu attacked which was why he was at the back of the group (still).

On the other hand Mathieu said he didn't feel too good either.

I'm just glad we're seeing some actual tension. Even though Mathieu won, and has also most other races he participated, he already "lost" (as in, "didn't win") three races so far this season, which is more than the past two seasons combined, i think. The margin of his wins are a lot less dominant compared to previous seasons as well. Most races have been a lot less boring imho.
 
On top of that, it's a winter sport, to be done at freezing temperatures in the rain and wind.
Hasn’t that historically been because it was a way for Europeans to stay in shape over the winter? No reason why it has to be done in the rain and wind. Granted that’s the tradition and a huge part of what makes the sport what it is now, but thats a requirement that would keep the sport from expanding. Here in California, a very likely place for it to grow, we just don’t get rain and wind consistently, even in the winter. A certain kind of weather can’t be a requirement and have the sport grow. The season probably makes sense given road calendars, but that’s even up for debate to grow the sport at a grass roots level in other places.

But it’s probably moot in the US, as mountain biking is huge here, and I don’t see the room for it. There was a flirtation with it amongst hipsters about 15-20 years ago, but for many of the reasons stated here it just didn’t happen.
 
Finally got to watch a CX race again after a busy holiday period. Happy New Year boys.

Pretty easy win in the end there for Mathieu. Expected a bit more from Piddy when he closed the gap.

Mathieu said in the post-race interview that his condition seems to be getting worse and is looking forward to some training blocks in Spain to work on that.

I mean, that’s bad news for him, but great news for people like me who love to see a hard-fought win, especially a duel. Tomorrow should be a great race. Can’t wait.
 
Relatively easy win but without 3 of his top competitors it doesn't tell much.

One thing that I noticed is that for the lap or two in which Pidcock was on his wheel, MVDP gained 2-3 bike lengths on any technical obstacle, whether it was a climb, an off-camber section, a sand pit, muddy turn -- didn't matter. Really a joy to watch.

The Olympics discussion is interesting. CX is basically a made for Olympics sport, but until there's broader participation outside of the Low Countries it's unlikely to happen. On the other hand, baseball.

I'm an Olympics traditionalist anyway, so basically if the sport wasn't contested in Athens I don't really care about it...I basically watch for the track and field events. (I'm kidding a bit, I also like track cycling, skiing, and judo)
 
Relatively easy win but without 3 of his top competitors it doesn't tell much.

One thing that I noticed is that for the lap or two in which Pidcock was on his wheel, MVDP gained 2-3 bike lengths on any technical obstacle, whether it was a climb, an off-camber section, a sand pit, muddy turn -- didn't matter. Really a joy to watch.

The Olympics discussion is interesting. CX is basically a made for Olympics sport, but until there's broader participation outside of the Low Countries it's unlikely to happen. On the other hand, baseball.

I'm an Olympics traditionalist anyway, so basically if the sport wasn't contested in Athens I don't really care about it...I basically watch for the track and field events. (I'm kidding a bit, I also like track cycling, skiing, and judo)
"... but until there's broader participation outside of the Low Countries it's unlikely to happen."
But it HAD a much broader participation and appeal for decades, and they didn't make it happen then either. You're mistaking effect for cause.

It is actually very much like track cycling in more than one sense. It's too hard, too specialized, not very inviting for recreational riders, same lap each time... With two differences, it's an olympic sport, and it doesn't have an alternative/similar cycling branch eating into its potential.

Hasn’t that historically been because it was a way for Europeans to stay in shape over the winter? No reason why it has to be done in the rain and wind. Granted that’s the tradition and a huge part of what makes the sport what it is now, but thats a requirement that would keep the sport from expanding. Here in California, a very likely place for it to grow, we just don’t get rain and wind consistently, even in the winter. A certain kind of weather can’t be a requirement and have the sport grow. The season probably makes sense given road calendars, but that’s even up for debate to grow the sport at a grass roots level in other places.

But it’s probably moot in the US, as mountain biking is huge here, and I don’t see the room for it. There was a flirtation with it amongst hipsters about 15-20 years ago, but for many of the reasons stated here it just didn’t happen.
If you make it a summer sport, you will take away the mud, soggy meadows, snow, slipperiness, cold etc. It is a large part of the sport's identity. You can even see that with the past few winters, with milder weather, that it wasn't the same. It would even be easier to make a reasonable case, that it is redundant as a summer sport considering there is already MTB.
 
Last edited:
"... but until there's broader participation outside of the Low Countries it's unlikely to happen."
But it HAD a much broader participation and appeal for decades, and they didn't make it happen then either. You're mistaking effect for cause.

It is actually very much like track cycling in more than one sense. It's too hard, too specialized, not very inviting for recreational riders, same lap each time... With two differences, it's an olympic sport, and it doesn't have an alternative/similar cycling branch eating into its potential.
you’re probably right in that cx has missed its moment to get into the olympics.
 
Have to say I like the style of Blanka Vas. It seems very fluid and looks effortless, especially with the high cadence, compared some other like Cant who rocks about quite a bit. It would have been really interesting to see how she would've faired against Brand, Alvarado, Betsema and Honsinger in Namur if she hadn't had that tumble and stayed with Betsema on the opening lap.
 
Dendermonde was far from slippery. It was deep mud, and the course was flat, so no tricky descents either. Slippery comes from a hard base layer with a wet/muddy surface. Like Herentals on Wednesday.
Obvious you haven't seen the race. Many riders fell, in your view because they fell asleep on their bikes through the boring course. And Toon Aerts fell in a tricky, muddy descent. But of course, Aerts can't handle a bike as you can.....
 
Are you talking about last year's WC? Then I must have seen a different race as I didn't see that deep mud you're talking about :) that one was definitely a very different underground than Dendermonde.
I think Flamin never rode in the mud. Not even in the field. Probably not even on a bike. Or he was or is the M. van der Poel 2.0 . Fortunately, there are people here who have already cycled (in the mud).
And don't forget. The Dendermonde "boring" cross broke all ratings (tv-spectators) for a world cup race. Almost 15 % (!) of the Flamish population watched the race on television. Very boring indeed.
 
Last edited:
Have to say I like the style of Blanka Vas. It seems very fluid and looks effortless, especially with the high cadence, compared some other like Cant who rocks about quite a bit. It would have been really interesting to see how she would've faired against Brand, Alvarado, Betsema and Honsinger in Namur if she hadn't had that tumble and stayed with Betsema on the opening lap.
Blanka Vas is a good example (females as well as males) of the new CX generation. Technically skilled, multidisciplinary racer and with a “take no prisoner”-attitude. She will soon be a main contender at every race. It is great to see so much talent being nurtured through cyclocross and we should expect to see many of these riders achieving big things in road and MTB. It was no coincidence that Pidcock was holding up so well in Baal against MVDP and WVA. On a technical and difficult course he will always be very competitive.
 
Obvious you haven't seen the race. Many riders fell, in your view because they fell asleep on their bikes through the boring course. And Toon Aerts fell in a tricky, muddy descent. But of course, Aerts can't handle a bike as you can.....
I think Flamin never rode in the mud. Not even in the field. Probably not even on a bike. Or he was the M. van der Poel 2.0 . Fortunately, there are people here who have already cycled (in the mud).
This makes absolutely no sense.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
L Cyclo-Cross 6

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS