Race Thread

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This year's Jaarmarkt cross proved to be quite an exciting race (still without the 3-big) where the top four riders delivered repeated blows to each other and the course - as usual - challenged the riders to the their physical, technical and mental limits. Exactly as a cross should be! Van der Haar and Toon crashing into the mud, Iserbyt taking a massive fall and yet coming back, Hermans crashing the barriers but refusing to give up. Sweeck loosing the chain but not quitting. Hats off for a splendid show. Cyclocross is the best!

Riding cross myself, the Niel Jaarmarkt course is what I like and a course that really puts the riders to the test - as do Zonhoven, Namur, Koksijde, Oostende, Tabor and Heusden-Zolder.

ps. looking forward to watch the women's race. The good with their race is that it is more relatable. It just looks more human. When the elite men strugglle you know that the course is something out of the ordinary.
 
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Let me still dream that the present crowd can still compete
when MVdP, Wout and Pidders condescend to play their cameos.
Have watched hardly any of the elite men's races this year. Feels like watching a support act for 3 hours at a gig, before the band you actually want to see, turn up with a 30 minute set at the end. Same last season and for the foreseeable future. Would much rather watch the U-23 and junior races, but Eurosport largely refuse to cover them.

Women's elite has been better for a while now anyway imo. And this has all the makings of a stonking season.
 
Reactions: Axel Hangleck
Yes, the women's has been fabulous; the list of younger riders taking it to the established stars is fantastic. All the top women have been racing, and taking each other on.

As for the men's, I just think we have to accept that CX is no longer their main focus; if/ when they turn up and race fine, great. However, I get the impression lots of people don't watch unless they're racing.......
 
Reactions: postmanhat
Have watched hardly any of the elite men's races this year. Feels like watching a support act for 3 hours at a gig, before the band you actually want to see, turn up with a 30 minute set at the end. Same last season and for the foreseeable future. Would much rather watch the U-23 and junior races, but Eurosport largely refuse to cover them.

Women's elite has been better for a while now anyway imo. And this has all the makings of a stonking season.
Personally I,ve found this seasons mens races to be enthralling with close aggressive racing, a big improvement from last season.

Possibly better without VDP zooming of into the distance.
 
Reactions: Kaptain Kool
Have watched hardly any of the elite men's races this year. Feels like watching a support act for 3 hours at a gig, before the band you actually want to see, turn up with a 30 minute set at the end. Same last season and for the foreseeable future. Would much rather watch the U-23 and junior races, but Eurosport largely refuse to cover them.

Women's elite has been better for a while now anyway imo. And this has all the makings of a stonking season.
Not being able to see the U23 and junior races comes down to the main reason that the host broadcaster does not show them. If they are show anything its just a short highlights reel of those races as they are setting up and testing the cameras. The u23 have also mainly been racing with the elites in recent seasons, as couple of years ago the Superprestige decided to combine them. The only internationally televised races that have an u23 category are the x2o Trofee and the world cups, of which there have only been one of each for u23 only.

I dont see the current races as a support act. As a couple of others have said, we have to accept that the big two and Pidcock are less focused on cx now, and therefore this is what CX is. I also feel that the level of every rider near the top ten has got better this year. The race seems to be staying together for longer (although it does seem to be a drier year which will be more condusive to closer racing), as riders like Iserbyt is having a harder time riding away in the early races like he did previously at the start of seasons. When he does get away, it's mostly down to the others making mistakes (i.e Hermans), which shows he probably has the higher level and the others are on their limit/over it in order to match him. The only points where we've seen that differ are Fayetteville where Hermans was on top, the VAMberg where Iserbyt just didn't seem to have it, and Tabor where Lars ripped Iserbyt's legs to pieces in the final 1 1/2 laps.

On the subject of U23's, the even newer breed seem to be breaking into the top 10 this year. This is the generation that is now born from 2000 onwards, and I think it's likely we'll see the likes of Kamp, Ronhaar, Vandeputte and maybe even Nys, Mason and Meeusen getting a couple of top 5s this year, and maybe some of them being consistently right at the front next season.
 
Looks like both Van Aert and Vos have announced their programmes - but they're the only riders from Jumbo-Visma doing CX this winter. The Van Dijke twins, who both have an off road background, won't be doing any CX this winter - and Teunissen seems to have given it up as well. Would love to know why not - maybe it doesn't fit with their programme?
 
The race winning (defining) move was definitely made by Alvarado today. Brand never looked back once Alvarado stumpled on that small bank and backed up the rest of the riders. In the womens race it looked to be an advantage if it was just one of two of you with the technical nature of the course. The racing for position when there was three or more in that chasing group and also looking like the oace went out occasionally on the finish straight definitely contributed to Brand holding that gap. Tight one in the mens race. It looked pretty tough at times so it'll be interesting to see how much that took out of them before the sand dunes tomorrow.
 
So after 14 World Cup races, we've had 3 different nationalities winning; Dutch, Belgian & Hungarian.........It's hard to see any others winning, unless Honsiger can get her conditions at Namur, or maybe Dendermonde. On the men's side it's only Pidcock to break up the Ned/Bel hegemony.
 
16 races is far too many; when MTB has between 6-9, and is a bigger sport worldwide, then they've got it wrong. 10-12 is probably a better number - but only if they get more countries. Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, GB, etc

And riders deciding not to go to France and/or Italy, is just poor. The Val di Sole round (hopefully on snow) is meant to be the showcase for the sport if it wants to get into the Winter Olympics.
 
Was Honsinger’s win not World Cup (sorry, don’t follow cross that closely)?
Koppenberg Cross is not a WCup or Superprestige event, think its part of the X20 series. Honsinger's starts are still killing her, she started on the front row in a race recently and was still way down after the first lap. If she could start like the others, she would likely be up there in most races.
 
Reactions: Sciatic
Koppenberg Cross is not a WCup or Superprestige event, think its part of the X20 series. Honsinger's starts are still killing her, she started on the front row in a race recently and was still way down after the first lap. If she could start like the others, she would likely be up there in most races.
Thanks for the info. I have some hope she can improve her starts given she didn't come up through European racing to get used to mixing it up a bit at the start. Although it's also possible she lacks the explosiveness to sprint for short stretches and is all diesel power. She's still had a good season though, several times ending up being the "meat" in a Dutch sandwich in the top 5.
 
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