Five Observations From The Week In Cyclocross

Test driving a new feature at CXHAIRS HQ, working title and all. The goal is to present to you, cyclocross friends, a handful of observations from the past week’s races. This is not an inclusive list. Just some food for thought. Have your own interesting nuggets to add, or disagree with mine, leave a comment below.

1. Mathieu van der Poel’s margin of victory over the past 10 races averages to 33.8 seconds per race. If he has a clean race, it’s over 30 seconds. If he crashes or has some other setback, it’s closer to 15 seconds. Gullegem seems to be the outlier. Gianni Vermeersch and David van der Poel were the other two on the podium for that race. Not the strongest field. MvdP may have mailed that one in.

DVV Brussels 0:45 

Gullegem 0:06

DVV GP Sven Nys 0:34

SP Diegem 0:14

DVV Azencross 0:40

World Cup Zolder 0:16

World Cup Namur 1:04

Waaslandcross 0:14

SP Zonhoven 0:43

DVV Scheldecross 1:02

2. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado’s DVV Brussels win solidifies her position as Cyclocross World Championship favorite for U23 Women.

  • The next closest U23 women in the DVV Brussels field were Inge van der Heijden and Marthe Truyen in 11th and 12th place, respectively, and over 2 minutes down.
  • Alvarado is currently ranked 12th in the world. Fleur Nagengast is next closest at 28th. Clara Honsinger is 3rd highest ranked U23 at 33rd.

3. The women’s field for the Cyclocross World Championships that will take place the first weekend in February is wide open. I asked Twitter to rank the favorites. Here are the results to that extremely unscientific poll (the numbers under each column are the votes each rider received for place in the standings. So, for instance, Brand received 4 votes that she would win) :

1st2d3d4th5th6th7th8th9th10th
Brand4212
Vos352
Cant13322
Neff1111
Worst1331
Loes Sels2
Lechner2
Betsema11
Compton11
Brammier12
Gilbert1
Verdonschot1
Majerus1
Noble1

4. Wout van Aert opted to race La Meziere in France rather than the DVV in Brussels. He won by almost two minutes over Clement Venturini and Quinten Hermans. Van Aert’s form and chances for winning a fourth World Championships are among the biggest question marks out there. The World Championship track in Denmark may be one for the runners. This could be in Wout’s favor. But it’s really hard to bet against MvdP at this point, especially after seeing their head to head performances as of late.

5. Alex Morton is the only US men’s junior racer in Europe. He finished 7th. The rest of the top 10 was 8 Belgians and 1 Dutch rider. His trip is self-funded. The experience he is gaining is enormous. To compete against the best, you need to compete against the best.

Feature photo © 2018 Katsu Tanda

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3 thoughts on “Five Observations From The Week In Cyclocross

  1. Like this format. Quick, concise. With Alvarado’s win yesterday in Brussels that makes 13 (by my count) different women who have won a race this year. I agree with Alavarado as the fav for the U23 crown with Evie Richards out after her injury. Women’s elite field is wide open. Brand has shown to be a good runner as has Brammier. I wouldn’t count out Cant as she doggedly claws back into races and has a last lap burst. Vos is Vos. Gonna be a “cracker” on the 2nd for sure.

  2. I like the format. Its still early days but if you look at the likely field for the World Championships it will be interesting if first, second and third in both the Womens and under 23 Womens will be Dutch as they were in the European Championships. I think it could happen. I also think these races will be the most interesting/hardest fought.

    As a discussion point, I know that a world championship jersey is highly prized but under 23s, unlike junior men, dont or hardly ever get the chance to wear them again after the win/podium which hardly seems fair.

  3. I think Alex Morton’s racing age is 18, so he’s getting some great experience this year as he heads into the U23 field next season!

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