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Echoes

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Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2016, 20:10 »
I know you what you think of that, SR. In my opinion it's show-offish, attention-seeking and most of all pointless. Everybody can do a wheelie, so why should you do that? I like the self control of old-time champions. But perhaps that is because I am an introvert and it's rather a good era to be an extrovert and an exhibitionist.  :angel

If you want to have fun, you may just as well crack jokes, laugh with friends, etc but don't show off. I still like Mathieu because in interview he sounds really different than when he crosses the line as winner. He seems low-profile and polite. The difference in attitude is pretty striking. I don't know why he's like that. I mean when he made the last turn I thought: "Mathieu, no wheelie, please, no wheelie" and damn he did it again. Yikes! If it's only once in a while, it's okay but when it gets too frequent, you start wondering what going on here.  :S 
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    jimmythecuckoo

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #31 on: December 02, 2016, 14:55 »
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #32 on: January 10, 2017, 22:15 »
    The Belgian nat routes which I told you about on the first page really looked spectacular. The artificial bridge was a real climb in itself and racing on a beach, wow. They had a hard time dealing with the wind over there. One part you could handle on the bike and another part you had to run on. And then the hippodrome, like on the good old ash tracks. Wonderful.


    So on the Dutch-speaking version of the Metro, Van Aert is front page and the last page deals with the Nationals all out, but for one small article about football. Know that the paper has only two pages dedicated to sport but the other one mainly deals with winter sports and ice-skater Bart Swings. Also a few lines about international football there but that's it.  :D






    So one article about Van Aert turning the race into a one man show. Sanne Cant winning her 8th title but she had a hard time beating the 20 year old (I think she's actually 19) Laura Verdonschot. Only in the final lap she bowed her head. "Laura was very strong. This is a great performance of her" said Sanne.

    Mathieu Van der Poel plays with his opponents in the Netherlands. He doesn't seem to have any problem with his neck injury after the terrible crash at Loenhout.

    And Thibau Nys in his father's footsteps. At age barely 14 he wins the title in the novice category, something that his father never even did. His main rival Dante Coremans crashed on the hurdles in the final lap and that's how he missed the podium. Thibau is of course thankful to his dad who taught him everything.


    As a Walloon I was very sad to see the difference of treatment between the French speaking version of the Metro and the Dutch-speaking one. Only one small 9 line paragraph on the last page !!! All the rest is football on two pages. The cultural gap is striking. Fortuantely we still have many things in common on other aspects of society and culture but it's sad how Francophones seem to lose interest in cyclocross at the moment there are two wonderful races organised on our soil (Namur & Francorchamps). I was in Namur and it was great. There were a lot of spectators, including many speakers of French, even some French. By the way, photographs are soon to come.  ;)


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  • Slow Rider

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #33 on: January 22, 2017, 19:28 »
    Lars and Marianne, what a day :win
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #34 on: January 24, 2017, 21:50 »
    It's great to see Lars back (no pun intended  :P). Top athletes always come back from injury earlier than expected and he came back at the right time. A lot of top guns were absent or out of form but that does not take anything away from Lars.  :cool


    Also good to see Tom coming second. Throughout the years I've always had the feeling that Tom and Lars were good friends but it might just be an impression.

    Last Saturday, Tom expressed bitter feelings towards his team in Het Laatste Nieuws. I think the interview is very interesting and so I took the trouble to translate. He's had very hard time. He needs help, I think. He deserves to have this interview be spread.  ;)

    Dutch speakers may want to read the Michel Wuyts column next to it but I don't have time to translate right now. Or well maybe later then.  ;)




    I’m riding anonymously around. I won in Sint-Niklaas but I cannot say that I’m happy with that. The day after it already went: “Yeah, you won but ‘they’ weren’t there”. If I win another major cross, I want Van Aert and Van der Poel to be there.

    I’ve always liked to be profiled. I raced against Nys, Stybar, Boom and Albert and was never afraid to start the battle. On the other hand: I don’t need attention. I like best being wind-sheltered for a while and attack at the right moment. Only it does not prevail this year.

    Kevin Pauwels also hasn’t won a major cross. It’s not easy but we keep fighting. I don’t have the impression that everybody’s discouraged. The peloton is rather young, you know. They still dream. If they were all riders of my age it would probably have been worse.

    If you still want to compare you have to bear in mind that you are racing against physically exceptional riders. A technical cross like Fiuggi I find it pleasant. That was bike handling and I think most riders had a lot of fun. Much more than in crosses in which you have to suffer for a full hour. Such a crash is still sometimes nice. At least if it’s not too hard.
    Nowadays in cyclocross it’s about strengths, capacities and wattage. That’s good for Van der Poel and Van Aert, they take me on my weakness. Cross should care to keep diversifying with their routes in order to keep it entertaining. If at the Tour of France they only just organise climbing ITT you’ll also have the same winner all the time. [It’s a bit what has happened in recent years]

    The only one to win major crosses this season beside Wout & Mathieu is Aerts and he’s in my team [now there’s Van der Haar, also in his team].

    I mainly analyse how Wout & Mathieu are racing against each other. They don’t care about us but I don’t believe that they giving any presents to each other. I think that Mathieu would much rather Kevin or I got World Champion than Wout. The will to win is unbelievable for these guys. Even a cross like Maldegem or Otegem, they don’t give it for free. Those two are always flying off right from the start. Even on a route that doesn’t suit them. Those guys are so focused, they are living every day for it. It’s simply got even more professional.

    At the moment I even enjoy training more than racing but I’ve mentally dealt with a number of tough years (Meeusen was long linked with a doping file that eventually seemed not to be one, ed). I notice that there are moments in cross when I couldn’t care less. Before, I could go through a thicker wall.

    [The journalist says that riders who all of a sudden no longer can win are more easily tempted by doping as some suggest]

    Me grabbing dope? I know how hard I fought to show that I don’t need that. At a certain moment it was still the only reason why I still cycled. If I had to take something in order to keep crossing, I stop right away. Then I go working in the construction business or in the port.

    The journo: Malicious gossips may say that you no longer perform because you no longer take dope.

    Sometimes I got this comment. I’m very sensitive to it. They may say 100% that I’m doing well but if one of them says that I can no longer manage it because I no longer have my pills, then I only hear this one.
    How do you defend yourself against that?

    I don’t. I just go 5cm deeper in the mud.

    I like racing aggressively best. In order to win. With the risk that I blow up that way. But I’d rather be 11th after trying than play safety and be 5th. People have always appreciated that racing style.

    The cross in Hamme was a turning point. I had a good day and went along with Mathieu but at a given moment I crashed and got a hit. Eventually I was 13th. I enjoyed the kick because I was the last one to stay with Mathieu – that deserves respect but the current cyclocross is so performance oriented that a bad result is not easily forgiven. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get results but cyclocross is a TV-sport and I think that 45 minutes in the picture is equally as important as a 4th place.

    Since Hans Van Kasteren has been replaced by Sven Nys, the team has taken a totally different direction. Sven Nys and Energy Lab are part of Golazo and want to make the “cyclocross Team Sky” out of us. Everything must be built up with testing. But they shouldn’t put me on a machine. Physically I’m not the strongest but send 100 riders to a corner and I’m the fastest. I can do a lot with my technique. This is something you cannot measure with testing.

    The journalist analyses his comment saying that Telenet-Fidea have a really scientific approach while Tom is racing with guts. Tom nods.

    They had me do another test on the very day that other teammates got a contract extension. That was twice too much, yeah. Of course it hit me. It’s already been years since I’m winning a few ranking crosses. I have a certain value but I don’t notice that in the team.

    I’ve been in the team for years with Wellens. Now I’m with Nys. I look more like Wellens, with regards to character. He would not have me do another test. He would have let me train in the wood and turn in the sand. He would have played on what I find pleasant. I personally think I can thereby go further. I still do have good contact with Sven Vanthourenhout. He trains me and is the reason I still like being in the team but with the choices that the team management have made they showed that they are not 100% behind me and so I don’t need to be 100% behind the team either. I’ve raced for 10 years with this team and took for granted that I’ll keep racing for it but this year my contract ends and I don’t know what the plans are. The teammates are saying that they are going to talk after the Worlds but I haven’t heard anything.

    The journalists asks whether he is not too expensive.

    Too expensive? I’ve always accounted for a certain amount of TV-pictures and that way I’ve reached a certain status. I forced that myself. Through this aggressive racing.

    Question: You seem to cost 300,000€/year, it’s been said

    (laughing) If it only were true. I hope that they come and bring it.

    Question: Rumour has it that you are racing next year as an independent crosser.

    I’ve thought about it. I think it can be fun to go on the manager side myself and contact sponsors and such by myself. I think I can manage it on my own but I haven’t talked with anybody yet.

    Journalist asks whether Tom was a better rider three years ago and Tom doesn’t seem to think so. So whether Mathieu and Wout are better than Nys in his best years, aren’t they? [Actually I don’t think Tom did race against Nys in his prime but let’s admit he did]

    I do think that they are currently racing harder. Or better: They are racing hard for much longer. Nys also raced the fastest lap time but now they are racing for six or seven laps around that peak while only two or three before.

    Journo asks whether Tom will again race for second in Hoogerheide.

    Never! I’m racing for the win.

    Journalist : Meeusen, you are a real man !

    Or a naïve one. That also can be!
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #35 on: January 25, 2017, 06:59 »
    If you still want to compare you have to bear in mind that you are racing against physically exceptional riders. A technical cross like Fiuggi I find it pleasant. That was bike handling and I think most riders had a lot of fun. Much more than in crosses in which you have to suffer for a full hour. Such a crash is still sometimes nice. At least if it’s not too hard.
    Nowadays in cyclocross it’s about strengths, capacities and wattage. That’s good for Van der Poel and Van Aert, they take me on my weakness. Cross should care to keep diversifying with their routes in order to keep it entertaining. If at the Tour of France they only just organise climbing ITT you’ll also have the same winner all the time. [It’s a bit what has happened in recent years]
    Fully on his side. There should be variety, not the same-same every weekend.

    Since Hans Van Kasteren has been replaced by Sven Nys, the team has taken a totally different direction. Sven Nys and Energy Lab are part of Golazo and want to make the “cyclocross Team Sky” out of us. Everything must be built up with testing. But they shouldn’t put me on a machine. Physically I’m not the strongest but send 100 riders to a corner and I’m the fastest. I can do a lot with my technique. This is something you cannot measure with testing.
    Hmph. :(
    Team Sky do have success - but it's one-dimensional success. Cycling isn't one-dimensional, and should never become such.
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    Servais Knavendish

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #36 on: January 25, 2017, 13:49 »
    Lars and Marianne, what a day :win

    My first continental Cyclo Cross - yes great day - quite fresh, but great atmopshere and nothing a little Glühwein didnt put right!

    Shame both races were strong solo's but delighted with both winners.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #37 on: January 28, 2017, 15:18 »
    Spoiler allowed for the Women's Race at Bieles?

    Anyway great moment and great race. History made.  :cool

    Spoiler (hover to show)

    Spoiler (hover to show)


    By the way I didn't about the American Kaitlinn Antonneau. Just discovered her. I was wondering about where her French last name came. She was born in Racine, Wisconsin. There is a Belgian colony in Wisconsin but not really in Racine, rather a Danish settlement there.

    Nice to see the French Canadian Maghalie Rochette of St-Jérôme, Quebec, too.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #38 on: January 30, 2017, 18:10 »
    Cyclocross fans are still alive?

    Or was the outcome of the race too anticlimatic for a reaction?

    Personally I think it was a great race. Mathieu was the best rider in the field, no question about it, on an interval route that was taylor-made for him. But Wout, well advised by Albert chose the best tubes, the old green Michelin very resistant to punctures and with very high pressure too. The choice was prevalent. Poor Mathieu! :( We love you, kid! I sincerely felt for him[1] but Wout's win was no fatality. We may regret that the equipment was the decider and not the legs, that's for sure but there was no bad luck involved. Just a wise mechanical choice.


    Great thing is that now Mathieu will want to stay in cross to seek revenge! This rivalry should go on, whatever the road-only fans wish. And next year, I'll definitely root for Mathieu for the Worlds. Equal share of the cake between these two prodigies, is the way to go. Hats off to those two kids! They really put cyclocross to another level  :cool


    Clippings to come.  ;)
     1. and do regret what I said above :fp
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  • Slow Rider

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #39 on: January 31, 2017, 18:37 »
    It was a bit anticlimatic I thought.

    Well done to Wout and his team of course, they were best prepared, and it paid off.

    It's just too bad that what could have been a brilliant battle was ruined by the many punctures. Despite the two of Mathieu and Wout taking cross to another level, it has been a while since we had a true race between the both of them in optimal form. The Worlds would have been perfect for that, but well.

    The good news was that Lars rode a fine race in the background. He has recovered surprisingly well from his injuries, and I look forward to seeing how he'll do next year after a summer without enforced road races as he had with Giant.
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  • Armchair Cyclist

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #40 on: January 31, 2017, 19:46 »
    It looked for a while as if we might get a superb confrontation, but the rising rubble put paid to that.  My brother-in-law is a soil scientist: I'll have to ask him is that would have been predictable in melting frost.  By the last lap, it looked as though they were riding through shattered glass judging by the number of damaged bikes at the line.

    If it can be said that Wout rode his luck, it should also be said that he rode it superbly.  Am I right that he only made 2 pit stops? (That's all I saw)
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  • t-72

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #41 on: January 31, 2017, 20:50 »
    Concerning the punctures, I doubt it has much to do with the frost. The land looked a bit like recycled industrial site? Another think I noticed was quite a few riders sideslipping in the mud at the base of the sideslipping drop. A few rocks mixed in there and ....that's were Poels punctured.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #42 on: February 01, 2017, 21:43 »
    Van Aert World Champion After a 120-Puncture Race

    says Last Monday's "Laatste Nieuws" (on the front page)



    "I Didn't Want to Win That Way"

    Under the picture of Mathieu wiping his tears, they quote his tweet (poorly translated in my opinion):

    If only disappointments could be washed away as easy as mud! Mathieu Van der Poel (@mathieuvdpoel) https://twitter.com/mathieuvdpoel/status/825777869783642112

    (It seems like when you the most upset that you can find some of the most stylish prose. You can see how Mathieu is also very learned, he was a got pupil at school, I think  :))




    Marc Ghyselinck of Het Laatste Nieuws talks about a title won with tenacity and luck, being first to deplore that a great Worlds was decided by a fatal last puncture and he added to that that Van Aert is a killer and Van der Poel not yet (it's of course just his opinion, well I clearly don't share it).

    Then the three pictures of Mathieu in tears after the race, on the podium and at the press conf.

    So first the journo reminds us about the Twitter War prior to the race [when Pauwels and Van der Poel tweeted their doping form publicly and Van Aert refused to. As he felt accused he said: "Ask Pauwels why he published that form. He knows how to explain it". In the meantime he apologised to Pauwels].

    The route on an old industrial park in Bieles, Luxembourg was announced as one of the most beautiful World route ever but with the thaw, rest of irons landed on the slippery soil. And so it became a hell on which riders broke their tubes. 120 punctures in total, including Van der Poel.

    The journo argues that Mathieu last year after his crash in Zolder that he never would give up after a mishap and that he would fight till the end but this year he still discouraged.

    Van Aert punctured only once. Did it come from the miracle tubes that Albert had had dried in his cellar for years, so dry and tough that now Luxembourgish stones could pierce it? Van Aert did not wish to make a big deal out of it because if you don't have the legs to turn those wheels you don't get World Champion.

    Wout was supposed to share his bonus (granted by the fed) with his teammate but only Merlier would get something. He cannot think of anybody having done something for him but him. :fp

    So the sphere inside the Belgian team is again below 0°C. The day before Sanne Cant celebrated her victory with the Dutch team and now Van Aert immediately got back home. :fp

    [most interesting article]

    Were the tyres legal?

    The UCI ruling states:

    Quote
    Bikes and equipment should be available everywhere on the market and fit all riders

    The tyres with which Van Aert raced were craftwork whereby a Michelin Mud-profile is stuck to a dugast-shell. The thing was prepared by Richard Nieuwenhuys, the Dugast-tyre man.
    Quote
    Niels Albert came to me and asked if I could do it for him. I would also have done it for everybody else

    Only this Michelin Mud is no longer for sale.

    So yesterday after the Worlds, the question was raised whether these tyres were legal.

    Peter Van den Abeele, the UCI coordinator for cyclocross argued:

    Quote
    We had that discussion at the highest level, with President Bryan Cookson, somebody from the judicial department, someone from the material commission and myself. We came to the conclusion that there was no violation of the ruling. The staff around Niels Albert had informed us about the tyres that they were to use

    [Interestingly enough Van den Abeele does not say why they were legal. At least it's not mentioned in the article. It seems to me that if the tubes are no longer available on the market, Mathieu Van der Poel is World Champion.  :S]




    The main picture is one of the most beautiful moments in the race. In the S. Wout was below, took the corner on the inside, passed Mathieu but Mathieu took the lead back after the corner.

    Review of the main victims of the route:

    Gianni Vermeersch: 8 times. In the last lap, he also broke his derailleur;

    Stan Godrie: 7 times and tubes left for another bike change.

    Michael Vanthourenhout: 6 times and unconsolable at the finish

    Tim Merlier: 6 times (and Wout just once; my question: did he have the Michelin Mud?)

    Lars Van der Haar: 6 times
    Quote
    How come? Joris Nieuwenhuis rode the same tubes with the U23 and he did not even puncture. It also has to do with with freshness. If you are good, then your luck goes up at the right moment and you see the stones better. Kudos to Van Aert, he deserved the win
    I also heard Van der Haar saying that he did not get it. In the final lap he asked for a bike with more pressure but he still managed to puncture. All with  big smile on his face, as usual with Lars.  :)

    Lars Boom: 5 times and no tube lerft to change, so he had to retire.

    Michael Boros: 5 times

    Laurens Sweeck: 5 times: He does not believe that Wout saw the stones better, they were under the puddles.

    Mathieu Van der Poel: 4 times

    Philipp Walsleben: 3 times: "3 flat tyres  and a pair of flat legs"  :lol

    Corné Van Kessel: 3 times

    Kevin Pauwels : 3 times

    Sacha Weber : twice

    Simon Zahner: 0 times
    Quote
    I put more pressure in my tyres. Does that make any difference?

    Tom Meeusen had a frame break after 300m, was extremely disappointed. So of course he did not have time to puncture.


    Going to translate the rest afterwards + a few more articles about the Women's race in particular. Tired right now.


    I'm just glad to read that despite the disappointment and the tears, Mathieu went to the Press Conference, to the Sporza TV set and most of all still posed for photo's with fans, mainly children.

    Quote
    It's our job. The people come here to see us. We only go once to Luxembourg. If I can make children happy that way, it's worth doing it

    Mathieu is a class act!

    Not surprising that he's so popular in Belgium (which I could testify myself in Namur).

    From his Twitter today:

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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #43 on: February 04, 2017, 15:21 »
    Dutch Revenge for the whole week it seems.

    What great races in Lille. First the sprint in the women's race in which Sanne Cant was surprised by Maud Kaptheins looking at wrong side, Laura Verdonschot was in the lead but her good friend Maud nailed it.

    And then in the men's race, for the first time you had suspense between more than two guys. Van der Poal, Van Aert, Meeusen, Van der Haar and Pauwels could all win but eventually Mathieu got his revenge like he had already had in Maldegem last Wednesday. I particularly enjoyed Lars' attacks to put teammate Meeusen in a very comfortable position. And then the battle in the technical zone, Van Aert's slipping and correcting in a very acrobatic way, almost both he and Mathieu to the ground.

    Lille always has this kind of suspense because it's not such a hard cross and late in the season everybody's worn out but Lars of course.

    Looking forward to tomorrow. I'm still preparingthe other articles about the Worlds, it's really interesting.  ;)
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #44 on: February 05, 2017, 11:44 »
    Mathieu Van der Poel deserved better. An hour after the cross, Mathieu Van der Poel left the press conference and passed by Niels Albert whom he had called #janker on Twitter [“#whiner”, that is], how ironic. Van der Poel gave him the hand, congratulated and resumed crying.
    Quote
    The biggest disappointment in my life. Since I started my career, I’ve never been so upset. I felt I was stronger when I was in Wout’s wheels. After the first two punctures I still had a gap ahead of Wout. That says something. After the third time he came back but I still believed I would win.
    About the fourth puncture:
    Quote
    It was still very far from the pit. I knew it was done. Not only did Wout have an immediate 20” lead. I also wasted an awful lot of strength because of the fact I had to ride on a flat tire.

    Mathieu had doubts about his rival making a better tire choice:
    Quote
    In Namur there are also hundreds of stones in half the route. I rode there with the same tyres and I did not puncture. This is simply a lot of bad luck. That’s why it’s so painful.

    Then the paragraph about Mathieu still posing for photographs with kids, which really touched me. :)

    Van Aert was not unfortunate with his second rainbow jersey in a row, that would be over the top but it’s the way he did it:

    Quote
    I had never let Mathieu Van der Poel behind me had he not punctured. This I do deplore.

    About whether he won with his legs or his tyres:

    Quote
    Both. If you have good tyres but bad legs you don’t win. Punctures are always a matter of bad luck. I had a slight advantage with my tyres but you can never predict it. Bad luck for Mathieu, thus.

    Two years ago Wout rode for the first time with these tubes at the Worlds in Tabor [when Mathieu was World Champion, thus]. They felt good on a frozen soil with a mud layer on it.
    Quote
    We saw the weather forecast and thought that it was possible to use them again because the ground looked like Tabor’s. You have more traction with it. During the reco I compared it with normal mud tyres. They felt soft and I feared that I could easily puncture. Then I chose for the green ones. Even though they were harder to ride.

    Niels suggested to stick those tyres on wheels so that I could try them on the route. I have to thank him for that. Not just for that. He’s always next to me in my trainings. He’s helped me mentally when last week I had to keep away from the bike. I have to thank him for each of my wins.

    I have to be honest I only could keep Mathieu behind me after his puncture. It’s not the way I wanted to be World Champion but on the other hand it’s impossible not to be happy with this jersey.


    Wout had no more problem with his knee. He knew that but he feared that he had come to the Worlds without top form but he has to say he was good.
    He also said that last year was in Belgium and there was a huge atmosphere but in Luxembourg there was also a lot of atmosphere.

    After his poor start he started to fear and when Mathieu had a 16” lead after the first lap he no longer believed in victory. He needed the first lap to get rhythm and then self-confidence came back. It mattered a lot to him that he should fight till the very last meters. He had no idea about his form level, so give full gas for an hour and see the outcome.

    About the Twitter war with Mathieu and Kevin he argues that it was good for him that that happened. Maybe it made him stronger. Now he doesn’t find it important to talk about last week’s “commotion.” (The journalist argues that Mathieu & Kevin have sparked that Twitter war but the truth is that Kevin has never attacked Wout, the reverse cannot be said. Though I haven’t followed that joust very closely, not that it matters, to be honest. Anyway, Wout said “Sorry Kevin”, it was the headline of Het Laatste Nieuws on Tuesday, so the case is closed)

    Then a little nuance about the bonus offered by the Belgian federation. He will share it with all the teammates because it cannot be any different but normally a World Champion gives something extra and that will only be with Tim Merlier who did his best for him because he got this title without help from other Belgians. 

    Niels Albert [quite arrogantly :fp]:
    Quote
    I told Wout: “I think, you do”

    Albert fetched 10 year old tyres from his cellar.

    While his opponents punctured like flies Van Aert only had to change bike once after a tyre break. He rode on modern tubes on which an old Michelin mud-typed profile was stuck.
    Quote
    A tyre that used to be very coveted but which is now no longer used
    says national coach Rudy De Bie.

    The main asset is that the rubber of the profile is harder than today’s rubbers. That way stones can less quickly make holes. The disadvantage is that you need to push harder in order to move forward as quickly but Van Aert has power. He can manage it.

    The tyres stayed for ten long years in Niels Albert’s cellar. The time was right to bring them back up.
    Quote
    I knew that the Worlds route was on an old stone quarry and that if it melted the stones would come in the way. These tyres were partly a bet but it’s my task to make key decisions


    Dutch colleagues informed Het Laatste Nieuws that Adrie Van der Poel […] also has such tyres at home but apparently he didn’t use them. But Adrie throws the issue to the dustbin
    Quote
    This is interesting doing. Van Aert raced with the same tyres as Mathieu. Only his were green and Mathieu’s were black.


    [Weird comment by such an experienced rider !!]

    Albert understands Mathieu Van der Poel’s frustration, says that he felt great and had a lot of bad luck but he refuses to acknowledge that Mathieu was the stronger rider.
    Quote
    The winner is always right. It’s the game

    The equipment choice is also a part of the sport. Albert admits that he didn’t know how decisive the tyres would have been but he did consciously wait for the right moment to use them.
    Quote
    On the stone route of Namur they could already have served but if you want something to have effect, you need to wait for a special day.

    It was also a psychological placebo. Van Aert probably rode 1kmh faster in the knowledge that he had a special weapon. Albert says that you win a race in the mind and those tyres probably gave Wout a boost. He’s proud of it and is gonna ask Wout if he could hang his bike with tyres in his own bike shop.

    Pauwels Takes Bronze: “Glad that the Worlds are Over

    Pauwels seemed relieved after his most hectic World Championship week and yet he got his 5th bronze medal which he had hoped for.

    These words were related to the Twitter war after he published his form of a negative dope test which made “a snowball roll” and got Van Aert to make brutal remarks. But at the press conference they seemed to sit brotherly next to each other and it was as though Pauwels got a thank from Van Aert but Kevin doubted that Van Aert had thought about it during the race (and that it gave him an extra boost!).
    Quote
    He won the title all by himself. He’s a superb rider, not an ordinary one.


    There wasn’t much more he could do, he said. Against Van der Poel and Van Aert he comes too short. [I remember that in the post interview he denied he might have won without the punctures. He said he would have come closer but that was it.]




    She’s Already Known for 20 Year that She Would be the Best Someday

    Sanne Cant is the first Belgian Woman Cyclocross World Champion.
    Quote
    I hope that it can inspire young girls to also go crossing. Ten years ago the Belgian women’s cross standard was very low but it’s changed a lot since then. The prize money has gone up, we no longer start at 9.30 am and the spectators are no longer laughing at us. Almost as many viewers are watching women’s cyclocross as men’s cyclocross.
    [I remember seeing how excited Laura Verdonschot was on the Sporza TV set when she saw Sanne winning, talking of inspiration for the youth !]

    The Cant family are cycling freak, always have been: three racing brothers & sister, two uncles who are also crossing along with their children.

    Her father Gino:
    Quote
    Sanne was still just a baby when we brought her to uncle Rudy’s races. She was still sitting in a carrier bag on the chest.

    He would rather have made football players out of his sons but the balls were in the garden only in order to cycle around. Six years later Sanne crossed herself in the Netherlands because in Belgium you only could start racing when you are aged 12. She won, even against boys, which gave her some filthy looks from dropped boys.

    Her older brother Kevin (aged 28) said he only started at age 8:
    Quote
    When Sanne was old enough she raced along right away. Nobody found it weird. There were other racing girls.

    In 2008 the whole family was shining in Belgian champion jersey. The uncle Rudy Sels won the race for seniors, his daughter Loes Sels in the elite category and the very young Sanne Cant was the best in the youth category [the two cousins are on the picture – after the event - of the first scan, lower left corner]. Four years later, Sanne Cant was again Belgian Champion while Kevin won the nats in the amateur elite category.

    Kevin argued that that was really hectic for their father who was their mechanic and after each cross he had to rush to the car to take the reserve bikes for the following rider who had to race. So after a Koppenberg Cross he had to climb the hill up and down three times with the bikes and other equipments all in spans of half an hour. Their mother was their soigneur who was always ready after races with dry clothes, something to drink and a hug. She still does it. She was first to stand by Sanne after the Worlds.

    Their whole lives were dedicated to cycling, further says Kevin. Racing at weekends, training and cleaining or fixing bikes during the week. In the whole house there was a place dedicated to racing – special places where they could roll, a garage full of bikes and wheels and there always hung clothes to dry up.

    Kevin Cant is still racing at local level, the so-called “De Moedige Veldrijder” Challenge [“The Brave Cyclocrosser”] but within one month he stops definitively. Their younger brother Jelle (aged 24) has given up his job at the ice-cream producer Ijsboerke in order to become a pro road rider.

    Kevin has no problem with Sanne being the star of the family. When he realised that he could not do what Sanne could (turning pro), he chose to eclipse in her favour. He was her training mate in Benicassim, Spain, two weeks ago and even if she is a woman she rode very hard uphill so that he could not climb whistling. He works as a mechanic for her team and for Mathieu Van der Poel [both are racing for the same team Beobank].

    Sanne :

    Quote
    I started racing at age 6. That is 20 years ago. I’ve dreamt that long to become World Champion. I needed fortitude to fulfill it. I think I’ve grown up with the cross. It’s always been my aim to value women cyclocross.

    That’s what she’s already said ten years ago when women’s cyclocross was in its infancy and she – as a kid – could follow the big German star Hanka Kupfernagel because she didn’t find it fair that she as a woman earn a lot less money than her colleague men. Cant is now the cyclocross star, she has already won the World Cup twice but at the Worlds she would always get around the first place: 3rd, 4th, 2nd and 3rd again.

    This year she’s again won more cross than anybody else: 16 altogether.

    She was also happy that Marianne Vos was present in the race because that way she could not be said to have won only because Marianne wasn’t there. She said she deserves an extra stripe on the jersey: the Marianne Vos stripe. In recent years she was frustrated by the fact she lost to roadies who were much fresher than she was because they had crossed less than she had. It was hard to accept, she says but now she’s proved that she could win despite being a full-time crosser. She’s accepted that fact and she can enjoy it.

    Also a comment I find beautiful. She’s never bought any rainbow jersey at shops because “you have to deserve such a jersey”!

    On Saturday evening Sanne only celebrated her success with the Dutch women. She had a lot of fun. At the hotel of the Belgian team, the celebration was short, with one glass. It’s tradition in the Belgian team, she says, not to celebrate.
    Quote
    If you are racing on Saturday, you also need to get back home on Saturday and that was not different now
    (then you understand it was not different with Van Aert)

    Philippe Roodhooft of Beobank said he took Sanne with the team and they had planned a party whether she had won or not. There was a dinner at the restaurant La Lorraine in Luxembourg City with 52 guests. Afterwards there was a party in Marianne Vos was along. For once Sanne said she drank Gin-Tonic.

    At the Parish Centre in Lille where the Wout Van Aert fan club is based about 350 supporters followed the Worlds on Sunday. One day after Sanne Cant there was a second Gold Medal for the same village. Now, Lille is set on the map, says one of the supporters. And they also had Erwin Vervecken and Paul Herijgers in the past!



    Pioneer Cant

    What is the value of this win?

    Marianne Vos’ presence put Cant’s win to a higher level. Vos is the best rider of this century. She’s been 12 times World Champion (7 times in the field, three times on the road and twice on the track). Cant outsprinted her after a thriller. In the final lap they both switched positions four times. After a final effort and a fantastic bike handling manoeuvre she could get the final straight line in the lead and hold her off.

    Katerina Hanušová[1] described it as such:
    Quote
    It’s exciting that Vos is fully back (after one and a half year injury, ed) but it’s even more exciting that somebody else won

    What does Cant mean for Women’s Cyclocross?

    Hanušová again:
    Quote
    I grew up in America where I was used to be treated the same as men: same facilities, same routes, same prize money. When I came to Europe, I suddenly did a lesser regarded sport. I had to park my car three k’s from the village. I was ignored and there was no money. Until Sanne Cant got bronze at the Worlds in Koksijde. Suddenly people realised that there was another reason to watch cross and another reason to drink a bear.

    Since then attention has gradually grown for women’s cyclocross.

    Nowhere else there’s cross on TV but in Belgium there were 30 crosses live this season. The women peloton saw it as a big win. Partly thanks to Cant, thus.

    Does this outcome change anything for women’s cyclocross?

    Internationally, a victory for Vos would have had more influence but within the milieu Cant’s victory was positively welcomed.

    Manager Philip Roodhooft says that she’s respected in the peloton and a good ambassador for the sport, that you can see effects in Flanders because in the days of Clijsters and Hénin women’s tennis was equally as valuable as men’s tennis and Cant can do the same for cyclocross.

    8 years ago Cant was the first women to get a pro contract in cyclocross and since then she’s the best paid female rider in Belgium, road included. She’s a pioneer in Flanders, anyway.

    How does Cant’s future look like?

    Christophe Roodhooft calls her the “Sven Nys of women’s cyclocross”. Technically there’s no match on her but like Nys she has her limits. She is not built to become a road rider. She says she will not switch to the road.
     1. I hate calling women by their husband’s names :fp
  • ReplyReply

  • DJW

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #45 on: February 05, 2017, 18:53 »
    Good battle between the two at Hoogstraaten today  :cool good to see Pauwels and Meussen competing as well, made for a lively race but VdP was super strong in the end
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #46 on: February 12, 2017, 15:27 »
    Lovely route in Hulst, Zealand, today. It's a new one. There used to be a cross in Heerlen on the other side of the Netherlands but that one is out now. Lars says he wishes that route could be a nat route.

    You have this passing through a windmill (as if to prove that we are in the Netherlands  :lol) followed by that dangerous descent to the lake. Liboton saying that Wout had better correcting otherwise he would have dived into it.  :D

    If only Mathieu could win without wheelying, yikes. :fp



    By the way, nice to see that Lars is now jumping over the hurdles. I remember he said it's something he wanted Nys to teach him. Had he already done that? I missed a few crosses in recent weeks. Until last year he would systematically dismount.
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  • « Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 07:41 by Echoes »

    DJW

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #47 on: February 18, 2017, 13:12 »


    Tried uploading this numerous times since the WC but have failed every time until now...

    Anyway, Pidcock looks a great racer and it was cool to seeing some British talent over the WC weekend.

    Looking forward to seeing how these guys develop in the coming years.
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  • Joelsim

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #48 on: February 18, 2017, 13:36 »


    Tried uploading this numerous times since the WC but have failed every time until now...

    Anyway, Pidcock looks a great racer and it was cool to seeing some British talent over the WC weekend.

    Looking forward to seeing how these guys develop in the coming years.

    There was an article about him somewhere earlier this week that I read. Can't remember where unfortunately.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #49 on: February 24, 2017, 11:12 »
    Jan Denuwelaere broke Tom Meeusen's record at the jump with 80cm. Meeusen's record was 75cm last year, a performance he equalled this year. Mathieu Van der Poel had to quit at 55cm and almost crashed but he stood right.

    Denuwelaere of course celebrated it with a wheelie. It's a real epidemic, my Goodness. :fp

    http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/wielrennen/veldrijden/1.2899570#
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  • Echoes

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    Re: 2016/2017 Season Preview
    « Reply #50 on: February 28, 2017, 08:39 »
    It wasn't over, ladies & gentlemen.  ;)


    http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20170226_02751705

    Diether Vanthourenhout won the very last cyclocross in Lebbeke on the very day of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne ahead of his brother Michael and Laurens Sweeck. It means he's won more than Kevin Pauwels this year.  :D

    1. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoleon Games) in 1u02:24
    2. Michael Vanthourenhout
    3. Laurens Sweeck op 0:20
    4. Jens Adams 0:27; 5. Gianni Vermeersch 0:30; 6. Tom Meeusen 0:58; 7. Daan Soete 1:14; 8. Rob Peeters 1:16; 9. Joeri Adams; 10. Thijs Aerts 1:35; 11. Braam Merlier 1:37; 12. Quinten Hermans 2:10; 13. Nicolas Cleppe 2:25; 14. Kenneth Van Compernolle 2:46; 15. Ingmar Uytdewilligen 3:08; 16. Bart Hofman 3:18; 17. Angelo De Clercq 3:34; 18. Seppe Rombouts 4:27; 19. Jelle Schuermans 5:11

    Now we can hibernate.  ;) :(
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