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t-72

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Re: General Cyclocross News
« Reply #180 on: January 31, 2022, 20:00 »
Top favourite and best rider in the race won. No question about that ! However I doubt that this course under such weather circumstances really was World Championship material. It looked like reduced Strade Bianche, dirt road race, nothing close to a real cyclocross event. The weather conditions really were in Pidcock's favour and compared to his closest chaser, Lars van der Haar and Eli Yserbyt, the stairs also were in his favour, as he's taller, so he could take two stairs per step, Vervecken's style. This should also have been in Aerts' favour but he was quite disappointing. By the way, really a shame that Van Aert was no part of it. He wouldn't have risked anything on such course.

Also as Michel Wuyts pointed out, this was Pidcock's thirteenth race day this winter while Eli Yserbyt has now raced 34 events (Lars Van der Haar should be close to Yserbyt's figures).

But I'm glad to see Lars van der Haar back at his former level, after so many injuries and tragedies in the past years. His position on the bicycle is still as stylish as it used to be and always with the nose on the handlebar and the start.  :D

As I mentioned, the race conditions are quite typical of the southern US winter conditions. I did live further south (in Houston area) but winter post hurricane season typically brought drier more stable weather interrupted by some very unfamiliar 8for Europeans) cold fronts sweeping down across the continent bringing hailstorms, thunder, lightning and further north in the plains, not in Houston, the twist of tornadoes. These fronts typically doesn't stay for a week and strong sunshine through less leafy trees quickly dried out the mud, making the ground hard. I am not sure exactly what kind of substrate they had in Fayettewille as I had expected that dry ground to have more "frozen", hard, deep tracks that are a longitudinal obstacle to the racers, but perhaps those were just ironed out before the start.

The fast conditions could have been backed up by an obstave or two more, but the ones that were there certainly made the difference as many of the top racers struggled with the sharp, 90 degree turn into inverted V shape hill followed immediately by another 90 degree. *nl Fem van Empel lost the race there and *be Iserbyt also came off his bike there, unintentionally, but maybe not as decisive in the race as it was for van Empel. A couple of planks across the path would usually make less difference at these speeds?  A better alternative might have been a sand bunker, which would only take a half day to build with an excavator and really break up the course into fast and slow section requiring more muscle work which might have favored Iserbyt a bit more. He was always struggling in the fast sections, and couldn't hang on to his teammates' wheel good enough to make the team work function.

However, little doubt that Pidcock was the best racer out there yesterday.

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