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CX Season 2021/22 thread...

andyracandyrac Posts: 908
With the UCI World Cup starting on Sunday, time for a new thread. Various series have already started.

In the men's the big 3 won't be seen until late Nov/early Dec, so it's up to the others to rack up the wins/points before they return.
The women's is likely to be dominated by the Dutch, with Honsiger & Blanka Vas best of the rest. However, the Trek MTB girls may also throw down a challenge.

World Cup calendar:

https://www.uci.org/competition-hub/2021-2022-uci-cyclo-cross-world-cup/4BsjPp3rjYd9P5dQQ4089B



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Posts

  • Any ideas when each of the "Big 3" will turn up? I assume we're talking WVA MVDP and TP?

    I tried Googling with no luck
  • Whisper it but its been quite exciting without them ;)
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    Women's race was a belter - all of the top women apart from Alvarado & Evie were there.

    Looks like Iserbyt will rack up the wins until late Nov/Dec when they decide it's time to return.

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  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    2nd round of the World Cup; Fayettville, Arkansas.

    Would expect the women's race to be the most exciting, with another stacked field; with slightly more climbing it may see more/different contenders.
    In the men's it's hard to look past Iserbyt; though Aerts & Vantourenhout should trouble him for a while; and Hermans, if he's recovered from his injury from Sunday.

    In the last hour, it's started raining.....will be a mud fest.

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  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,268
    Don't you think Waterloo lacked atmosphere?
    Is Cyclo cross popular enough to stage events across the pond?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    I'm not sure - it wasn't full of boozed up Belgians; but the riders thought it was okay. People need to stop comparing everything in CX to what happens in Belgium, it's not going to be the same.


    I always wonder why CX has been around for approx 100 years, yet is still quite a niche sport. Why has MTB, which is far younger, yet has become a worldwide sport, and left CX behind - and is an Olympic sport.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
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  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,268
    andyrac said:

    I'm not sure - it wasn't full of boozed up Belgians; but the riders thought it was okay. People need to stop comparing everything in CX to what happens in Belgium, it's not going to be the same.

    True but I am not really into this expansion of cycling into a global sport - it is global but the heartland is Europe.
    Do I give a farq about the Tour of Langkawi, even the Tour down under or that Guatemala doesn't have it's own classic?
    Nope.

    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • webboowebboo Posts: 4,702
    andyrac said:

    2nd round of the World Cup; Fayettville, Arkansas.

    Would expect the women's race to be the most exciting, with another stacked field; with slightly more climbing it may see more/different contenders.
    In the men's it's hard to look past Iserbyt; though Aerts & Vantourenhout should trouble him for a while; and Hermans, if he's recovered from his injury from Sunday.

    In the last hour, it's started raining.....will be a mud fest.

    I thought these were good races. The women’s looked like it was going to be close till Vos crashed, pity the cameras missed what happened. In the men’s Herman’s made the other look a bit 2nd rate.
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    pinno said:

    andyrac said:

    I'm not sure - it wasn't full of boozed up Belgians; but the riders thought it was okay. People need to stop comparing everything in CX to what happens in Belgium, it's not going to be the same.

    True but I am not really into this expansion of cycling into a global sport - it is global but the heartland is Europe.
    Do I give a farq about the Tour of Langkawi, even the Tour down under or that Guatemala doesn't have it's own classic?
    Nope.

    But if CX wants to be in the Olympics (and we're told they want that) ; it needs to be more than a few countries. A World Cup of 16 rounds, with 8 held in Belgium and a total of 6 different countries ain't great.
    A World Cup headline sponsored by an company based mainly in Flanders - and the coverage is hardly international; post race interviews in Flemish/Dutch.....

    Sorry for the slight rant - but after watching a season of the MTB World Cup on Red Bull TV, the CX version is like the poor relation.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
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  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 3,221
    edited October 2021
    andyrac said:


    I always wonder why CX has been around for approx 100 years, yet is still quite a niche sport. Why has MTB, which is far younger, yet has become a worldwide sport, and left CX behind - and is an Olympic sport.

    It's isn't a sport. It's a winter training session. It's similar to a spin class or body pump, apart from it's trying to convince you it's a sport in it's own right, like CrossFit.

    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • andypandyp Posts: 9,106
    Lol. Obvious troll is obvious.
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    edited October 2021
    No point replying......

    3rd World Cup tonight, Jingle Cross, Iowa City.

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  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,932
    I think cross is more of a fetish than a sport in this day and age. Regulations aside, why would you choose what's essentially a modified road bike for cycling around on mud and grass when you could be on a mountain bike? Unless I've missed something and a cross bike is actually quicker it seems like the sport is based on having to use inappropriate equipment. So it's fairly clear that mtb will win as a sport v cross on circuit based racing.

    But the history of the sport comes from town to town races with shortcuts across fields allowed - more like cross country running. Cross shares with athletics steeplechase the same origin and issue - in steeplechase why on earth do we end up with a race in an athletics stadium where we put some fences up and make them run through a small pond? That's pretty much the same as putting jump boards and steps in a cross race.

    I think cross is close to bike racing designed by Taskmaster - "Your task is to ride this inappropriate bike round this course where we've added ridiculous obstacles, fastest wins, your time starts now"

    I think this goes some way to explaining the boom in gravel racing. Firstly, these races can still be point to point, not circuit based, which preserves some of the "race the route" aspect you don't get with circuits. Secondly, it doesn't have the circus aspect of contrived obstacles being thrown in your way. Thirdly, it's got that "out and about in nature" aspect that mountain biking has. And lastly, you would actually choose a modified road bike to do it, instead of a mountain bike, allowing manufacturers to sell you the n+1 bike you were struggling to find a convincing reason to buy.

    I like a bit of cross (viewing) every now and again, I like the beery Benelux fans, the skill, the power and the daftness. But I don't see it ever becoming an Olympic sport. You'll never convince countries with no cross tradition to drop mountain bikes to ride road bikes in the mud, and any rational re-imagining of cross as point to point on a road bike would end up close to gravel racing anyway.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,268
    As a sport that historically didn't pay well, surely like track cycling, it was a way for pro's to earn a living in the off season?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    Regarding the history, the early CX races probably had more in common to XC MTB racing, but no such bikes existed. And since then it's become a bit more contrived and TV friendly. Personally, the less running in a course the better; I dislike lots of steps, and ridiculously steep hillsides that are unrideable. Oh, and the often repeated saying, 'proper CX weather'.....

    In fact, the comparison to Steeplechase makes me think of CX as the cycling equivalent of NH (Jump) horse racing V Flat racing/Road cycling. One is massive in a handful of countries V the other which is a worldwide sport.

    Good point about the Gravel racing; I think that may well overtake CX as a worldwide discipline. Outside of E-bikes, I think I read that gravel bikes are meant to be the fastest selling bikes. Some manufacturers have dropped their CX bikes, concentrating on Gravel bikes......Specialized's CX bike, the Crux is marketed now more as a Gravel bike.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
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  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,268
    andyrac said:

    Personally, the less running in a course the better; I dislike lots of steps, and ridiculously steep hillsides that are unrideable. Oh, and the often repeated saying, 'proper CX weather'.....

    But then it's just an off road race and well, there's MTB for that.
    I do like the hopping off and back on again for whatever obstacle. It's what I think of when I think Cyclo x.
    What I dislike is the over contrived courses where you get a field, put some meandering ribbon tape (with corners that are unimaginably tight/narrow) on sticks and chuck a load of man made obstacles in like a human gymkhana. No course is going to become a 'classic' if it's 90% man made.
    It's also visually poor.

    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,156
    Agree, mounting and dismounting is one of the key skills for cyclocross. All courses should have a couple of sections where riders have to either get off or demonstrate superior skills in riding up a super steep slope / bunny hoping and obstacle. The ideal course has some sections where a decision has to be made on whether the optimum is staying on the bike or running.

    For me the similarities between CX and MTB races would be partly due to MTB courses seemingly getting shorter and more man-made. In the early 90s when I did a few MTB races the laps were a good few miles and relied much more on natural terrain (my view of current courses is mainly based on recent Olympic races though so may not be a fair reflection).
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,932
    On the subject of gravel racing, Nathan Haas has a few thoughts on his blog

    https://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/nathan-haas/nathan-haas-blog-stop-calling-it-alternative/

    I sort of like his mindset "it's all just cycling" but I don't think it's possible to get away from the fact that the "alternative" experience that people are looking for probably can't survive pro teams & sponsors & their marketing people moving in.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 2,810
    The weird implementation of "necessary" rules by the UCI is the biggest problem.
    PTP Champion 2019 & 2022
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    4th round of the World Cup, Zonhoven, Belgium. A 'classic' course with the famous 'de Kuil' sandpit.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
    MTB: Canyon Grand Canyon 8.0
    Road: tbc
  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,268
    edited November 2021
    I have enjoyed the last 2 rounds of the World cup. Interesting circuits and yesterday, cobbles, tarmac, sand, mud, obstacles - everything one could want. A superb watch.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    As ever, the women's is far more interesting - and another young Top 10 with lots of U23 riders, with plenty of non Dutch riders, which bodes well for the future.
    Would love to see similar in the men - however it seems as if Cameron Mason has made great progress since his injury last season.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
    MTB: Canyon Grand Canyon 8.0
    Road: tbc
  • pollys_bottpollys_bott Posts: 1,011

    Any ideas when each of the "Big 3" will turn up? I assume we're talking WVA MVDP and TP?

    I tried Googling with no luck

    TP & WVA at the start of Dec, MVP at the WC round on Dec 18th.
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    So people will only watch when they return? Hardly fans of the sport - they're missing some excellent racing, especially the women's side.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
    MTB: Canyon Grand Canyon 8.0
    Road: tbc
  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,268
    edited November 2021
    What is interesting is seeing Iserbyt et al trying to get as many points as is possible because when MVDP, WVA and TP return, the points available will be more difficult to achieve.
    Not that the latter will compete for overall honours.

    How many times will Hermans fall off?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    UEC European Championships - at Col du Vam, Drenthe, Netherlands.

    Women's Junior has just finished, with the junior Road World Champion winning.

    Mens's U23, then the Elite Women's. Blanka Vas will step up to the Elites for this race.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
    MTB: Canyon Grand Canyon 8.0
    Road: tbc
  • andypandyp Posts: 9,106
    First win in Belgium for Anna Kay today, in the Leuven race. Most of the big names are in Tabor, but she took the lead early on the first lap and never looked like relinquishing it on a course that was made especially tricky by the weather.
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    Yeah, good performance, in only her 2nd/3rd race back from injury - and she's only 22, she seems to have been around for years. Can she make the jump to consistently take on the dutch women, plus Vas and Honsiger?

    https://www.wielerflits.nl/nieuws/tom-pidcock-gaat-voor-twee-intense-crossmaanden-als-hij-het-fysiek-verteert/

    Pidcock back on the 4th December, for a short CX season.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
    MTB: Canyon Grand Canyon 8.0
    Road: tbc
  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,268
    andyrac said:


    Pidcock back on the 4th December, for a short CX season.

    I wonder what the point of that is.
    Just to rack up a couple of wins maybe.

    Why the small fields in the Euro's?
    Van der Haar upset the Belgian party. And very good his ride was too.
    I liked the Superprestige course at Niel (that course chucked everything at them) and a great finish too after Iserbyt punctured and got back.
    Is Toon Aerts just too tall or is he just intent on going flat out with less management of efforts?

    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 908
    One assumes that Tom (and MvdP, WvA) use their short CX campaign basically as super intense training for their Spring classics (and MTB) races in the coming months.
    There was an article yesterday in Wielerflits, were Roland Liboton thinks they should ride CX more....They're no longer CX riders, they do other things which has priority over CX.

    The small fields seem to be a pattern; only 37 in the men's Elite field today.

    Zoe Backstedt has just won the junior World Cup in Tabor; what a future she could have.

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
    WInter: Trek Domane ALR3
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    Road: tbc
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