Race Thread

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I must say that I've quite enjoyed most of the CX races up to this point. I'm a big fan of Mathieu, Wout and Tom, but there's less excitement for the win when they're there. Especially van der Poel who started winning straight away last year.

With that being said, the way Tom rode last season does give me some hope that it will be a battle of the titans between the "big three". I hope that Iserbyt can make it the "big four", but he has disappointed whenever the moment presented itself. Let's see what happens.
 
At the beginning of the season I definitely felt like something was off without the 3-big but as it progressed it has come to be a very fierce battle between foremostly Iserbyt - who is a very talented rider, Van der Haar - that I always liked and I’m happy to see getting a bit of a revival late in the career, Hermans - that possesses skill and endurance and finally Toon who probably is one of the most powerful riders aside the 3-big.

Latest races have been very tight and unpredictable which makes it interesting to watch and they push each other to their mental, technical and physical limits which is what is so great about cyclocross. Hopefully it will be hard for anyone else to beat these four riders even for MVDP and alikes
 
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At the beginning of the season I definitely felt like something was off without the 3-big but as it progressed it has come to be a very fierce battle between foremostly Iserbyt - who is a very talented rider, Van der Haar - that I always liked and I’m happy to see getting a bit of a revival late in the career, Hermans - that possesses skill and endurance and finally Toon who probably is one of the most powerful riders aside the 3-big.

Latest races have been very tight and unpredictable which makes it interesting to watch and they push each other to their mental, technical and physical limits which is what is so great about cyclocross. Hopefully it will be hard for anyone else to beat these four riders even for MVDP and alikes
What has happened to Michael Vantourenhout, who was among, or ahead of, these a few weeks ago? Injured, I assume, but I find almost no CX news between events.

Is there a reliable, English (I could cope if it were Spanish) that has CX news that I could add to my daily browse of the net?
 
Is there a reliable, English (I could cope if it were Spanish) that has CX news that I could add to my daily browse of the net?
Good question. There isn't much, which is why I tend to go to Wielerflits for my CX news, The English speaking cycling journalists are still going over old ground about the past road season, or rambling about next season - all the while there is live cycling taking place....but they ignore it. Just like they ignore MTB, and we have both an Olympic & World XCO Champion.
 
What has happened to Michael Vantourenhout, who was among, or ahead of, these a few weeks ago? Injured, I assume, but I find almost no CX news between events.

Is there a reliable, English (I could cope if it were Spanish) that has CX news that I could add to my daily browse of the net?
According to his team twitter, Vanthourenhout has been sick in the last weekend. If I jadn't seen that then I'd be in the same position as you, as I don't remember the GCN commentary mentioned his absence at all. Which they probably should have done considering he is in 5th in the overall. I don't know where he was but 4 podiums in the first six world cups probably would mean he was either 3rd or 4th.
 
Provisional schedule of 'The Big Three':

Wout van Aert
12 crosses
4/12: Boom (Superprestige)
5/12: Antwerp (World Cup)
11/12: Essen (Ethias Cross)
12/12: Val di Sole (Ita, World Cup)
26/12: Dendermonde (World Cup)
27/12: Heusden-Zolder (Superprestige)
29/12: Diegem (Telenet Superprestige)
30/12: Loenhout (X2O Trophy)
1/1: Baal (X2O Trophy)
2/1: Hulst (Ned, World Cup)
5/1: Herentals (X2O Trophy)
9/1: Middelkerke (Belgian Championships)

Mathieu van der Poel
11 crosses:
18/12: Rucphen (Ned, World Cup)
19/12: Namur (World Cup)
26/12: Dendermonde (World Cup)
29/12: Diegem (Superprestige)
30/12: Loenhout (X2O Trophy)
2/1: Hulst (Ned, World Cup)
5/1: Herentals (X2O Trophy)
9/1: Zaltbommel (Dutch Championships)
22/1: Hamme (X2O Bathroom Trophy)
23/1: Hoogerheide (Ned, World Cup)
30/1: Fayetteville (USA, World Championships)

Tom Pidcock
13 crosses:
4/12: Boom (Superprestige)
5/12: Antwerp (World Cup)
12/12: Val di Sole (Ita, World Cup)
18/12: Rucphen (Ned, World Cup)
19/12: Namur (World Cup)
26/12: Dendermonde (World Cup)
27/12: Heusden-Zolder (Superprestige)
29/12: Diegem (Superprestige)
1/1: Baal (X2O Trophy)
2/1: Hulst (Ned, World Cup)
22/1: Hamme (X2O Trophy)
23/1: Hoogerheide (Ned, World Cup)
30/1: Fayetteville (USA, World Championships)

Note: This will probably change during the season, it always does.
 
Surprising that they will race so few races against each other. I would have thought that the races to be picked would be mostly the same for all three eg Namur or Zolder but obviously there are lots of races to choose from.

Anyway they will add some excitement to the races!
 
Another weekend, and another double header; I always wonder why you'd race the day before a World Cup. (unless the World Cup isn't your No1 priority) The Urban Cross in Kortrijk.
Tomorrow the World Cup in Besancon, France - will be interesting to see what the course is like.
 
I must say that I've quite enjoyed most of the CX races up to this point. I'm a big fan of Mathieu, Wout and Tom, but there's less excitement for the win when they're there. Especially van der Poel who started winning straight away last year.

With that being said, the way Tom rode last season does give me some hope that it will be a battle of the titans between the "big three". I hope that Iserbyt can make it the "big four", but he has disappointed whenever the moment presented itself. Let's see what happens.
I haven't quite grasped why people and various media keep referring to Pidcock as one of the "big three" or "king of cross" seeing as he has only ever won 1 international elite CX race... Granted, he has some podium positions, but during last year's season he was not very close to MVDP on most occasions.

I am much more excited about how Toon Aerts, Lars Van der Haar, Iserby etc. will fare against MVDP when he comes back, as watching the races without MVDP significantly changes the dynamic of the races and makes it hard to evaluate the level. Will they be crushed or has the general level in CX improved during MVDP's absence from the throne?
 
I think it's the potential he offers; he's the current MTB Olympic champion, and had the measure of MvdP in the few XCO races they both did. He knows he can beat him - I think on any courses with climbs he can worry them. However, this is CX, and courses tend to be flat, and non technical which don't play to his strengths.
He's also gone head to head with them both on the road, and proved he belongs there - if you can transfer that form to CX, then he deserves to be rated alongside them.
 
So i've now seen the mens race and judging by the highlights (the first lap was not broadcast by gcn) it looked like a pretty commanding win for Aerts. Interesting top 10 though, especially with Diether Sweeck doing so well. As for the womens race, decent battle there. Honsinger really needs to get those starts dialled. She seems to loose so much and by the time she's found her rhythm, the front of the race has gone.
 
I haven't quite grasped why people and various media keep referring to Pidcock as one of the "big three" or "king of cross" seeing as he has only ever won 1 international elite CX race... Granted, he has some podium positions, but during last year's season he was not very close to MVDP on most occasions.

I am much more excited about how Toon Aerts, Lars Van der Haar, Iserby etc. will fare against MVDP when he comes back, as watching the races without MVDP significantly changes the dynamic of the races and makes it hard to evaluate the level. Will they be crushed or has the general level in CX improved during MVDP's absence from the throne?
Pidcock has had a steeper development curve than all of the other CX riders apart from WvA and MVDP. He beat all of the Belgians squarely in the WC 2020 in Dubendorf and he is one of the few that has been able to put MVDP under pressure. Add his Road and MTB palmares and it is easy to see why he brings more interest than the likes of Aerts, Van der Haar and Iserbyt.

On a side note it was nice to see Quinten Hermans doing relatively well in this year’s road races but it didn’t materialize into something great unfortunately. It would have been fantastic if some of the other top CX riders had participated in the Tour or the Giro or the spring classics.
 

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