Race Thread

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A paltry looking Dutch 'team' for the Val di Sole CX World Cup; 1 man & 6 women in the Elites....they've also picked the two MTB Annes......
Both Tauber and Terpstra have prior cx experience with Tauber even doing quite well at the Hulst world cup last year. I guess the argument is its poorly positioned world cup. Id think a similar situation would occur if Tabor or another non Benelux WC like Besancon were positioned when Val di Sole is.
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Yes, Tauber had a few Top 10 results in World Cups, and finished Top 15 in the Worlds in Ostend, on a course which wouldn't suit a MTB rider; in fact I recall about 5-6 MTB riders in the top 15.....

I was pleased when Val di Sole was announced as a CX World Cup venue; I thought it would be the same venue as the MTB and we might get to see some climbing, as well as snow. Predictably, it's not the same venue, and is a lot flatter.....a shame.
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.
Wout looked technically solid, beefier than ever and untouchable by the rest of the field. Clearly the course favored him but still - stronger than ever.

Aerts could have had an easy second place but first crashed likely due to going way red by following Wout and then having a second crash that just looked like weak technique / bad decision not to safe it.

Piddles seemed to go all in which paid off into two crashes and then game over for the top positions. Good try but CX is a harsh sport.

Happy to see Ronhar and other young riders successfully establishing themselves at the top.

Great course at Boom putting riders literally on the butt.
As I said earlier, it's not a very inspiring course - which I hoped it would be......
Couldn't agree more. What's the point in making everyone travel to a mountain resort in Italy, for a course that could be have been held in a field, anywhere.

Overall, looks like a potentially underwhelming weekend's racing, at least in the women's events. Unless I'm misreading the startlists, Brand, Alvarado, Worst, Vas, Kastelijn, and many others are skipping the Ethias Cross and Val Di sole? The startlist for the former is unfortunately, very thin. But I'll be interested to see if Zoe Backstedt can take her first elite win.
They're trying to 'sell' the sport to the IOC as a 'winter' sport; and a lot of the top riders are missing......and the fields for both races look extremely small.....Hardly the look of a 'world class' event.
As I've said elsewhere, one event on snow isn't enough - that just looks like a token effort. Ideally, there would be 3-4 events on snow around/after Christmas, and make it a part of the season regularly.
I wonder if she rides the British Nationals in the Elites, as I'd be sure she would win; Anna Kay hasn't got the power in heavy mud, and current title holder, Hattie Harnden is more of an Enduro rider nowadays. The only rider who would give her problems hasn't ridden in CX this season.
PS: Where is Blanka Kata Vas, is she racing tomorrow? It seems like she's been absent for about a month.
Shes been training in Spain first privately and then with the rest of SD Worx. I guess she also had a short break as there wasn't really much gap in racing between the road/xc and her cx season start.
Interesting tactic to use dogs instead of tablets to check for motors :D
Full lap on the course of the UCI World Cup cyclocross in Val di Sole
For a course that looks mostly flat from afar, it has a lot of ups and downs, slippery corners, and a steep running section, so a little bit of everything, plus snow.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gs4HdJhq4k
Great video with the Italian small talk in the background. Course looks quite difficult. With higher speed there are going to be crashes. Would be interesting to hear what the riders say afterwards.
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