Race Thread

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Still feeling like it's a Van Der Poel kind of day, but I'm prepared to be proved wrong, followed by van Aert and then Sweeck. Don't think Pidcock will have the upper hand on riders like Sweeck, Vanthourenout Aerts and possibly Van Der Haar for the 3rd spot.

Women's I feel Brand is the biggest threat and then Alvarado. Behind those two, I think Cant might pull out something special and come out on top of the riders behind with Betsema, Worst and maybe Honsinger and Kastelijn for third.
It’s not that I don’t think MvDP can win, because I do, he’s still the best all-round CX racer on the planet regardless of the results at the worlds imo. But just out of curiosity why do you give him the edge on this course?
 
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It’s not that I don’t think MvDP can win, because I do, he’s still the best all-round CX racer on the planet regardless of the results at the worlds imo. But just out of curiosity why do you give him the edge on this course?
The sand isn't one long continuous ride like in the Belgian nationals at the same venue. It's broken into two where running can be kept to a minimum by carrying alot of momentum. Mvdp is good at this with being able to go anaerobic for a short periods repeatably. These periods of sprinting into the sand to carry momentum plus the short sprints twice a lap up the bridge seem more up his alley than wva, who is more dieselish in cx.

However I'm prepared to be proven wrong. Maybe that consistency from wva will prevail over the anaerobic efforts of mvdp?
 
The sand isn't one long continuous ride like in the Belgian nationals at the same venue. It's broken into two where running can be kept to a minimum by carrying alot of momentum. Mvdp is good at this with being able to go anaerobic for a short periods repeatably. These periods of sprinting into the sand to carry momentum plus the short sprints twice a lap up the bridge seem more up his alley than wva, who is more dieselish in cx.

However I'm prepared to be proven wrong. Maybe that consistency from wva will prevail over the anaerobic efforts of mvdp?
It’s a good take on the course, thanks for explaining. The opinions are divided, which is why I was intrigued.

All I know is that I hope it’s not a boring solo ride from the first couple of laps. I need a top form Wout vs a top form Mathieu. Hopefully the latter can keep a level head too leading up to it. Conversely, nothing ever seems to faze Wout both in and outside of the race. He’s got great mentality.
 
The sand isn't one long continuous ride like in the Belgian nationals at the same venue. It's broken into two where running can be kept to a minimum by carrying alot of momentum. Mvdp is good at this with being able to go anaerobic for a short periods repeatably. These periods of sprinting into the sand to carry momentum plus the short sprints twice a lap up the bridge seem more up his alley than wva, who is more dieselish in cx.

However I'm prepared to be proven wrong. Maybe that consistency from wva will prevail over the anaerobic efforts of mvdp?
There is a long stretch on the beach in/near the water, which is completely different than what you expect from riding in the sand. Your bike literally gets sucked into the wet sand, it's a power effort and regular sand technique has little to do with it. There is also a good chance there will be a part they will need to run (depending on the tide), which also is in van Aert's advantage. On top of that, the bridge after the sand is said to be really hard (21%) because you start from near stand-still, coming from a hard sand section. So it is a long sustained effort through the sand, up the bridge. The course has no sections where technique will play a part.
 
There is a long stretch on the beach in/near the water, which is completely different than what you expect from riding in the sand. Your bike literally gets sucked into the wet sand, it's a power effort and regular sand technique has little to do with it. There is also a good chance there will be a part they will need to run (depending on the tide), which also is in van Aert's advantage. On top of that, the bridge after the sand is said to be really hard (21%) because you start from near stand-still, coming from a hard sand section. So it is a long sustained effort through the sand, up the bridge. The course has no sections where technique will play a part.
Yeah I see where you're coming from, especially seeing the sucky sand in Fahringer's pre ride, compared to White's from yesterday. Although he seemed to go further out (maybe due to riding the whole sand off the bridge) as you say it will depend on the tide where they ride.

Whatever the case, it's certainly not something we've seen before really in a world champs and is going to be a tough race, purely due to the sandy half of the course.
 
It’s a good take on the course, thanks for explaining. The opinions are divided, which is why I was intrigued.

All I know is that I hope it’s not a boring solo ride from the first couple of laps. I need a top form Wout vs a top form Mathieu. Hopefully the latter can keep a level head too leading up to it. Conversely, nothing ever seems to faze Wout both in and outside of the race. He’s got great mentality.
Geez, there's probably no one in cycling who has won more bike races than MVDP (including Wout) and yet his "mentality" continues to get questioned. When Wout gets 2nd by a minute trying all the way to the line, or trys to comeback from a problem like he did a couple years ago a Roubaix and fails, people say he's mentally tough. Meanwhile, any race MVDP doesn't WIN there's always someone questioning his mental toughness. If you look at their head to head record in bike races throughout their careers (MVDP wins 65%) you either have believe that MVDP is either vastly more physically gifted than Wout or much tougher mentally. So which is it?
 
Geez, there's probably no one in cycling who has won more bike races than MVDP (including Wout) and yet his "mentality" continues to get questioned. When Wout gets 2nd by a minute trying all the way to the line, or trys to comeback from a problem like he did a couple years ago a Roubaix and fails, people say he's mentally tough. Meanwhile, any race MVDP doesn't WIN there's always someone questioning his mental toughness. If you look at their head to head record in bike races throughout their careers (MVDP wins 65%) you either have believe that MVDP is either vastly more physically gifted than Wout or much tougher mentally. So which is it?
First of all, relax.

Secondly, no one said Mathieu has bad mentality. Wout just has a better mentality in that he never gives up regardless of adversity during the race or lets anything faze him prior to it. Mathieu has been known to “give up” too easily when things don’t go his way, unlike Wout.

This is why when Mathieu is the chaser he often loses by a lot more time to Wout then the other way around. You could argue that Mathieu doesn’t like to waste energy in a senseless chase, but that’s also credit to Wout, cause if you can keep him close enough it only takes one mistake to catch up and it also puts pressure on the leader.

In a recent interview Mathieu was asked how he felt about the pundits giving Wout the edge on this course and he literally said “in the past that would have probably kept me up at night, but not anymore”. This indicates that he, at least in the past, used to let the pre-race comments get to him.

That brings me to my third point, does he know himself better than us forum frequenters or not? Which one is it?

Lastly, no one questioned his record vs Wout, can’t go around facts. However imo that record speaks more to him being able to take advantage of his explosiveness and cunning vis-a-vis Wout than his mentality.

In other words, he can’t help but win most duels vs Wout because it plays to his physical advantage over Wout in the way of explosiveness and cunning.

Give us a season long of mudfests and an overload of power-sections and a top form Wout then the results might be the other way around.

Mathieu is the better overall CX rider as explosiveness and technique are more of a requirement to win CX races than pure and sustained power and that’s why he wins more.
 
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First of all, relax.

Secondly, no one said Mathieu has bad mentality. Wout just has a better mentality in that he never gives up regardless of adversity during the race or lets anything faze him prior to it. Mathieu has been known to “give up” too easily when things don’t go his way, unlike Wout.

This is why when Mathieu is the chaser he often loses by a lot more time to Wout then the other way around. You could argue that Mathieu doesn’t like to waste energy in a senseless chase, but that’s also credit to Wout, cause if you can keep him close enough it only takes one mistake to catch up and it also puts pressure on the leader.

In a recent interview Mathieu was asked how he felt about the pundits giving Wout the edge on this course and he literally said “in the past that would have probably kept me up at night, but not anymore”. This indicates that he, at least in the past, used to let the pre-race comments get to him.

That brings me to my third point, does he know himself better than us forum frequenters or not? Which one is it?

Lastly, no one questioned his record vs Wout, can’t go around facts. However imo that record speaks more to him being able to take advantage of his explosiveness and cunning vis-a-vis Wout than his mentality.

In other words, he can’t help but win most duels vs Wout because it plays to his physical advantage over Wout in the way of explosiveness and cunning.

Give us a season long of mudfests and an overload of power-sections and a top form Wout then the results might be the other way around.

Mathieu is the better overall CX rider as explosiveness and technique are more of a requirement to win CX races than pure and sustained power and that’s why he wins more.
The bottom line is that they are both professionals. Their job is to WIN bike races. MVDP wins more often than Wout - both in cross and on the road. In cross , where it is very much mano y mano, MVDP is something like 115-52 against Wout. He's also got an edge on the road. Only MVDP and Wout know how deep they are going, but IMO MVDP seems to be able to go deeper than anyone to WIN. The data doesn't lie.
 
The bottom line is that they are both professionals. Their job is to WIN bike races. MVDP wins more often than Wout - both in cross and on the road. In cross , where it is very much mano y mano, MVDP is something like 115-52 against Wout. He's also got an edge on the road. Only MVDP and Wout know how deep they are going, but IMO MVDP seems to be able to go deeper than anyone to WIN. The data doesn't lie.
Again, you keep bringing up the numbers as if someone here contested them. I clearly explained myself in the post you quoted. Might want to read it again.

You seem to argue based on a false premise. No one said Mathieu had bad mentality. Wout just has better mentality and that is also provable by what I mentioned above. So if you’re for facts than be consistent.

Mathieu has a good mentality, Wout has better mentality.
Wout has very good technique, Mathieu has better technique.
Mathieu has very good power, Wout just has better (sustained) power.
Wout has good explosiveness, Mathieu has better explosiveness.

See how that works? The one argument doesn’t negate the other or isn’t a slate on the other rider in any way. Maybe that’s where you misunderstand my point.

I do agree that Mathieu seems to be able to dig deeper than most, if not anyone. Especially when he’s contesting the final of a race. He often comes over the line looking pale and almost vomiting. That’s definitely an admirable trait.

I’m a big fan of both riders. Wout for his never-say-die mentality and sheer power, Mathieu for his technique and explosiveness. Love to see them both ride and would be happy if either of them wins.
 
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Again, you keep bringing up the numbers as if someone here contested them. I clearly explained myself in the post you quoted. Might want to read it again.

You seem to argue based on a false premise. No one said Mathieu had bad mentality. Wout just has better mentality and that is also provable by what I mentioned above. So if you’re for facts than be consistent.

Mathieu has a good mentality, Wout has better mentality.
Wout has very good technique, Mathieu has better technique.
Mathieu has very good power, Wout just has better (sustained) power.
Wout has good explosiveness, Mathieu has better explosiveness.

See how that works? The one argument doesn’t negate the other or isn’t a slate on the other rider in any way. Maybe that’s where you misunderstand my point.

I do agree that Mathieu seems to be able to dig deeper than most, if not anyone. Especially when he’s contesting the final of a race. He often comes over the line looking pale and almost vomiting. That’s definitely an admirable trait.

I’m a big fan of both riders. Wout for his never-say-die mentality and sheer power, Mathieu for his technique and explosiveness. Love to see them both ride and would be happy if either of them wins.
Excellent points.

A note - I don't see MvdP as someone who "digs deeper" that many top athletes. However, his physiology and his way of presenting himself definitely makes it easier for him to show how hard he digs. FWIW, I've seen folks look like they were dying and then huff and puff a bit past the line, and they are OK. I've seen others look like they were just zen and after they crossed the line, they had to get taken to the hospital due to exhaustion. It is really hard to simply tell who is digging deeper. But, one thing that is true is if you are a fan of a particular racer, then you likely think they dig deepest! :)
 
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One can also interpret Wout's greater resilience as a direct result of his different skillset compared to Mathieu. What I mean is that his greater ability for sustained power output makes it relatively easier for him to hold up the consistent high level effort and steady the gap even after being dropped by a major attack from Mathieu. Easier in a sense that he has to go less out of his comfort zone doing that kind of chase, than Mathieu in a similar situation.

I'm certainly not excluding the possibility of Wout also being mentally tougher of the two, but that particular difference can easily be overstated by interpreting some of the diffrences in their physical ability as sign of mental toughness or conversely, weakness.
 
One can also interpret Wout's greater resilience as a direct result of his different skillset compared to Mathieu. What I mean is that his greater ability for sustained power output makes it relatively easier for him to hold up the consistent high level effort and steady the gap even after being dropped by a major attack from Mathieu. Easier in a sense that he has to go less out of his comfort zone doing that kind of chase, than Mathieu in a similar situation.

I'm certainly not excluding the possibility of Wout also being mentally tougher of the two, but that particular difference can easily be overstated by interpreting some of the diffrences in their physical ability as sign of mental toughness or conversely, weakness.
I see were you’re coming from but that would make sense if those sustained efforts took place on courses where that ability could actually be exploited. Not on courses where normally Mathieu’s abilities should give him the upper hand. That just means he “gave up” or is content with not chasing as hard compared to Wout.

I’m not necessarily saying he’d catch up, but what I like about van Aert is that he leaves no room for doubt. He chases hard and puts constant pressure on the leader cause it only takes one mistake. If he loses he can have a clear conscience because he truly gave it his all.

This is how I see it at least.

I have been a fan of Mathieu ever since his junior years, and still am to this day. However, over the years I have truly come to appreciate Wout and his abilities on a bicycle. He has made a fan out of me as well.

Mathieu is more appealing at first glance because of his technique and explosiveness. He’s more of a “showman” as a result of his abilities. Great bunnyhopper compared to Wout who didn’t really start bunnyhopping until later in his career. Always flying through the air whenever the course has a ramp of some sort. Riding sections where most have to dismount. Popping wheelies etc.

However, Wout, due to that strong mentality and immense ability to put his head down and push incredible sustained wattages has managed to push Mathieu to the point of tomorrow possibly eclipsing him in amount of world titles. I love watching Wout run as well, such powerful strides.

Yes, Mathieu is the overall better CX rider no doubt, the numbers favor him heavily. However, Wout’s abilities have made him, at least for now, the better road rider where he can really tap into that raw power and technique isn’t as important.

I’m just happy that they both exist and ride at the same time. Rivalries are what keep people coming back for more.
 
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I think Mathieu likes winning more, and Wout hates losing more. Yes, there is a difference.

Only times Van Aert has been able to beat Van der Poel straight up (without mechanicals) since 2017 has been in the deep mud like Dendermonde or worlds in Valkenburg.

Not happening here.
Because obviously, Mathieu either has an actual allergy of mud, or mud has cast a magical spell over Mathieu.
Clearly there is no underlying reason why Wout is better in those circumstances that might also occur on different terrain. Also love how getting a flat automatically negates what actually happened the rest of the race.
 
Earlier this season we saw that Pidcock improved on his sand and running skills. If he is in top shape tomorrow what can he accomplish? Is it just third or will he be able to follow and challenge Wout and Mathieu?

I am unsure but I feel that he is not mentioned enough. I think he will be on the podium but for the first two spots he needs some help. Flat / mechanical / fall of the top contenders. And three nations on the podium is good for the cross.

I wish you all a very good weekend with lots of exciting cyclocross races!

Prediction:
  1. Wout
  2. Mathieu
  3. Pidcock
  1. Brand
  2. Betsema
  3. Alvarado
 
The bottom line is that they are both professionals. Their job is to WIN bike races. MVDP wins more often than Wout - both in cross and on the road. In cross , where it is very much mano y mano, MVDP is something like 115-52 against Wout. He's also got an edge on the road. Only MVDP and Wout know how deep they are going, but IMO MVDP seems to be able to go deeper than anyone to WIN. The data doesn't lie.
It's not about being able to dig deeper, it's simply a matter of skillset. Cyclocross and Mathieu's skillset are a 100% match. There is only one rider that edges out Mathieu in certain areas, but he comes up short in other areas. Cyclocross is a cycle of accelerating and slowing down, maybe 500 times over an hour. This alone plays to his strenghts more than those of Wout. With superior technique, he doesn't even have to slow down as much, and doesn't have to go as deep to get his speed up again. It's literally a double whammy in his case. He takes every obstacle 5 to 10 kilometers per hour faster than Wout, and he is better at those short accelerations after the obstacle to get back to full speed as well. Meanwhile Wout has to slow down more, loses a few seconds on the actual obstacle, and then has to dig deeper to make up for the lost time on top of the fact that those short accelerations are more up Mathieu's alley. Every corner, every obstacle. On the downside, i believe he will statistically get more punctures because he has a much more aggressive style as he attacks the obstacles.

When Mathieu wins, he doesn't win because he is mentally stronger, but because it's the perfect fit for his skillset. On the real heavy courses, the slow courses where technique doesn't play a big role, he isn't the better of Wout. Likely the other way around, when it comes to raw power output.
 
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So, I contacted Eurosport Player support and they confirmed me that they won't show the U23 races there.

Only on GCN App. Once again, terrible service by the selfcalled Home of Cycling. Let's find a VPN so I can watch the 4 races on Sporza.
HolaVPN is free and can be used for Belgian servers i think, but they use other users their IP address to reroute the date or something. It's rather fishy i think, but it does work. Or at least it has worked for me in the past. Other VPN's that offer Belgian servers, are premium and will need a subscription.
 
HolaVPN is free and can be used for Belgian servers i think, but they use other users their IP address to reroute the date or something. It's rather fishy i think, but it does work. Or at least it has worked for me in the past. Other VPN's that offer Belgian servers, are premium and will need a subscription.
I have used Hola yesterday to view Extra Time Koers on Sporza on their website. Worked perfectly. But remember. You only get 1 hr free and then you sometime need to wait for X time to get another hour. So for the mens race you have to skip a few minutes otherwise you will be missing the finish.
 

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