Race Thread

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No commentary either, but at this stage I don't care.

Not liking the fact that Brand is starting to really dominate the Womens side. Glad to see Inge hold on for 2nd, but a fantastic effort from Betsema after her mechanical. Another good race from Rochette, Worst seems to have lost a bit of form since her WC Win. Alvarado srtills seems to lack her normal level as she always starts good, but then fades. Anyways, take out Brand and the races would be very competitive.
I truly hope that Eli and co. can catch up to Wout otherwise all the talk about the level being higher than last year and that the big three won't hit the ground winning go right out the window. Wout got a great course to kick off his CX season though, laying out the power.
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Welp. Reduced to amateurs. Kinda sad to see tbh, even if Wout got a course that's perfectly suited to his strengths, 2 minutes in his first race back is just nuts.

Edit: As I type that, Wout takes a tumble. Takes nothing away from his performance though.
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So, some context.

1/ Daddypoel already noticed Van Aert was doing much bigger training sessions than last year before coming into CX, so he predicted Van Aert would be better than the rest from the start. I must have missed his prediction, but it is clear that Van Aert is immediately better than last year in his first few races.

2/ The course really suited him.

3/ The other guys are now nearing the end of their first block. Their level is declining and they will take some rest and go on training camp somewhere in the next few weeks to get ready for the second block of the season.

4/ Hadn't Aerts crashed/fallen as often as he did, he would have been a lot closer to Van Aert. I think he might have finished at around 1 minute without his additional tumbles.
Great rides by both winners and good battles behind in both races.

Someone mentioned that they visited a race in person and the riders in the women's race were smaller than they expected. I had the opposite opinion when visiting Boom today. There were riders that after seeing on TV I didn't expect to be as tall as they actually are. Alot of the younger riders at the front like Backstedt, van Empel and Schreiber were taller than I would've thought and others like Bakker and Norbert Riberolle who loom pretty tall compared to others on the tv were more average than I was expecting.

The course is tougher than I expected. Ive never appreciated the steepness of the sides of the amphitheatre but they are properly steep. Especially the drop from the top to the bottom where alot the men were sliding about, and the climb before it.