Cyclocross Worlds

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The results from cyclocross worlds last weekend are a bit surprising, really.  I picked Vos and Wout a week ago.  I was close, with Vos losing in the spring.  But cross is a great sport because the conditions dictate the results.

The conditions were so important, as always.  The frozen ground turned to slick, sloppy mud for the men’s race on Sunday.  Mechanicals plus flat tires were an important factor in the results for both men and women.  That is cross too.

If you look at the results for the men yesterday, only one rider in the top 8 is not from either Belgium or the Netherlands.  Belgium had 4 riders in the top 8, and the Netherlands 3.  Pretty stellar results, as normal.

Less than half of the 60 rider men’s field finished the race on the lead lap.  Stephen Hyde was 18th, nearly 6 minutes back.  Probably not the result he was hoping for, but still a good race.

I think that tire selection and pressure played a huge role in the results.  I still don’t understand how some of those guys ride such low pressure.

It seems like they are taking such risk of flatting.  Both Wout and Van de Poel flatted.  It had to be from low pressure.  Van de Poel’s flat cost him a chance at winning.  I guess he knew the risk reward and made a decision.  Maybe it was just terrible luck?

Wout was riding some Dugast tires with Michelin green mud tread on them.  I think that setup is the best I’ve ever ridden in those conditions.  But that tread hasn’t been made since 2002.  But lots of riders and squirreled away some for days like this.  It mattered.

I have a bunch of FMB tires with that same tread pattern on it.  New and waiting.  Not the same as what Van Aert was riding, but for the very same reasons.

Anyway, another season in the books.  Pretty good rivalry going on now.  And Americans are slowly getting in the mix.  At least getting to the point of racing towards the front, on their days. I’m sure most of those guys and gals can hardly wait until next season.

It was super difficult just getting up the climbs, let alone getting down them.

Both FMB casing. The right is a custom tires with a Micheliin mud tread. Wout’s were green, but these are nearly as good.


27 thoughts on “Cyclocross Worlds

  1. Craig

    Rocks … from what I have read and seen the problem was the rocky substrate under the mud. As is thawed and the mud got pushed around there were more and more rocks appearing. Low pressure plus unexpected rocks … I was amazed at how many riders had 4+ flats. That is just nuts.

  2. Eric

    Great write-up as always but no mention of the mechanical doping on 60 minutes last night. I was looking forward to reading your perspective on this subject.

  3. scott

    races were incredibly entertaining, but van der poel’s performance on the podium was very sad. he’s a great rider, for sure, but prolonged crying before, during and after was, to say the least, unprofessional.
    that behavior would have been unacceptable for a young junior.

  4. conrad

    I am guessing that the Euro courses don’t typically have much in the way of rocks or roots compared to a US course. I couldn’t believe how many flats there were. I ride challenge or FMB tubulars and it is really hard to pinch flat those things.

  5. Mike Rodose

    Van der Poel and Wout are both so young. And this emotional behavior is U23 at best.

    This is what happens when riders move up in category before they need to. Not saying it’s the wrong decision, but they certainly lose a chance to shed some youthful emotions and behaviours prior to the big-boy racing career.

  6. mike crum

    so what age are you allowed to show emotion, and at what age are you not allowed to show emotion ?? guys 2nd best in the world….and showing his emotions….dumb comment …

  7. Larry T

    I’m certainly no ‘cross expert and ditched tubular tires years ago, but I’m having a tough time understanding how all these ‘cross experts, whether riders or techs, managed to use tire/wheel setups so prone to flats. I started to wonder if someone had thrown tacks on the course! It’s said a tubular tire is almost impossible to pinch-flat (though I know better having done it back-in-the-day, which is why I carried TWO of ’em on any ride I didn’t want to walk back home from) and hard to believe sharp rocks would puncture so many tires. Then there’s the issue of the ancient tread pattern on the tire used by the winner. Maybe it shows to go you that the newest-latest is not always the best, but why weren’t others using this seemingly superior tread pattern?

  8. Rope a Dope

    Both the Dutch kids would a won without The Mechanicals! Vos was clearly on her way to a thirty second victory when she wrapped up her chain, and MVDP had like a twenty second gap when he flatted and had to ride it in almost a whole lap!! So it took alot of luck to win that one! Accolades anyway to The Winners; Sonne Cant “Can” and Wout Wout Hoot Hoot! Adri needed to chill out his kid, “Their’s No Crying in Cyclocross Son!” Oh yeah my friend that does Triathalons and usually wins her classification went ape shit over how hard those women attacked That Course!!

  9. Here we go again

    meh… I’m 60+ and still tear up at Little League baseball games and sappy movies.
    You prefer an emotionless persona, say, like -7?

  10. conrad

    I would bet money that certain teams have a deal with the UCI regarding “checking” for motors

  11. Davey

    He must not be as tough as you. Dedicate your life to a singular item and see if you aren’t upset when you fall just short, not due to your own inadequacy, but a mechanical.

    What about Greg Van Avermaet after crashing at Flanders? Riders sobbing after pulling out of a grand tour… Are these riders too emotional for you? Should they just go home and kick their dog?

  12. sillypuddy

    It’s okay to show emotion at any age. The only folks who really care are some goofballs. Have you ever seen the movie Champ staring a young Ricky Schroeder Schroeder from the 80’s? If you don’t tear up during that final scene, there is ” something very wrong with you “. Hell, last Thursday night I started balling like a little baby when I unwrapped then dropped the last Pop Tart. “Unprofessional”. Give em a break.
    Sillypuddy OUT!

  13. Larry T

    I disagree – the kid should have been able to bawl his eyes out WITHOUT the TV cameras in his face, then show up to the medal ceremony and at least manage a smile as Vos (a real pro) did. The spoiled brat’s “Hey, my diaper’s full of crap, come here and change it!” look spoiled all the podium photos. Geez, the punk won the SILVER f–king medal, he could at least act like he cared, no? The bronze medal winner (for the ?th time) acted like an adult, this kid needs to grow up or maybe go back and race the U23 category.

  14. Fausto

    Awesome race: man vs. man and man vs. nature. Cross mechanicals bring out the idea that the best or fastest rider does not always win. Racing is not fair, that is why we love it.
    60 minutes piece was terrible. I believe it is going on but only one person has been popped and the rest is just finger pointing. Sky and the heavy TT bikes? It should not be hard to figure out the weight of all the equipment they use even if they have some of the Secret Squirrel Club stuff. Everyone is adding weight to bikes to make the heavy weight limit anyway, I am sure one of those 120 lb climbers on the tiny bikes can have a motor or wheel and still be on the UCI limit. Nice to see Ferrari back in the soup. Seemed like bad reporting for the masses, all headlines and no substance. My .02 cents.

  15. Skitownteacher

    Was Van de Poel’s flat the result of the rocks on course? It looked like he might have rolled the tire on that steep downhill into hard right corner. I thought the race was great to watch and would have enjoyed seeing it played out without the mechanical situation…but that is clearly part of racing. Crazy to see at least two of the top 10 run or scooter style it in.

  16. mv

    vdP 4 flats. One way from the pit. V Aert 1 close to the pit. Without the flats vdP would have won. Without the chain Vos too.

  17. carlos

    Check the lap times. Van Aert was faster than Van der Poel on every single lap bar lap 1. He was untouchable. No way VDP could win unless he sits in behind Wout and attacks him full-on on last lap. He tried to out-Wout Wout and that won’t work against the biggest engine in cx.

  18. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Looks like other people made their tire decisions during the week (and committed to them). Also looks like Wout is willing to roll (no pun intended) with the actual conditions. Ya gots to do what it takes!

  19. Mike Rodose

    Yes. Kevin Pauwels doesn’t cry in CX. That alone gets him the Gold.

    Or Silver in this case.


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