Wout van Aert is new UCI points leader for men. Sanne Cant remains leader for women. With the first World Cup and a handful of UCI C1 and C2 events in the books, the new UCI rankings have gone through some changes. On the men’s side, Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) takes over the lead from last year’s points leader, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Belgium’s prodigal son, Ben Berden moves into the top 50 and is now automatically eligible to be selected for World Cup races as part of the Belgian squad. Wietse Bosmans (BKCP-Corendon) who fell to the bottom of the rankings after recovering first from a motorcycle accident and then a bout of Lyme disease, made the biggest jump going from 188 to 61. Bosmans goal is to make the top 50 and be part of the Belgian team. Points haven’t reset from last season so much of the top 10 remains the same.
On the women’s side, Sanne Cant (BKCP-Corendon) remains in the top spot despite finishing third at CrossVegas. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), the winner in Vegas, remains in second. In fact, the only change in the top 10 is the fall of Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) from fifth to tenth.
Vantornout not offered BPost Trofee contract. Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) may be the current Belgian National Champion but that does not ensure he will be offered a season-long contract for the BPost Trofee series, one of the three largest cyclocross series in the world. Vantornout called it a shame on Twitter and told Het Laatste Nieuws that he wasn’t going to make a big deal of it but it seems odd that the national champion would not be offered a contract. Erwin Vervecken, series organizer, confirmed that Vantornout was not offered a contract because of limited financial resources. The emergence of young racers such as Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert did not help Klaas’ clause. Vervecken also cited Kevin Pauwels and Sven Nys as riders who remain bigger draws than Vantornout. Full story here: http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/cnt/dmf20150922_01880446
Sunweb-Napoleon Games boss calls his team best in the world. Jurgen Mettepenningen, the Sunweb-Napoleon team manager who is never at a loss for words, told fans and media at the team presentation held at the Knokke Casino that his squad was the best in the world. Citing Vantornout’s National championship, Kevin Pauwels’ UCI title and Michael Vanthournhout’s U23 World Championship, Mettepenningen is confident no other team can match Sunweb-Napoleon’s accomplishments. Gianni Vermeersch and Dieter Vanthourenhout round out the five man pro squad. Mettepenningen doubled-down on his proclamations when he told reporters that Kevin Pauwels would win the world championship in Zolder. Pauwels won a junior world championship in Zolder in 2002.
Also at the team presentation, Michael Vanthournhout said that he was pleased with his podium performance at CrossVegas. He knew he couldn’t win after doing so much work alone at the front of the race, but was happy with third. Vanthournhout said he has free range to do what he wants on the team while acknowledging that Klaas and Kevin remain the leaders. Full story is here: http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/cnt/dmf20150921_01878737 and here: http://www.sport.be/nl/wielrennen/veldrijden/article.html?Article_ID=741916