Race Thread

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Many wintersports have been dominated by few countries, even by individual athletes throughout the past few decades. It didn't pose an issue for those sports, but somehow it's an issue for CX.
Yeah, but almost every winter sport has a circuit that goes beyond two neighboring countries and has high-level participants from a range of countries. Even when Hirscher was dominating the skiing tech events, for example, he still had strong competition from Switzerland, France, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Scandinavia etc. and if he or Kristofferson had an off day you had 8-10 racers from those countries ready to step up. This season, you have athletes from 5-7 countries in the top 10 of every discipline. (Although I'll grant you that XC skiing tends to be dominated by one or two countries, but there again, there's a circuit all over central and northern Europe)

Now in CX, if for some reason MVDP or WvA has a bad day, you'll only get Pidcock, Iserbyt or maybe Vanthorenhout and Aerts. And...with the happy exception of Pidcock, they're from the same country.

It could just be that CX is in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment, but I've really enjoyed watching it since we moved to Europe in 2012, and I'd like to see it thrive.
 
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almost every winter sport has a circuit that goes beyond two neighboring countries
Mostly down to Covid: it's hurt the World Cup the most of the three big classifications, meaning it only visited three countries instead of the originally planned seven. And even that was without the US, Italy and France which have all hosted the World Cup in recent years.
almost every winter sport has [...] has high-level participants from a range of countries.
Speed skating? Let alone the Summer Olympics where e.g. table tennis is dominated by a handful of Asian players, almost all of them born Chinese.
Now in CX, if for some reason MVDP or WvA has a bad day, you'll only get Pidcock, Iserbyt or maybe Vanthorenhout and Aerts.
Mostly down to the nature of the sport I think; MTB has a similarly narrow top level of riders. It's not really indicative of the internationality of the sport, men's gravel tennis is a good counterexample.
 
I think you can’t make a fair comparison of prospective new medal events (such as CX) to the sports that are established as Winter Olympic events (even if they are niche sports dominated by a few countries) because for a long time those sports WERE the Olmypics. 2/3 of the medals at St.Moritz in 1928 were in speed skating and Nordic events, so there wouldn’t be an Olympics back then without them. Those events are iconic elements of the Winter Games.
On the other hand, I think CX is much more deserving of inclusion in the Winter Olympics than some of the recent additions, the choice of which seems based on the number of highlight videos they can produce.
 
I think you can’t make a fair comparison of prospective new medal events (such as CX) to the sports that are established as Winter Olympic events (even if they are niche sports dominated by a few countries) because for a long time those sports WERE the Olympics. 2/3 of the medals at St. Moritz in 1928 were in speed skating and Nordic events, so there wouldn’t be an Olympics back then without them. Those events are iconic elements of the Winter Games.
On the other hand, I think CX is much more deserving of inclusion in the Winter Olympics than some of the recent additions, the choice of which seems based on the number of highlight videos they can produce.
Absolutely! I think if those at the UCI are serious about trying to get CX into the Winter Olympics, then they need to be more proactive. Show the IOC that it should be in the games. They had planned to make a start this season, but due to Covid-19, it didn't happen.
So, World Cups/ maybe eventually even a World Championships at snow/ski resorts; if there are going to be 10-14 World Cup races, then 2-3 snow/winter venues could be enough. And ski resorts tend to have artificial snow makers - if the organisers want to, they could guarantee snow....
 
Welp, another cx race another MVDP win. Wout never gave up and kept him at 10-15 seconds but never really looked like closing the gap. He got closer in the end but that’s probably mostly down to him putting in that classic extra effort in the last lap while Mathieu seemed to be in control and already thinking about tomorrow.

The Worlds is shaping up to be a battle between WvA and MvDP though, they were head and shoulders above the rest. Wouldn’t be the first time that Mathieu goes into the Worlds being the best CX rider of the moment and still getting bested by Wout on the most important day of the season. Can’t wait.
 
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WvA saying he that he couldn’t ride to his capacity on this course. Made too many mistakes and these are the most difficult courses for him. He’s trying to get better at them though but that Mathieu is simply better than him on these courses.

MvDP saying that he was good, but not super. Was riding around with “fatigued legs” and also made too many mistakes.
 
The race at Hamme looked really hard and difficult. Not a lot of altitude meters so possibly not the perfect course for Wout but otherwise it should have been considered favourable conditions on his behalf. A faster, drier, sandier course and I believe he would have a much harder time with MVDP.

Shall we hope that Ostende will have it all? Some muddy off cambers and sections paired with long stretches of deep sand and some running? Should be epic.
 
From what I've read (don't know if here or in Sporza/Wielerflits), the part of the Oostende circuit that is raced in the hippodrome won't be much affected by muddy conditions. It should be a fast race on that part of the track, with some sand sections on the beach that will require raw power.
 
Comme j'ai dit,
WvA saying he that he couldn’t ride to his capacity on this course. Made too many mistakes and these are the most difficult courses for him. He’s trying to get better at them though but that Mathieu is simply better than him on these courses.

MvDP saying that he was good, but not super. Was riding around with “fatigued legs” and also made too many mistakes.
Having watched the race, it looks as if the two are equally fit -- but again, MVDP takes a second or two in a lot of places where Wout struggles or slips. And he's quite clever about taking different lines or running when it's faster even if it means a dismount.

Honestly, though, Mathieu looked like he was on a solo training ride -- would have loved to see him pop in some earbuds.
 
Lots of technical mishaps today on Eurosport Player.

Come on, 50 minutes without being able to fix the audio channels that were sent and being forced to listen to no audio when Jeremy Powers talked?

Now the riders are being presented and we don't have feed.
 
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