Race Thread

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Weird course as usual in Niel, and I'm really not sure what to make of those strange washboard/mogel section after the second pits. I think the course was definitely much better when it was on the other side of the town as this doesn't have any character at all. Also I feel Iserbyt should be relegated with the move on Aerts in the sprint. He's a repeat offender who seems to get away with it mostly.
 
Reactions: postmanhat
It was a regulatory sprint. Iserbyt professionally narrowed the passage, but there was plenty of room for Aerts. This was confirmed by the commentators after reviewing the images. And by a sporty Aerts who knows a little more about cyclocross and sprinting than some on this forum.
 
Went to the Ethias Cross in Leuven (this is basically only 1 kilometer from where the WCC RR finish was last month).

Something that really doesn't show that well on TV, is how tiny the women riders were here. Of course none of the taller Dutch women were present (Worst, Brand...), but still, seeing pictures or TV doesn't really translate how thin and tiny most of them are in real life.
 
Went to the Ethias Cross in Leuven (this is basically only 1 kilometer from where the WCC RR finish was last month).

Something that really doesn't show that well on TV, is how tiny the women riders were here. Of course none of the taller Dutch women were present (Worst, Brand...), but still, seeing pictures or TV doesn't really translate how thin and tiny most of them are in real life.
I guess the only one that is really really obvious on TV is between riders like Ellen van Loy and Anna Kay.
 

Pidcock back on the 4th for a short CX season. A shame no English language websites have reported this; even though it's the road off season.
 
I guess the only one that is really really obvious on TV is between riders like Ellen van Loy and Anna Kay.
Van Loy was one of the few taller riders, and obviously the difference with Kay was clear, but it surprised me that so many of the women were rather short and thin. On TV we usually only get to see the Dutch women in front of the race, and they are probably taller than average.
 

Pidcock back on the 4th for a short CX season. A shame no English language websites have reported this; even though it's the road off season.
I'm sure they had an article on this website about it?
 
It's possible she's got her eye on a road career, as she's shown decent level of performance in road races; and doesn't need to be like Pieterse, Alvarado, etc
I'm a bit of a fan and her descending seems to be a it better this year, though she still noticeably stuggles on the steeper, muddier sections compared to the other top riders. Good climber and great power on the flat. Have been hoping for a while she'd do some more road racing,
 
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Brand's experience, and endurance won that over the technically superior, but far younger Pieterse. Who is sure to be a champion in the coming seasons. She's also a very good MTB-er, who finished 2nd to the all dominant Mitterwallner in the Euro U23 MTB race in August. I hope we see more of the women upping their technical skills, and those that don't are left behind.
 
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Two cracking elite races today. Order is restored with an all dutch podium in the womens world cups. Order broken by the dutch in the mens race. van der Haar really pushing Iserbyt to the limit in the end. He seems to have entered a rich vein of form at the moment, which is great to see. Interesting that he wasn't riding the barriers today, but I saw a video of him doing so yesterday. I'd assume he is able to do so, but just wasn't confident he would be able to 100% of the time. Nice to see Pieterse doing so as well. It will be interesting to see whether more riders will start to integrate learning/improving their bunnyhopping skills as it certainly showed that it can make a difference today (more so with no remounting on a steep uphill today, but still).
 
It's his first victory in a cross that's part of a classification since 2017. Damn.
At the moment he's stronger than he's ever been. Even before Van Aert and Van der Poel came to the scene. Past few years he was struggling to finish in the top 10 quite often. He had grown into the non-winner of the team.

Pieterse is upsetting the Dutch favorites. She's fierce. Great to see.
Yeah, definitely a surprising vein of form for him. Though, given how long the front riders were together today (I know the course was comparatively easy, but still) I had the feeling that when Mathieu gets going he will lap those guys (no, not literally). It was exciting, sure, but probably also a testimony that neither of those guys have done any in-roads in the gap to the best riders.
 
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