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Race Thread

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The course is definitely better than I originally expected, but from the tv it does look like there is barely any atmosphere atmosphere at the venue. The ground might be loosened up further for tomorrow as a bit of overnight rain is forecast.

Agree that there does seem to be a lack of atmosphere. Brand dominated the Women's race today, making it less interesting than normal. The U-23 mens was ever-changing and pretty interesting. Did the WC Ronhaar sacrifice himself for Kamp? Seemed to be struggling at the back of lead group, before putting in a big attack and then promptly hitting reverse again. What was that about?
 
Agree that there does seem to be a lack of atmosphere. Brand dominated the Women's race today, making it less interesting than normal. The U-23 mens was ever-changing and pretty interesting. Did the WC Ronhaar sacrifice himself for Kamp? Seemed to be struggling at the back of lead group, before putting in a big attack and then promptly hitting reverse again. What was that about?
I think Ronhaar had a mechanical somewhere in the race which made him be a lot of time trying to keep up with the back of the group.
 
Still not sure about the course, but it is something different - but could do with being a bit more technical. Some good racing; Backstedt winning was entirely predictable, she'd be high up in the U23 race. The men's U23 was good, quite tactical, and a good finish; but for the future - a whole army of Belgians in the top 10. Where are the rest? I guess by U23, most French, Italians, Swiss, etc have decided that road/MTB are a better career choice.

Brand rode well, got small gap early on, and increased it; 2nd for Vas was also good, she is only 20, so is still improving, and 3rd is excellent for Kastelijn, who is a good climber, but struggles technically.

One would think Iserbyt will be hard to beat, but Aerts, and maybe Hermans (if he doesn't fall off) should be up there. I'm looking forward to the U23 women's the most; Pieterse is the favourite, and should win, but I think Burquier may surprise - she is the current World/European junior MTB Champion, the climbs will suit her. Van Anrooij and Van Empel may well challenge, Shirin has the better engine - though Fem is better technically.
 
A shame for Pieterse, who was unlucky....but showed what a great rider she is, but couldn't get back on a course which wasn't technical enough for her. Van Anrooij who has a superior engine, but less skills was able to keep ahead. Another fabulous ride from French youngster, who will cause the Dutch problems in the years to come (provided she stays in CX, and doesn't become the new Lecomte.)
 
Reactions: KZD
I just wonder how MVDP, Aerts and Pidcock will fare when they come back. Will the go straight to dominating again, or will not racing have an effect?
It will most likely be a situation like last year where it takes a couple of races to get back to the level where they were before. Or maybe it will be a time where we start to see a more balanced playing field, with riders like Iserbyt, Aerts and Hermans able to take the fight to the more multi disciplined riders.
 
Reactions: Lequack
Always like to see Van der Haar to do well. I love his dogged determination and relentless way of riding. Well deserved and really strong mental effort to get back after a fall and a poor pit stop.

Womens elite not overly exciting. Brand just crushing it on pure power and not a lot of skill. Blanka Vas the great exception riding with style into silver position. Kastelijn the ever technically disappointing rider but with an engine better than most.

Men U23. Thought that van de Putte had it nailed but Ryan Kamp did it the right way coming with speed and power from behind.

Zoey Backstedt is a very positive rider for the future as is Blanka Vas. Skill, multidisciplinary grit and determination! Lovely traits for a modern cyclist just like Van der Poel, Van Aert and Pidcock.
 
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Womens elite not overly exciting. Brand just crushing it on pure power and not a lot of skill. Blanka Vas the great exception riding with style into silver position. Kastelijn the ever technically disappointing rider but with an engine better than most.
Isn't that the problem/ issue with a lot of modern CX championship courses? Pure power tends to trump any technique/ skills. Kastelijn is a good climber, but technically, she's pretty average ( I don't like being too critical, as she seems a nice person).

Similarly, in the women's U23, after Pieterse's OTB in the mud, she had a job trying to get back to Van Anrooij, who is a strong TT-er, and technically competent. In fact, of the first 4, you'd probably say, Van Anrooij is the least technical rider - as the other are all decent MTB-ers, especially Burquier & Pieterse.

For that reason, that's why I probably prefer MTB; anyone lacking in skills will usually be found out.
 
Reactions: Barkintheeye
Isn't that the problem/ issue with a lot of modern CX championship courses? Pure power tends to trump any technique/ skills. Kastelijn is a good climber, but technically, she's pretty average ( I don't like being too critical, as she seems a nice person).

Similarly, in the women's U23, after Pieterse's OTB in the mud, she had a job trying to get back to Van Anrooij, who is a strong TT-er, and technically competent. In fact, of the first 4, you'd probably say, Van Anrooij is the least technical rider - as the other are all decent MTB-ers, especially Burquier & Pieterse.

For that reason, that's why I probably prefer MTB; anyone lacking in skills will usually be found out.
Agree completely. Lackluster course that didn’t challenge the riders to their technical limits. Absolutely hard but almost all uphill sections on tarmac, cobbles or easy dirt. Only one section presented the riders with a real challenge. The off camber descents were probably much more difficult than what they looked but yet there were very few mistakes on these.

I wish Kastelijn more success. She seems to be a very nice person and she has determination and stamina. With just a little bit of more technical ability she would always be up there on the podium.
 
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Excerpt from Pidcock's book on cyclocross racing:

"When you make mistakes, cross has a way of making you look like a numpty. You trip over going up the stairs or catch a handlebar on the fence or you just slide out, slipping around in the mud. You can look quite ridiculous sometimes, even the best riders in the world. Like in the warm-up for Overijse this year, on the first lap. It was a new course that I didn’t really know all that well. There was a downhill section into an uphill that you have to run because you can’t ride it. I jumped off my bike, slipped straight on my arse and slid straight towards a cameraman. As I got up, I said, ‘Did you get that?’ He said, ‘Of course!’ I think the mistakes make it more engaging for the fans. It resonates more; the mistakes make the riders seem more human. "

A good part of the charm with CX is the humbling aspects of the sport and the way it teaches you to get up and going despite of having misfortunes, a bad day or simply wipe out from tiredness, lack of skills or poor concentration. And it happens to everybody. Yet there is no quitting nor whining.

Can't wait to see Piddles, MVDP and WvA return to CX racing.
 
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