Worlds a world away

After the proximity of the 2021 worlds in Belgium, I have to say that so far this years vintage in Australia has yet to fire for me.

We have seen close finishes and crashes but… well its not Julian Alaphillippe outside the Stella brewery is it?

This is no disrespect to Aussies or their base for the championship. I have a really close friend who lives close to the course, but I would phase this as a development event rather than a championships based in one of the sports heartlands.

Maybe the Qatar event is still affecting my viewpoint and over the weekend I will be engrossed in a Tadej Pogacar vs. Wout van Aert classic…

Let’s see.

Le Tour 22 – Stage 16-21 Week 3 Vingegaard makes it to Paris

I had to think long and hard over a headline. Implying that the winner Jonas Vingegaard merely “made it” to Paris might be seen as belittling his achievement. But the context I am after is showing the challenges he faced with the climate, with climate protestors and the fact that Tadej Pogacar wasn’t going to hand over the title without a battle.

We left the race in the South of France after one of the hottest days on record for the Tour.

Stage 16 was a medium mountain stage which saw Israel-Premier Tech continue their ascension out of the World Tour relegation places when Hugo Houle rode away to win the stage. He was ably back by team mate Mike Woods for a Canadian one two.

The next day to Peyragaudes saw Pogacar win the stage without creating any distance between himself and the yellow jersey.

Despite being super confident that the Slovenian would have what it took to come back and win the race overall, his lack of ability to drop Vingegaard made me start to doubt his chances of doing so. This was clear evidence that the Dane had his number and that it would take something really special to dislodge him.

The final mountain stage to the disgraced (based on the evidence of former winners) peak of Hautacam saw Pogacar dropped for good.

After dueling on the way up the penultimate climb, the top two on the overall classification both had sketchy moments on the hot tar going down.

The yellow jersey had his foot out to save him from snaking into a ditch before Pogacar went over and crashed.

Vingegaard waited for his rival and when he caught up they shook hands as if to say “no more, this could get silly and dangerous“.

They did battle it out on the final climb before Wout Van Aert (who else?) delivered a monster turn for his leader which saw him win alone.

Christophe LaPorte got reward for all of his efforts in this race and across the season to date with the only French stage win after escaping in Cahors. Jumbo continued to monopolise the stage wins with Van Aert taking the final time trial for the second year in succession before Jasper Philipsen made it two stage wins in Paris.

There are those in the media calling this the best Tour ever. I think that might be a bit steep based on 1989 (and others!). But it was exciting from first to last and raced continually.

The only real off day was stage 15 but with the alps in the riders legs and a 40 degree, baking hot stage between them and the second rest day that can be understood.

I really enjoyed it and the race had a worthy winner in Jonas Vingegaard. Whether he is starting a dynasty or will be a one off winner, only next summer will be able to tell us.

Stage winners and leaders

DateRaceWinnerLeader after stage
07/01Stage 1 | Copenhagen – Copenhagen LAMPAERT Yves LAMPAERT Yves
07/02Stage 2 | Roskilde – Nyborg JAKOBSEN Fabio VAN AERT Wout
07/03Stage 3 | Vejle – Sønderborg GROENEWEGEN Dylan VAN AERT Wout
07/05Stage 4 | Dunkerque – Calais VAN AERT Wout VAN AERT Wout
07/06Stage 5 | Lille – Wallers-Arenberg CLARKE Simon VAN AERT Wout
07/07Stage 6 | Binche – Longwy POGAČAR Tadej POGAČAR Tadej
07/08Stage 7 | Tomblaine – La Super Planche des Belles Filles POGAČAR Tadej POGAČAR Tadej
07/09Stage 8 | Dole – Lausanne VAN AERT Wout POGAČAR Tadej
07/10Stage 9 | Aigle – Châtel les portes du Soleil JUNGELS Bob POGAČAR Tadej
07/12Stage 10 | Morzine – Megève CORT Magnus POGAČAR Tadej
07/13Stage 11 | Albertville – Col du Granon VINGEGAARD Jonas VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/14Stage 12 | Briançon – L’Alpe d’Huez PIDCOCK Thomas VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/15Stage 13 | Bourg d’Oisans – Saint-Etienne PEDERSEN Mads VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/16Stage 14 | Saint-Etienne – Mende MATTHEWS Michael VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/17Stage 15 | Rodez – Carcassonne PHILIPSEN Jasper VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/19Stage 16 | Carcassonne – Foix HOULE Hugo VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/20Stage 17 | Saint-Gaudens – Peyragudes POGAČAR Tadej VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/21Stage 18 | Lourdes – Hautacam VINGEGAARD Jonas VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/22Stage 19 | Castelnau-Magnoac – Cahors LAPORTE Christophe VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/23Stage 20 | Lacapelle-Marival – Rocamadour VAN AERT Wout VINGEGAARD Jonas
07/24Stage 21 | Paris La Défense – Paris (Champs-Élysées) PHILIPSEN Jasper VINGEGAARD Jonas
from Procyclingstats
RnkPrev▼▲RiderTeamUCIPntTime
11 VINGEGAARD JonasJumbo-Visma100050032″79:33:20
22 POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates80038040″2:43
33 THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers6753407:22
44 GAUDU DavidGroupama – FDJ5753004″13:39
55 VLASOV AleksandrBORA – hansgrohe47528015:46
66 QUINTANA NairoTeam Arkéa Samsic4002606″16:33
77 BARDET RomainTeam DSM3252404″18:11
88 MEINTJES LouisIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux2752206″18:44
99 LUTSENKO AlexeyAstana Qazaqstan Team22521022:56
1010 YATES AdamINEOS Grenadiers17520024:52
from procyclingstats

Le Tour 22 – Stages 10-15 Week 2 sees a change in yellow

We left our week 1 round up in Chatel in the shadows of the high Alps.

It had been a fast and furious first week with Tadej Pogacar and Wout Van Aert carving the race and the stages up between themselves.

After a rest day in Morzine we got going again with the hero of the opening weekend Magnus Cort getting a well deserved stage win in Megeve. A narrow sprint win from a breakaway was such a Cort way of getting EF off the mark for this race after a number of close calls.

The next day we got our first look at the GC contenders at over 2000m of altitude although most pundits (including myself) had already called Pogacar the winner of this tour.

Jonas Vingegaard and his Jumbo team had other ideas repeatedly attacking the Slovenian in the valley roads around the colossal Col du Galibier. Pogacar was able to react to all attacks at this point but when the Dane attacked on the Col du Granon almost in site of the finish, the leader was dropped.

And how.

A deficit of around 30 seconds became over 2 and a quarter minutes of a lead for Vingegaard. It was now on.

The expected attacks the following day on Alp D’Huez didn’t really materialise with the crowds and the breakway situation maybe playing a part.

Tom Pidcock kept up the UKs recent claim on the Dutch mountain with a brilliant stage win forged in his downhill skills and backed up by his speed up hill.

Highlight of the Tour so far for me.

As we headed towards a weekend of 40 degree heat a breakaway was finally allowed its day with Mads Pedersen a deserving stage win after managing his compatriots on the final climb into St Etienne.

Yesterday as the race trundled into Carcassonne we had time to reflect on a brilliant second week packed with mountain views and twists and turns in the race.

Jumbo’s minds were bought back into sharp focus however. Primoz Roglic had left the Tour at the start of the day as a result of his Roubaix tumble. However they hadn’t budgeted on Steven Kruijswijk hitting the deck and breaking a collar bone. Advantage Tadej?

Its all to play for as we head into the key final week of this Tour de France… I am not going to pick it now!

RnkPrev▼▲RiderTeamUCITime
11 VINGEGAARD JonasJumbo-Visma2516″59:58:28
22 POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates24″2:22
33 THOMAS GeraintINEOS Grenadiers2:43
44 BARDET RomainTeam DSM4″3:01
55 YATES AdamINEOS Grenadiers4:06
66 QUINTANA NairoTeam Arkéa Samsic6″4:15
77 MEINTJES LouisIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux6″4:24
88 GAUDU DavidGroupama – FDJ4″,,
99 PIDCOCK ThomasINEOS Grenadiers10″8:49
1010 MAS EnricMovistar Team9:58

Le Tour 22 – Stages 4-9 Week 1 in the sun

If the opening weekend of the 2022 Tour de France belonged to the Danish crowds and Magnus Cort, then the return to the events homeland belonged to two men.

Wout Van Aert and Tadej Pogacar ensured that two of the races main competitions were over by the end of stage 9 in Chatel.

Van Aert was in the yellow jersey but it was the Maillot Vert that he was at the race for. It didn’t stop him attacking the race on that familiar bit of headland to holiday makers who make for Calais on the ferry.

He rode the whole race off his wheel and soloed to a memorable victory. Amazingly despite its position on the map in the north west of France, this was Calais’ first stage finish. The town put its challenges aside for the day and put on a lovely face. Maybe next time I head off a ferry I won’t just zoom past on my way to other more exotic French locations.

The stage to Arenberg saw the end of a couple of GC challengers hopes. Ben O’Connor and Primoz Roglic lost time. Pogacar was superb (as he is on every stage nowadays) and the expected Ineos onslaught from the cobbled specialists like Dylan Van Baarle and Luke Rowe didn’t provide any advantage.

A Wallonian stage followed to Longwy and despite some Van Aert magic as he went away on his own again, the jersey changed hands when a Pogacar sprint won the stage and yellow.

The Slovenian wonder kid wasn’t done there winning the next stage on the Planches des Belles Filles overtaking long time leader Leonard Kamna in the final 100 metres on the steep gravel extension to the usual finish.

Van Aert hit back on Saturday winning a reduced bunch sprint over the border in Switzerland. But Pog was right up there at the finish.

The stage to Chatel yesterday finally saw a breakaway succeed and it was a pair of comeback kids who made this a stage for the ages and broke up the WoutPogopoloy.

Comeback kid – The Midnight

Alone with 60km to go, Bob Jungels rolled back the years with a brilliant display of paced climbing and aggressive descending.

He held on from Thiabut Pinot who was closing fast but couldn’t get across the last 20 seconds before getting caught on the line by a pair of chasers.

Well done Bob.

So whilst there will be plenty of commentary stating how dull this Tour could end up being as a result of Pogacar pretty much having won it already, there is still plenty going on and enough to make this a really strong edition so far.

Can’t wait for week 2!

Le Tour ’22 Stages 1-3 – A farmers son from Belgium

As with the previous couple of years, I will write a post grouping key stages together (rather than doing each one on its own as I did the summer I was out of work!).

It feels right to cluster the whole of the Grand Depart together and to talk Denmark in totality with the massive pile of positives (experiences not doping tests) to take out of it.

Whilst on the subject of doping there was a lot of pre-race nosing into the business of Bahrain-Victorious but as of yet there is nothing concrete to report on the team or its riders. As Groupama-FDJ rider Stefan Kung said, the authorities either need to charge them or apologise for picking on them. Let’s leave that there…

The first stage time trial produced a major upset. Despite most of the other Specialized riders wearing a funny bank robber snood as part of their new helmets, it was standard lid wearer Yves Lampaert who put the other favourites in their place with a great win.

Lampaert was nervy watching the remaining riders finish before producing what on day 1 will be the quote of the race in relation to his ascent to the yellow jersey.

“I am just a farmer son from Belgium”

After trying to for years to land a big win in the Flemish classics, it was a tour time trial that thrust Lampaert into the spotlight. Irony.

The first road stage saw the “Grand Belt” bridge take star billing. Will it ever be as iconic as a strip of cobbles or mountain pass?

Probably not. It also didn’t have the impact that the Passage des Gois seems to have when that coastal route is used, mainly as the wind didn’t blow.

After a length break including home rider Magnus Cort Nielsen hoovering up all of the King of the Mountains points the race was together hitting the bridge.

There was a crash involving the yellow jersey and within the 3km limit which held up defending champion Tadej Pogacar but in the main it was fairly standard stuff.

Fabio Jakobsen kept up the 100% record of Quickstep winning the opening two stages ending his journey back to success following his Polish crash 18 months ago.

Cort took his chance again on stage 3, heading off alone to take some king of the mountains points but finding no other riders willing to join him.

He had a brilliant day out in his homeland taking a heroes welcome in each town and village. In fact there barely looked a spot on the side of the road all weekend with people lined up to see the race everywhere.

It was one of, if not, the best Grand Depart I can remember.

There was a crash outside the 3km limit which saw a few riders ship time but a sprint was pretty much guaranteed. This time it was Dylan Groenewegen who had his turn at redemption (also as a result of the Tour of Poland crash) winning from Wout Van Aert who has been in second place in each of the stages so far.

The race had an early break yesterday heading back to its homeland from Denmark ready for some tough looking northern French stages starting today.

Ineos show their classic mettle in Hell

After a midweek of Magnus Sheffield winning and team dominance, along with an Amstel Gold success, Ineos Grenadiers had showed they were truly on the road to being a classics squad by taking the big one.

RnkRiderTeamUCIPntTime
1 VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers5002755:37:00
2 VAN AERT WoutJumbo-Visma4002001:47
3 KÜNG StefanGroupama – FDJ325150,,
4 DEVRIENDT TomIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux275120,,
5 MOHORIČ MatejBahrain – Victorious225100,,
6 PETIT AdrienIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux175902:27
7 STUYVEN JasperTrek – Segafredo15080,,
8 PICHON LaurentTeam Arkéa Samsic12570,,
9 VAN DER POEL MathieuAlpecin-Fenix100602:34
10 LAMPAERT YvesQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team85502:59
From procyclingstats

Dylan Van Baarle proved that three attacks is too many but two just enough when he made his way across to the 2nd threatening break of the day and dropped them to head into Roubaix with a hefty winning margin.

The truth is that this was a win set up nearer the start than the finish of the race. In a slight crosswind his team put all 7 riders into a move that took until the 2nd sector of cobbles to pull back. Pre-race favourites Mathieu Van de Poel and Wout Van Aert had to use more riders than they would have hoped in getting it back.

This left the Grenadiers with plenty of riders on the front foot and at the head of the race. In their old more defensive style of riding, the travails of Fillipo Ganna would have been enough to derail their plan, but whilst it was bad news for the Italian, the mechanicals that had him dropped and having to chase alone didn’t affect the strategy. They had riders in abundance.

There were, however, riders clear at the key point in Arenberg forest and Milan San-Remo winner Matej Mohoric was proving to be no one trick pony in forcing the pace at the front. But with Ben Turner pushing on behind in the group of favourites and keeping things in check, Ineos didn’t panic.

Mohoric came back to them when hW Hs a puncture and Van Baarle made his first move driving the final selection away. This was despite the spirited Tom Devrient remaining clear from the initial breakaway.

The second Van Baarle attack was clinical and final with only Van Aert trying to respond, the rest were on their knees at this point.

But despite having Devrient, Stefan Kung and Mohoric back after his mechanical, they couldn’t get close to the Dutchman whose lead grew all the way through the final sectors and on into Roubaix.

Seeing Sir Dave Brailsford and Van Baarle embrace in the famous velodrome at the end of the race showed that despite having won Amstel and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (with Wout Poels) this was the one they wanted. And it was worth the 12 year wait to get it.

The fact that Quickstep continued their nightmare spring might have added a bit of gloss to the win and the feelings of joy perhaps? who knows?

But with the Ardennes coming up it will be interesting to see if that drought can end for the Belgian super team.

On its own, but I am fine with Amstel as is

I know this is the least prompt post of the season… It’s a busy time ok? !

However, it would be 100% remiss of me not to go back over the great spectacle that the 2022 Amstel Gold Race was.

2021 was exciting with a hairs breadth separating Wout Van Aert and Tom Pidcock on the open flat space at the top of the Cauberg.

2020 had seen that counter attack from Mathieu Van der Poel. The one where he closed an impossible looking gap in super quick time before joining in and winning the sprint finish.

It might not have the history and cultural attachment of Flanders and Roubaix, but this race has had seen better finishes recently. You might need to whisper that in the low Countries though.

This year we had the same end game. A 2-up sprint after the splintering of a breakaway group. Benoit Cosnefroy and Michal Kwiatowski were the two go ahead riders and they were suitably aware enough of the riders behind them coming back (having probably watched Flanders re-runs)

GCN race highlights

The French rider led out within the last 200 metres and looked to have won. He was even called as such with the tv cameras focusing on the celebrations of him and his team-mates from AG2R/Citroen.

But when the side on shot came on the screen, it was clear that, as with last year, there had been a terrible error calling the winner so soon.

Veteran Ineos rider Kwiatowski had just nudged his wheel over the line first and the tv cut to the Pole and away from the desolate looking Cosnefroy.

You can argue whether its a good look for cycling not to be able to call a winner without changing their minds, but it was another chapter for the Amstel and another indicator that this is a race on the up.

Tour of Flanders 2022 – The world vs Pogacar

With almost a week now to digest the race and craft my post, the first thing I want to say about RVV2022 was that it was a culturual triumph.

After what feels a lot longer than 3 disrupted seasons it was really emotional ( even watching on tv) to see packed kerbsides full of fans watching “their race” go by in a celebration of Flemish culture.

Its something that never leaves you as an experience. Its 6 years since I saw the race in the flesh but on Flanders Sunday I always wear my (now tatty) yellow lion socks for training.

It becomes part of you.

The race was one for the fans to savour. In my view the absence of Wout Van Aert through Covid 19 opened up the race and whilst the early breakaway always felt within catching distance the counter attack that was clear before the 2nd time up the Oude Kwaremont had enough quality in it to make you think.

Ben Turner was the Brit in pole position for a while, before the Paterberg saw Fred Wright power off the front. From a domestic point of view, this attacking kept us engaged as Tom Pidcock didn’t seem to be back to his best.

Tadej Pogacar made one decisive attack which managed to merge a group he created with that front group but on the climbs in the run in it was clear that he and Mathieu Van der Poel were head and shoulders above the rest.

They finally shook off the remaining breakaway riders on the final climb of the Kwaremont. The 2-up they rode up until the final kilometre was one us club riders dream of being able to sit on the back of!

In the final KM though their co-operation broke down with both freewheeling and neither wanting to open up the sprint.

This opened the door for Dylan Van Baarle and Valentin Madouas to zoom up to them and start the sprint. Pogacar wasn’t happy and waved his arms in disgust. Van der Poel concentrated on his sprting and landed his second win in some style and in a race with some finish.

RnkRiderTeamUCIPntTime
1 VAN DER POEL MathieuAlpecin-Fenix5002756:18:30
2 VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers400200,,
3 MADOUAS ValentinGroupama – FDJ325150,,
4 POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates275120,,
5 KÜNG StefanGroupama – FDJ2251000:02
6 TEUNS DylanBahrain – Victorious17590,,
7 WRIGHT FredBahrain – Victorious150800:11
8 PEDERSEN MadsTrek – Segafredo125700:48
9 LAPORTE ChristopheJumbo-Visma10060,,
10 KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux8550

Milan San-Remo

I never know how to truly feel about this race.

Once the peloton head to the coast and start to chase down the inevitable breakaway hopefuls it feels like the season has started in earnest.

This year there was a bit more excitement with the break holding that vital 1 minute per 10km left to race advantage until they went into the climbs at the back end of the race.

There were negatives. I felt a sort of inevitability about Tadej Pogacar just riding away from everyone to win either on the Cipressa or the Poggio and that made me sad.

People who win too often or are too dominant are now subjected to a scrutiny that exists in no other sport. The stars of tennis don’t have to continually justify their sporting cleanliness in the same way as cyclists.

I want to believe in Tadej. But the history of the sport means there is always an asterix. That’s just how it is and I hate those juiced up 1990’s cheat for that.

As it happened the rest of the race ganged up on Pogacar to ensure that he didn’t win. The speed of the race over the Cipressa, a pace set by both UAE and Jumbo, meant that the break was absorbed but that no-one could sneak away.

UAE kept this speed up on the flat coastal road between the final two climbs. In a way it telegraphed their team leaders motive and to no-ones surprise Pogacar jumped before half distance on the climb.

He was actively marked by Wout van Aert who later admitted that had stunted his ability to deliver maximum power at the finish. Mathieu Van der Poel on his first racing day of the season also committed much to stopping Pog from winning.

As they reached the top of the climb it was all fairly close with a large number of riders, including former winner and sprinter Arnaud Demare in contention.

The race was won on the descent with Matej Mohoric shrugging off that horrific crash he has last year in the Giro in Italy, by riding away on the tight turns using every bit of road and some driveway to get clear.

He was using an MTB seat post to get more aero but the way he rode I think he would have been too good for the rest on a chopper not a dropper.

He even survived dropping his chain in the last KM to out last the fast closing Anthony Turgis who will be desperate for a classic win soon to avoid becoming the next big thing not to win a big race.

Was this a brilliant race? Not really but then the drama in Milan San-Remo is always condensed into the last 10 minutes, not the proceeding 6 hours. However, we had a worthy winner and a positive performance to start the monument season, and I am happy with that.

RnkRiderTeamUCIPntTime
1 MOHORIČ MatejBahrain – Victorious5002756:27:49
2 TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies4002000:02
3 VAN DER POEL MathieuAlpecin-Fenix325150,,
4 MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange – Jayco275120,,
5 POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates225100,,
6 PEDERSEN MadsTrek – Segafredo17590,,
7 KRAGH ANDERSEN SørenTeam DSM15080,,
8 VAN AERT WoutJumbo-Visma12570,,
9 TRATNIK JanBahrain – Victorious100600:05
10 DÉMARE ArnaudGroupama – FDJ85500:11
from procyclingstats.com

My top 3 cyclo cross courses

It’s the article no-one is asking for, but I am writing it anyway!

If there is one thing that the arrival of GCN+ has given us is wall to wall winter cycling in the form of cyclo cross.

I am old enough to remember some rounds being shown on the BBCs flagship Saturday afternoon show Grandstand. I would then spend the Sunday morning that followed on my Falcon/Banana team issue replica bike on the recreation ground outside my house pretending to be a tough Belgian.

The dismounts and remounts were not so easy. Especially as the 1980s and early 1990s trend was to jam your saddle up as high as possible to show a bit of seat stem.

I also wore a pony tail held in by a rubber band as some sort of low budget Laurent Fignon, or the hipsters version, Soren Lilholt. But that’s straying off the point.

What these last couple of winters has shown us is that ‘cross is very much part of the full cycling experience and will forever be linked to road cycling, the spring classics and the grand tours.

Part of the reason for that is at the moment the best riders on the road also enjoy getting muddy in a Flemish field all winter. They are Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock.

With all of their summer exploits still hurting their legs, the three of them aren’t back on the trails as yet. They are all resting and that has left the door open for Eli Iserbyt to take ownership of the discipline.

He is being chased (literally and metaphorically) by team mates Michael Van Thourenhout, Laurens Sweeck and Trek riders Toon Aerts and Lars van der Haar.

Another grand tour rider in Quinten Hermans (who I tipped on this website as being a star of the future) is getting the Wanty team among those riders above.

The great thing about ‘cross is that its raced in laps with sections that need to be run alongside your bike, steep drop ins and a little bit of road. It has the lot.

So here are my three favourite courses of the regulars that are raced during the season. Let me know if you disagree!

3. Koksijde

This course is best summed up by the video “Cycling in Flanders” shot and you can get that here.

Its full of sand dunes and steep banks which leaves you thinking they are racing through a Eurocamp holiday park. Its utterly bonkers and wonderfully brilliant.

2. Koppenbergcross

This is another chance for me to drone on about how many times I have ridden the cobbled climb that is scaled on every lap of this race. But I wont.

I will talk about a course that has everything. It has the climb as well as steep, sweeping curves through farmland and some tight muddy turns.

This is fresh in my mind as it was raced yesterday. Check out the footage of Iserbyt winning but stay tuned in for some of the wrecked bodies and minds who slump over the finish before getting a Belgian face pack falling over.

It’s brutal and having ridden up the climb a few times I can tell you first hand how hard it is. But I wont!

1. Namur

This might be a hipsters choice from me here. But I love the racing this course produces.

The route is based around the finish of the autumn classic on the road that finishes up the cobbles at the citadel above the river and the town.

Its beautiful to look at but savage if you are racing with all the climbing and tight turns through the woodland.

The recent events have been dominated by Van der Poel but have been famous for a crash that Toon Aerts suffered which left him finishing the race with broken ribs.

Here are the details of the upcoming 2021 event from the website “Cyclocross 24”. there is a video of how difficult the course is for you to enjoy.

With only the Koppenberg round having been completed so far there is some decent racing to look forward to on most weekends now until the Christmas tree is down and we can start to think about Milano-San Remo.

Don’t miss out and enjoy the action this winter!