2015-16 Cyclo-cross World Cup

I’m really enjoying this year’s world cup events, 3 different winners in the men’s and women’s elite so far.

Is anyone watching?

Race 1
Men’s - http://www.uci.ch/cyclo-cross/videos/men-race-highlights-205-cyclo-cross-world-cup-las-vegas-usa/
Women’s - http://www.uci.ch/cyclo-cross/videos/women-race-highlights-205-cyclo-cross-world-cup-las-vegas-usa/

Race 2
Men’s - Full Replay | Elite Men’s Race | 2015-16 Cyclo-cross World Cup | Valkenburg, Netherlands - YouTube
Women’s - Full Replay | Elite Women’s Race | 2015-16 Cyclo-cross World Cup | Valkenburg, Netherlands - YouTube

Race 3
Men’s - http://www.uci.ch/videos/full-replay-elite-men-race-205-cyclo-cross-world-cup-koksijde-belgium/
Women’s - http://www.uci.ch/videos/elite-women-race-highlights-205-cyclo-cross-world-cup-koksijde-belgium-173536/

(I hope I didn’t miss an identical thread.)

Unsurprisingly… yes.

Watched the first one in person. I can’t express exactly how fast the elites are in person (way faster than it appears in video form). And riding 5 deep into stairs and corners… pffft.

It’s been an interesting year… one that is likely to become moreso with the return of M VdPoel. However I suspect it’s going to be a race between the Vans for the rest of the season (Lars, Wout and Matthieu). Youth just seems to be triumphing so far, but you can’t ignore the role of untimely mechanicals.

It was definitely excellent to see Sven use his head and some smart power riding to win last weekend. Every year there is at least one ‘surprise’ winner so I’m hoping last weekend wasn’t it.

As for the women… there are some fresh names appearing at the front. i was almost screaming at the TV when Katie A got 2nd at Valkenburg. Nikki Harris is riding quite well but seems to not be able to close the deal for different reasons. Sanne is the top of the heap until PFP reappears or Nash goes back to the continent. It’s also great to see Lechner riding more races. I’d guess she’s just about due for a off-season though. KFC may also have finally found her legs and like Sven is due a WC win soon. I’m also excited to see what Lisa Jacobs does when she gets over there… first Oz top 10?

U23s are a bit all over the place IMO. But there’s always some good (loose) racing in them…

Koksijde looked like such a brutal course and as Sven said during the post race interview there was a chance for someone with technical skills to get an edge over the younger power riders. Also Anthony McCrossan was saying during the UCI broadcast that Sven was out there doing course recon, checking everything out and trying out different tires right up until the Womens Elites started.

Speaking of tires I noticed Helen Wyman was running a file tread at Koksijde whilst most riders were on something pretty neutral. Any hypothesis on this Nick?

no-one was gonna be able to ride the mud/sand/up the hills, so why not gain advantage on the harder pack stuff.

wasn’t MvdP also on a diff tread to most…

Just watched this today, was awesome and yeah they did say he was on file but seemed to smoke em’ on the deep sand… mad dog.

file tread is often the go for sand. the K-side sand gets pretty hardpacked too IIRC. even more in the rain that they were having.
wymans challenge chicanes treads have some solid knobs on the sides, would be good for a course like that i’d guess.

that mud would have complicated things… hence sven doing last minute checks. plus i have this secret theory that his extra warmups were the key to his victory (he is taking longer to get his engine warmed up as he gets older). totally unsubstantiated, and likely unfounded…

I also saw Sven employ a technique that he spoke about in Svenness with Sven. Wout would make a mistake, Sven would attack and make Wout catch him, and when he did, Sven would be recovered and attack again.

Plus going into that final mud section he knew exactly what he was going to do.

The strategy and technique were a joy to watch.

Yep I saw that, it makes for exciting racing. I was wondering if Sven had the gas even though he looked very strategic. It’s inspired me to become better at techniques that are relevant here. I’m also thinking we need a big mud section here in QLD.

I mentioned to Brad after the final QLDCX race last season that we should add a permanent sand pit and stair case in the infield at the Nundah-drome.

A lot of women suddenly got even more excited about Worlds this year- PFP is out (and Vos has already ruled the season out). Could this be the year for Cant or Compton?

Cant would be a strong possibility but is Helen Wymans win on the weekend a chink in her armour? Power braap course she’s on it but slows down in the technical stuff.

Compton, maybe. She hasn’t really had much of a Euro season but had a strong showing at the World Cup all things considered.

Possible upsets could be delivered by Wyman, Harris or Lechner (or caused by Verschueren).

The battle between Sven and Wout at Koksijde was so fucking good!

even though i had seen the CXHairs highlight vid i was still glued to to the TV. that line sven takes to shortcut the chicane and get the best line into one of the last corners is beyond masterful.

the tractor pull/powerfest on the last mud section was brilliant. i wouldnt have been disappointed with a wout victory either, that kid can ride and rode well.

but if you want to see brilliant riding, watch MvdP ride. from 18th mid-race to 3rd in a comeback race? his finesse through some of the sections is so so good. the battles between him and wout in the years to come are only going to get better (assuming he doesnt go the path of boom and stybar which is quite likely). wout seems to have the raw explosive power, and MvdP seems to have a bit more finesse/diesel. maybe i just have a bit of crush on that rainbow camo bike…

with the women:
in mud you have to watch for wyman, thats her speciality.
agree that cant is the power mixed conditions rider, harris has got a bit of game in that stuff too
for super tech/slippery id watch nash/lechner
for dry - dunno? probably a roadie who has skipped the season or started their road training early? doubt it as zolder is a pretty classic cx course.

compton was sick/injured for a bunch of the early summer and has been really easing into the season as she keeps being caught by the end of season fatigue. she has soooo much experience and very solid cx skills (see her k-side result) but holy crap does she have bad luck. i really think she is creeping this season. a good indicator will be the kerstperiode…

The best Sven-ness I’ve seen in awhile. Obviously it helps that the race covered was the most exciting race so far this season.

Would echo your comments.

Plus Nys now going DS against his old rival Albert from next season on. TF in all its incarnations seems to do a good job of supporting riders (juniors through eilites and it has a proper womens team). Fits well with Nys’ history of developing the sport. Curious to see if he brings trek with him (pity if he does as those TF ridleys are always excellent).

Adding amusement is that GP-VG are apparently getting sponsored by Crelan next year. So Albert’s team might be riding colnagos designed by Nys with his old sponsor on their back.

With Sven at TF it will be interesting to see the development of Tom Meeusen.

Is there a reason for calling J Pow up to the front row at World Cup events?

Because he’s the current US Champ perhaps?

yep, UCI points. thats the only reason anyone gets called up where they do at WCs from what i know.

given he has won (almost) every C1 he has raced, and is probably maxed out on C2 points he has enough points to be there. that will change through the kerstperiode as the block of euro C1 and WCs erode his early season points advantage. there has also been enough variance in top 10s to help him out more this year.

havent watched the mens race at namur yet, but the womens was great. another first time WC winner, another first time podium, and a last minute WC overall change. cant decide if i was more stoked for harris or mani’s result (probably harris).

That makes sense.

Definitely stoked for Harris. You can see she’s been working on that win all season and it all came together for her at Namur.