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Echoes

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Elfstedenronde
« on: June 12, 2017, 22:13 »
Legend of a race has been revived from its ashes. As a compensation for the loss of the “Tour of Flanders” start place Golazo Sports offers Bruges the revival of the 11-town tour (Elfstedenronde) after 28 years!

The 11-town tour started out in 1943 and has been held uninterruptedly until 1974 and then had a brief period between 1987 & 1989. The field never really was international but for Dutchmen and some Belgian-resident Brits like Michael Wright who came 2nd in 1969. Otherwise some of the best Belgian and Dutch riders of the period won it, including 4 World Champion road race: Marcel Kint (1951), Rik Van Steenbergen (1961 – in his later years), Rik Van Looy (1965) and as last winner of the glory period Freddy Maertens (1974). The picture below shows Freddy after winning the event (his team director Brik Schotte is on the right). Add to that list two track legends Peter Post (1963) and Patrick Sercu (1973), two Paris-Roubaix winners: Leon Van Daele (1964) and Roger Rosiers (1968) and you can definitely make up a great semi-classic. The first revival of the race shows interesting names and a more international field but it did not work out: Jos Lammertink in 1987 (I’m still wondering whether he’s related to Maurits?), Roger Ilegems in 1988 (point race Olympic champion in 1984, his cousin Ken married Lotte Kopecky) and Rudy Patry in 1989 (Rudy Verdonck was 3rd as a neopro, a Lotto rider who could have had a better career if not stolen by drug cheaters).



As you already know Golazo Sports is already the organiser of the Lowlands Tour, of the Tour of Belgium, many cyclocross events including all of the DVV Trophy events, the two Walloon events (Namur & Francorchamps) but is also present outside of cycling with the Van Damme Memorial (track & field) and some triathlon and gymnastic events among others. Plus of course they’ve organised farewell events for Sven Nys and Fabian Cancellara and is owner of the museum that Sven Nys created in Baal…

This year’s route will start and finish in Bruges, just like in the good old days. On Main Square under the Halletoren.

 The 11 towns in question seem to be: Bruges, Oostkamp, Wingene, Tielt, Roeselaere (Jean-Pierre Monseré’s town :)), Diksmuide, Nieuwpoort, Bredene, De Haan, Zuienkerke and Damme. All in the province of West-Flanders which was as a whole ignored by the last Tour of Flanders, which in itself is a scandal. However the mayor of Bruges says he “does not think about the loss of the start of the Tour of Flanders anymore”.

The main obstacles of the races will be cobbles, 9 sections of them (see map below) along with narrow Flemish roads and parts where the wind can play a role. The place in the calendar is ideal says Christophe Impens, a week before the Nats which are on a similar route.



The race is aired live on television. I don’t know whether it will be on Sporza. The article I found from Het Laatste Nieuws dates from January and back then there were negotiations with Sporza.

http://www.hln.be/regio/nieuws-uit-brugge/elfstedenronde-langs-smalle-wegen-a3068035/

Other nice thing about the race is the new appearance of a “Team Belgium” again with Oliver Naesen and Jens Keukeleire as leaders along with Edward Theuns, Gijs Van Hoecke and the U23 riders: Franklin Six and Gerben Thijssen (the talented trackie I told you about last year when he was a junior ;)). Quick Step has a team. Lotto-Soudal will be led by Tiesj Benoot.

But but but there will also be a new chapter in the tremedous Mathieu Van der Poel – Wout Van Aert rivalry. Both will be present.

I’m really excited about that race. Especially because I so often came across it in the palmares of some of the best Belgian oldtimers. We can say what we want about Golazo Sports but they have nice ideas sometimes !! 
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  • « Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 19:26 by Echoes »
    "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)

    LukasCPH

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    Re: The 11-Town Tour (Elfstedenronde)
    « Reply #1 on: June 12, 2017, 22:19 »
    Nice! But they should find another name for it.
    There's only one real Elfsteden-race, and it's held in Fryslân! :P
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  • 2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
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    RIP Keith

    Echoes

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    Re: The 11-Town Tour (Elfstedenronde)
    « Reply #2 on: June 13, 2017, 20:50 »
    The Frisian race is called Elfstedentocht in Dutch, not Elfstedenronde.

    What has always puzzled me is that the French or Francophones have always translated it as "Circuit des onze villes". See on Mémoire du cyclisme: http://www.memoire-du-cyclisme.eu/disparues/anc_11villes.php

    "Circuit des onze villes" would have been "Elfstedenomloop" in Dutch, while "Elfstedenronde" obviously translates as "Tour des onze villes". Not that it matters a lot of course. After all it's also a "circuit" and "Circuit des onze villes" sounds good in French, in my opinion. The funny thing being that the present-day journalists or bloggers or whatever are now calling it "Tour des onze villes". As on this article: http://www.7sur7.be/7s7/fr/1512/Cyclisme/article/detail/3067547/2017/01/30/Le-Tour-des-onze-villes-revient-a-Bruges.dhtml
    https://www.rtbf.be/sport/cyclisme/detail_le-tour-des-onze-villes-revient-a-bruges?id=9516848

    It shows they can speak Dutch but that they don't really know the history behind this race.

    Oh now I see that it might be a confusion by old French translators since the Frisian race "Elfstedentocht" is also translated as "Circuit des onze villes". I would personally translate as "Tournée des onze villes". "Tocht" in English I'd translate it as "ride", if anybody has a better word. Anyway, in many official report "Circuit des onze villes" seems to be the French name for both races in the old days.

    By the way Mémoire du cyclisme is not up to date since they still place the race in the "disappeared races" category.  :P

    By the way², sticky this? Make an ad on the home page? Please!! This race really deserves attention. Sorry for being so keen about it. I'm so enthusiastic.

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 06:52 »
    Stupid UCI.
    I searched for "Elfstedenronde" on their calendar site, but there's nothing of the sort.
    Instead, they call it Ride Bruges (Bruges Cycling Classic)! :-x :shh
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 20:36 »
    When the news report of the return of the 11 Town Tour came, a Youtuber posted archive footage of the 1967 edition of the race won by Guido Reybrouck against the late Arthur De Cabooter. Guido was a fearsome sprinter but he won the race with an aggressive style as you can see. Lovely footage. I don't know if it can be shared in the video section of our forum? I love seeing these old cars in the car parks, lol. Lovely old footage of Bruges, forever our most beautiful town: the Northern Venice.  :)



    The race route virtually:


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  • Echoes

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #5 on: June 15, 2017, 20:31 »
    Aired live on Sporza at 1.30pm CET. :cool That is rather early. I don't know what they are scheduled to finish. Hope there are non-geoblocked streams for those of you who do not have Sporza on the telly.  ;)
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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 21:57 »
    it's supposed to finish around ~3:30
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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #7 on: June 16, 2017, 15:16 »
    According to Het Belang van Limburg there are 15 cobble sections !!!  :cool

    Steenstraat Diksmuide (77 km), Dorpstraat Jabbeke (128 km), Kerkhofstraat Zuienkerke (141 km), Oosternieuwweg Zuienkerke (144 km), Doelhofstraat Zuienkerke (148 km), Dorpweg Zuienkerke (152 km), Vlamingendam Brugge (164 km), Braambergstraat Brugge (165 km), Langestraat Brugge (166 km), Kerkstraat Damme (173 km), Brieversweg Damme (177 km), Moerkerkse Steenweg Brugge (182 km), Kerkstraat Damme (188 km), Brieversweg Damme (192 km), Moerkerkse Steenweg Brugge (197 km)

    http://www.hbvl.be/cnt/dmf20170616_02928053/elfstedenronde-keert-zondag-voor-het-eerst-terug-sinds-1989-met-schoon-volk-en-heel-wat-kasseien

    Jens Debusschere is making his come back after pulling out of the Tour of Switzerland for back problems.

    Jens Keukeleire is the local hero from Bruges.
    Quote
    It's the first time a cycling race passes in front of the family home. It will be have a special effect on me. I hope that by then the race will already have opened up and that I can colour the finale. With the Dauphiné in the legs my form level has only gone up. The race is an aim in itself.
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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #8 on: June 17, 2017, 09:07 »
    Former Winner Freddy Maertens Will Give the Start Shot at the Eleven Town Tour

    http://www.sport.be/nl/wielrennen/article.html?Article_ID=806563

    Freddy Maertens wil give the start shot of the Eleven Town Tour next Sunday, the legendary single-day race with start and finish in Bruges which has been insufflated a new life this year. A challenging cobble race is expected for a top field throughout West-Flanders in combination with a cyclotourist race on Saturday and a “retro race” on Sunday. It will be a fantastic cycling weekend in Bruges!

    Lotto Soudal and Quick Step Floors (the two Belgian World Tour teams) will be present on Sunday in Bruges. With Jens Debusschere and Dries Devenyns they are bringing two top favourites at the start but both top teams have more irons in the fire, just think about Kris Boeckmans, Sean De Bie or Petr Vakoc.

    Someone who is also eager to win is Jens Keukeleire. The man from Bruges made a top priority out of the 11 Town Tour which passes by his family house. Keukeleire races the 11 Town Tour for the national team and can rely on occasional teammates such as Oliver Naesen and Edward Theuns who are indeed not without a chance. With Wout Van Aert (Veranda’s Willems Crelan) and Mathieu Van der Poel (Beobank) there are also two top cyclocrossers at the start – who have also won on the road.

    The 123 participants will be shot to the start on the Markt in Bruges by Freddy Maertens, World Champion 1976 & 1981 and former winner in 1974. After 1974 the West-Flemish classic rich in tradition was no longer organised. There was a short-lived resumption in the late eighties … but anno 2017 the Eleven Town Tour is alive and kicking again.

    From Bruges the riders will race to Oostkamp, Wingene, Tielt, Ardooie, Izegem, Roeselare, Staden, Diksmuide, Nieuwpoort, Ramskapelle, Middelkerke, Gistel, Ichtegem, Jabbeke, De Haan and Zuienkerke before getting back to Bruges where they will need to cover two local laps on the “Buitenkruisvest” (both 16,6km). The total distance of the Eleven Town Tour is 199.5km. There are 15 cobble section along the way.

    The race is live on Sporza from 1.30pm on with commentaries by Renaat Schotte of Bruges. The finish on the Buitenkruisvest is expected around 3.30pm.

    Retro Race & Elfstedenronde Cyclo

    Freddy Maertens will undoubtedly also be an attentive spectator of the Retro Race for cyclotourists, which starts right after the pro race. 50 retro riders will ride on bikes from before 1987. The day before, “modern” cyclotourists will be in the spotlight in Bruges. On the Elfstedenronde Cyclo cycling amateurs will show up on roughly the same route as the pros. There’s a choice between 35, 63 or 143km rides. Start and finish are at the Boudewijn Seapark [an amusement park about water with dolphins and all]. Online subscription can [could] until 16 June. Subscribing on the spot also can.

    Radio 2 will be animating the cyclotourist race on Saturday 17 June with a live coverage from Boudewijn Seapark.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 11:20 »
    Pictures from the cyclotourist event of yesterday on the Nieuwsblad website:

    http://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/bltde_02929521?pid=6492955

    1540 participants did it. It was a great succes!  :cool
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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #10 on: June 18, 2017, 15:34 »
     
    it's supposed to finish around ~3:30

    I put Sporza on straight after the Slovenia coverage finished at about 3:00, only to find this:

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    Echoes

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #11 on: June 18, 2017, 17:04 »
    They must have been exceptionally fast because when the TV coverage started at 1.30pm only 60km remained, so obviously it could not have lasted for 2 more hours.

    Nice race, great winner, great rivalry. Obviously Mathieu Van der Poel was not prepared at best after his trip to the Ventoux with father and grampa! Normally he's the faster of Wout Van Aert in a sprint. The sprint was weird though. Van Aert was the last of a dozen-man group when it started but found a gap when Mathieu seemed locked up. Mathieu Van der Poel did a nice solo effort with 40k to go but I guess he was just testing.

    Also someone should explain to me why Oliver Naesen was so active in the chase. I mean his brother Lawrence was in front. Okay they raced for different teams but on the other hand he also had his occasional teammate and co-leader Jens Keukeleire in front. Normally they raced the Tour of Belgium together in the national team, so there should get along even if they are opponents most of the time. I mean they both deliberately chose to race in the national team. It's not like they are racing the Worlds ???
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #12 on: June 18, 2017, 17:46 »
    Also someone should explain to me why Oliver Naesen was so active in the chase. I mean his brother Lawrence was in front.
    You explain it yourself:
    they raced for different teams
    It's that simple. They race for different teams.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #13 on: June 18, 2017, 18:51 »
    The issue as I asked in my post is why he chased behind Jens Keukeleire...
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #14 on: June 18, 2017, 22:06 »
    The issue as I asked in my post is why he chased behind Jens Keukeleire...
    Ah, I misunderstood.
    That one is a bit harder to explain. Had it been the other way around I would have said that #teambe didn't trust Naesen's sprint - but Keukeleire is a prolific sprinter. :slow
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 21:27 »
    Cyclocrossers Dominate the Eleven Town Tour (Elfstedenronde)

    (Het Laatste Nieuws, today)



    Van Aert 1st: Ready for the Belgian Nats

    Duel of crossers yesterday in the Eleven Town Tour. Wout Van Aert nailed it in a sprint with a dozen mates who coloured the finale. Mathieu Van der Poel comes second.

    Among others Lawrence Naesen, Tosh Van der Sande and Jens Keukeleire had no story against the cross duo. Remarkable, Wout Van Aert started the sprint from the dead last position of the group:
    Quote
    But that should not be a disadvantage. At the end of the day I could thereby start my sprint fully wind-sheltered. Only in the final hundred meters - then of course in the wind - I had to complete my effort.

    For Van Aert it was the 2nd win in 8 days after the Tour of Limburg. The Cyclocross World Champion is hence ready for the Belgian Championship ITT next Thursday in Chimay and in the bunch nationals in Antwerp on Sunday.
    Quote
    Mainly Thursday is highlighted on my agenda. The route with its wide straight roads, slightly up and down, fits me. It's a matter of giving it all and saving energy. Then you come to your place anyway. Obviously a title should be nice but if you look at the list of participants, you can count a dozen riders who cycle a bit. Yves Lampaert, Viktor Campenaert but also Thomas De Ghendt, Tim Wellens, Philippe Gilbert or Maxime Monfort. , you cannot underrate them. The bunch race Nats is another story. Therein you need a little bit of luck.
    After the Nats, Wout Van Aert will take a bit of rest before building up towards the second part of his road agenda with the Binck Bank Tour, Across the Hageland [Dwars door het Hageland] and the Schaal Sels.
    Quote
    I'm also strongly looking forward to it

    Van der Poel 2nd: : Ready for the World Championship Marathon Mountainbike

    Even though Mathieu Van der Poel had to concede defeat against his great winter rival, the Dutchman left Bruges with a bright smile on his face before ... an extra 80km training ride [:o].
    Quote
    In the sprint I missed a little bit of freshness.
    Understandably: in four days he has ridden some 700km [704km exactly]. He spent three days in the Alps [actually in the Provence!]. On Thursday he did some interval training in the area of Bédoin for 5 hours. On Friday he raced "The Cannibal", a 215km cyclotourist ride wherein twice the Ventoux and other climbs were on the agenda and after a nice evening with Eddy Merckx came the Tom Simpson Memorial on Saturday [50 years after the tragedy], during which he climbed the Ventoux twice again [!!!]. On Saturday evening he took the TGV [French fast-speed train] to Lille where he arrived at 11pm. Yesterday morning he was already ready on the Markt in Bruges at 9am for the race. And after the Elfstedenronde Van der Poel found the need to train for an extra bit from Bruges to Waasmunster. During the race he also played with his strengths.
    Quote
    Not really ideal if you go for the win but I think I'm ready for the Marathon World Champion next Sunday. I would like to add this title to my palmares.

    [Van der Poel's training distance]

    Thursday: 147km
    Friday: 215km
    Saturday: 60km
    Sunday: 282km


    -------------

    In a Nieuwsblad article I might share with you - not today mind you, I'm tired - he explained he went to the Tom Simpson Memorial at Toon Claes. Apparently the latter felt strongly about it and Mathieu wanted to show his gratitude for his knee surgeries of last year. By the way Toon Claes also treated Wout Van Aert's knee injury last January. Both men being from Herentals.
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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 21:44 »
    Some other nice things I remember from the live coverage.

    First apparently Freddy Maertens did not give the start shot as planned. The Bruges Mayor did.

    Then also Golazo has a 5 year contract (with the main sponsor Euro Shop?) for this race. So unless for a disaster, we are in for at least 4 more years with the race. That would be a longer resumption than in the eighties.

    José De Cauwer who gave co-commentaries for Sporza remembers his only participation in 1973. He was a neopro [he didn't say it, I checked] and came 7th and said he should have been higher in the ranking but his "friend" Gerben Karstens *nl pulled his jersey, something that he claimed was very common at that time, while nowadays there are so many cameras around that a rider doing that would never get a way out. I had to laugh at De Cauwer's impeccable memory, an event that happened 44 years ago.

    By the way, I even stumbled on partial results of that race on Wielerarchieven.be
    http://www.wielerarchieven.be/forum/archive/index.php/t-2581.html

    Quote
    28 mars 1973 Circuit des XI Villes (Elfstedenronde) à Brugges
    1. Patrick Sercu (Bel) 200 km en 5h07'
    2. Freddy Maertens (Bel)
    3. Frans Verbeeck (Bel)
    4. Ronald De Witte (Bel)
    5. Albert Van Vlierberghe (Bel)
    6. Gerben Karstens (Hol)
    7.
    8.
    9.
    10.

    Renaat Schotte reminded him that he apparently was in a breakaway that escaped on Mount Kemmel at that time. I did seem to notice that the Kemmel was climbed (on the YT clip above, footage from the 1967, is it the Kemmel? Pretty sure). Shouldn't it be used again?

    Also nice to see that they crossed the area Jens Keukeleire was raised in during the crossing of Bruges. His father was an electrician apparently. He would drive his van systematically at any race Jens came up in when Jens was young. If I understood correctly.  :)
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    Re: Elfstedenronde
    « Reply #17 on: June 20, 2017, 20:43 »
    Hugo Coorevits Understands That Van Aert and Van der Poel Do Not Switch to the Road Right Away

    (Het Nieuwsblad 20 June 2017)



    Yesterday the renewed Elfstedenronde got the same results as the cyclocross World Championship: 1 Wout Van Aert, 2 Mathieu Van der Poel. The question is immediately relevant: why don’t both class acts (both aged 22) for God sake resolutely choose for the road? The answer might be more straightforward than you’d think. Or would you so easily turn down half of your salary without any guarantee that you might be successful and happy in your job than you were before?

    1 Van Aert: “And now the ITT Nats"

    Wout Van Aert has won in two Sundays (Tour of Limburg and the Eleven Town Tour) as many races as his 2016 summer campaign [he won the prologue of the Tour of Belgium and the Schaal Sels back then].
    Quote
    Last year I also came second in the queen stage of the Ster ZLM Tour, though I think I’m stronger now than I was then. I feel I’m ready for the ITT nats in Chimay, next Thursday. I don’t know which result I will have. I haven’t raced ten ITT’s this year, only a 13km one. Next Thursday, it’ll be 38km. I hope I can compete for a top place but with also Yves Lampaert, Thomas De Gendt, Tim Wellens, Maxime Monfort and Philippe Gilbert on the start list, it will not be easy. My teammate Christophe Prémont recognised the route. I studied it myself on Google Street View. According to Prémont, it has very wide roads, few turns and it’s constantly up and down, so a real ITT. The bunch race in Antwerp is comparable to here in Bruges. Only there you have more top riders riding it and it’s 50km longer. If I can have the same sprint then …

    2 Van der Poel: “And now the Marathon Worlds”

    Mathieu Van der Poel knows how come he lost a sprint to Wout Van Aert this time.
    Quote
    I didn’t really have an ideal preparation (laughing). Last Friday I raced “La Cannibale” (170km on and around Mount Ventoux, ed) and on Saturday I also rode the Tom Simpson Memorial on the Ventoux. I morally owed it to surgeon Toon Claes, who carried out my knee surgery. I found it fun to be a part of it. I capitalised on it to make three good trainings. Now I’ll have some rest and then I go next Wednesday to the World Championship Marathon in Singen. I want to win there. Yes to the mountainbike again. I nissed this change. I’ll also race the World Cup events in Andorra and Lenzerheide and then I race the Tour of Alsace and the Tour of the LImousin. I find those different things very pleasant though today I really was tired but it’s good because then I’m racing more carefully and I still was in the right breakaway. I have to race more with my brains.

    Would You Just Like That Trade Half of Your Salary?

    Sometimes cycling is just a matter of logics. We do not know their exact payroll but let us assume that in cyclocross Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van der Poel earn a million euro a year – salary, bonuses and start bonuses included. That is a salary category that only riders who (can) win a classic can belong to. Even for a €500,000 yearly salary you have to perform. Draw your own conclusion.

    In order to be clearer salary is just a part of the problem. Both winter kings are still using road racing as a tool to perfectly prepare for the next cyclocross season. Road racing is subordinate to cyclocross. Meanwhile they are touching the European circuit, a step under the World Tour and this is at their benefit. Van Aert has been the leader of the Tour of Belgium and won the Tour of Limburg and yesterday the Elfstedenronde. Mathieu Van der Poel sprinted to stage win at the Tour of Belgium, was 2nd in an MTB World Cup event in Albstadt, crushed everybody at the Boucles de la Mayenne and lost yesterday to his arch rival.
    Quote
    Of course winning is nice but I would not have been unfortunate if I had landed just after the podium.
    Said Wout Van Aert. Racing without pressure, thus, no stress to win, no ranking to defend.

    Yet next season, Wout Van Aert will set the first step. He’s ready to race 12 crosses less [compared to the 42 he raced last season, should be reminded] and possibly to drop one ranking [I haven’t heard about that?] in order to look how far he can go in the 2018 spring classics.

    Buffer

    Van der Poel is by far not to that point yer. Raymond Poulidor’s grandson mostly wants to have fun: one day on a cross bike, the other day on a mountainbike and in between once on a road bike.

    The day Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van der Poel really make the transition to the road, not only cyclocross loses its taste makers but for both riders it will be totally different.

    Having to score in a World Tour team is something different than having a victory on the odd occasion on the European tour. Just ask Zdenek Stybar or Lars Boom about it who both won the Lowlands Tour and a stage at the Tour of France or ask Peter Sagan who also comes from cyclocross and mountainbike. Last year he noticed that in road races he was getting bored for hours in a row [testament of his impatient mentality!!!!]. Hence his brief come back to mountainbike at the Olympics in Rio.

    Understandably thus that Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van der Poel are still waiting a few more years before switching. Then they would have built up a financial cushion/buffer and if they cannot reach the world top they still might land back to cyclocross (Van Aert) and/or mountainbike (Van der Poel).

    By the way in Wout Van Aert’s camp just like in Mathieu Van der Poel’s no World Tour team are giving a concrete financial offer.

    -----------------

    Disappointed that there's little report about the race itself in those newspaper. It's just about the upcoming nationals (& MTB worlds) or the future of Van Aert and Van der Poel in cyclocross. We have no feedback about the success of the race and about how it unfolded. Weird ...
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