• Genius James
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Cyclo-cross - Superprestige Zonhoven 2016 HD
« on: October 17, 2016, 16:20 »
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  • The fens are just West West Flanders really...

    Slow Rider

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    Thanks for posting this, I was just looking for this race.

    Great ride by the two again, such a close finish. If I've counted correctly, currently in big crosses they both competed in it's now 3-1 for Mathieu. Do correct me if I'm wrong though. For the sake of convenience I'll count any race they both started in - so also counting Berencross where Wout was ill. I'll try to keep score for the rest of the season.

    What makes the battles between the two even more interesting is their differing strengths: Van der Poel is the best technical rider, evident here in the sand. Van Aert compensates with pure power and is the better runner.

    And most importantly, Lars van der Haar seems to continue to improve as well :win Next week is Valkenburg, which is Lars' very own race with 3 wins in a row so far. Hopefully he'll be in the mix there.
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  • Echoes

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    This is how deep Mathieu has been in this cross (and make no mistake, he's not the kind of guy to play comedy).  :o

    10' after the finish Mathieu was still struggling to find his breath.

    The headline of the article of Het Nieuwsblad is very catchy, I think:

    Van der Poel vs Van Aert, still 20 duels to go

    61' of a duel on a knife-edge, with a particularly fast final lap and Van der Poel had just a tiny little more explosiveness in the sprint. Both are on par with each other and in a league above the rest. The two-man rivalry, we are to see it for another 20 times.

    From the first corner to finish they put the whole field and themselves to pieces.

    We were both on our limits. Mainly because of the heat. Mid-race I would have given gold to get some drink.

    Van Aert didn't have that problem, says the journalist. He refused his bottle of water out of frustration. The author seems to compare the duel with the ones between Albert & Nys in them days.

    In the coming weeks it would be both exciting and predictable at the same time. We know that both will separate themselves from the rest but who wins? It will depend on circumstances and details.

    Van der Poel is more explosive and more suited to interval crosses while Van Aert is a better runner and tempo rider. When the heavy mud crosses come it will be in his favour.


    Wout will always be the better runner. In the past months, I haven't been able to complete that many run training. After my knee surgery I mostly focused on the bike training. And it's not ideal to start run training now in the heat of the season. I'll mostly focus on the aspect that I handle very well.

    One of these aspects is interval: starting fast, taking oil back mid-way and finishing strong.


    Mathieu forced me to make this an interval cross. From lap 1 he put me constantly under pressure with accelerations. Once I could get back it was constantly making the other feel pain. Attacking, breaking, attacking again. His speciality. Maybe I should try in the coming weeks to ride two laps back to back full gas and then he might drop.

    Props to Laurens Sweeck who could start a chase mid-way and caught the duo back because they stood still before the final lap (he even tried to attack right away, I'm adding).

    But Mathieu said that even when Laurens came back they were never in panic because they were keeping strength for the final lap.

    In the women's race, Sanne Cant made a very nice solo from lap 1 to finish. After a solo win in Gieten and a 2nd place in Ronse, the American disaster is forgotten for her. She's now the leader of the Superprestige with a 6pts advantage over Nikki Harris (I thought she started focusing on the road this year?). Third was Jolien Verschueren who had won in Kruibeke in Cant's absence. Jolien makes much less mistakes than before. In summer she's worked hard on her technique along with Fidea coach Sven Vanthourenhout. 
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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)


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    I'd also like to share the article of the Belang van Limburg with you. Zonhoven is in Limburg so it's more complete.

    On the first scan it's the same article as in the Nieuwsblad, plus one article about Quinten Hermans winning the U23 race (Quinten is also a Limburger  ;)) along with other results of Limburgers in youth categories: Pieter-Jan Vliegen 4th with the juniors and Ryan Cortjens and Michael Bervoets 4th and 5th in the novice categories.

    But then there was an article about the spectators. They noticed a huge amounts of flags and banners of fan-clubs for many riders but neither for Wout Van Aert nor for Mathieu Van der Poel, there were some for Tom Meeusen, Kevin Pauwels, Laurens Sweeck or Lars Van der Haar. The author concluded that it was the Belgian thought: "Let's just cheer for the underdogs".

    First pic is René Francken and his grandson Joeri. They had been standing on the den "De Kuil" [which is a cleaned former waste dump ;)] since 9.00am. They "claimed" a piece of land with flags. René is rooting for Pauwels and Joeri for Meeusen, a situation that led to a lot of laughters.

    Being crazy doesn't kill, does it? It's already been a few years since I've been a Pauwels fan: simplicity on the bike. His victories in Namur and Francorchamps were wonderful. And do you know the great thing about this? Going to the podium with those flags and know that you have the winner in your hands.
    says René with a colourful Pauwels hat on the head.

    Joeri is amusingly listening to his grampa his words.

    Meeusen's win in Loenhout last year was great. Back then he almost took my heart.

    Kid, back then they've all let Meeusen go

    And that's how the end up in everlasting discussion.

    Joeri's father claims that it got so serious that Joeri sometimes has nightmeres that something can occur to Tom.

    On picture 2 you have the Everaert family of Eecklo (in East-Flanders) who have a Lars Van der Haar flag but the son Warre has a Laurens Sweeck cap. Actually he's a supporter of both Lars and Laurens. He loves riding himself and once asked Van der Haar if after his career could borrow his bike but Lars did not get in on this request (laughs).

    His sister Kato is full of admiration for Van der Haar:
    He's friendly, fun, young, handsome, ... and really good. The European championship was his greatest performance.

    Father Malik confirms:
    Lars is a nippy rider. The way he starts of is always fantastic. The funniest of it all is that we missed the Euro championship because we thought it was something else. Silly, isn't it?

    Having seen Lars several times in real life I can just confirm that he's a really good man besides being a great cyclist. He's always smiling, if you read his twitter, he's always joking, most of all about himself and his small height. A rider of our heart. And his interviews are always a treat, he doesn't beat around the bush. I remember a small report about him before Meulebeke that was, I think. He was training and passed by a former WWII line, lol it made me laugh that he also seemed cultured. The Sporza commentators also seem to like him. Mick Wuyts constantly and affectionately referred to "Little Lars" during the last Worlds.

    I'm glad to see that Belgians have adopted him. Of course for some posters antagonisms between Belgium and Netherlands remain. I remember how Lars was thrown beer at at the last Worlds. I was ashamed of my country when I saw that but I have the weakness to believe they are just a small minority. Lars' goodness transcends borders, I think or hope.  :)

    Picture 3 is far from the den. Erik Joors & Johnny Luyten with a band of Laurens Sweeck fans, with a great banner. Erik Joors became a Sweeck fan after Nys retired, so this season. He claims that Nys and Sweeck are the same kind of people, sympathetic, classy and who have always had to do everything by themselves. Johnny has been following Sweeck's performances since the junior category [me too, but not as closely probably  ;)]. He says he needs time to adapt but then can come back on top in his own way [hard to translate that final bit]

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  • Slow Rider

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    I agree.

    Lars :win :win :win :win :win :win :woohoo :woohoo :woohoo

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