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Soudal Classics – Scheldecross

[one_half]A sunny but painfully cold day – a quick summary of today’s race. Sandy courses always offer a good spectacle and I remembered that I really liked this course last year, so I was looking forward to todays race and didn’t even mind the 4am start. What I left out of the equation was the cold. My fingers were positively cold by the end of the day

For me, the two Vicious Velo girl’s performance stood out. The are amateurs – in the best possible meaning of the word and yet Delia Beddis finished 11th while Claire Beaumont finished 19th. Not too shabby if we consider that they don’t do this for a living.

And then there was the sprint at the elite men’s sprint. I still don’t know what to think. To me, the sprint two weeks ago in Gieten was ‘legit’, I do think that Sven Nys didn’t gift a win to Klaas Vantornout. [/one_half][one_half_last]I’m not so sure about today, it just looked weird but I simply can’t imagine that the Sunweb-Revor team could pay enough for Nys to gift wins and Nys doesn’t really need favours either. That being said, I’m just an outsider with relatively little insider knowledge – people more in the know said that this race wasn’t all that important to Nys, so he didn’t try THAT hard. It might be true but he never struck me as someone who just allows others to win, even less important races.

Tomorrow is another day and it’s going to be one of my favourite races: the Druivencross in Overijse. The course is great, the surroundings are beautiful and the race has got plenty of history, so everybody will be mega motivated to win. Can’t wait to see the day unfold. See you tomorrow.[/one_half_last]

Vicious Velo, the silliest cycling club in the have paid another visit to the cyclocross motherland. This time, they were prepared, as pros should be and they had their own fan cards

Vicious Velo, the silliest cycling club in the have paid another visit to the cyclocross motherland. This time, they were prepared, as pros should be and they had their own fan cards

Niels Albert signs a book with a photo of him winning his first elite World Champion title in Hoogerheide, back in 2009

Niels Albert signs a book with a photo of him winning his first elite World Champion title in Hoogerheide, back in 2009

Another great race for Nikki Harris, a strong second place

Another great race for Nikki Harris, a strong second place

Amy Dombroski showed good form and rode all the way to the fourth place

Amy Dombroski showed good form and rode all the way to the fourth place

Katie Compton led the race from the get go

Katie Compton led the race from the get go

One of the riders crashed into my flash, which wasn't secured to anything solid in the first place. I was quite happy to see that, at least, it didn't land in the sand.

One of the riders crashed into my flash, which wasn’t secured to anything solid in the first place. I was quite happy to see that, at least, it didn’t land in the sand.

The hero of the day for me was Delia Beddis who finished 11th. Her being an amateur (not in a demeaning way), it was no mean feat. Chapeau.

The hero of the day for me was Delia Beddis who finished 11th. Her being an amateur (not in a demeaning way), it was no mean feat. Chapeau.

The organisers, in their infinite wisdom, didn't provide a clear passage onto the course, therefore every rider had to first throw their bikes through the barriers and then climb after it and it didn't matter if you were a first year U23 rider or Sven Nys, everybody had to climb over the barriers.

The organisers, in their infinite wisdom, didn’t provide a clear passage onto the course, therefore every rider had to first throw their bikes through the barriers and then climb after it and it didn’t matter if you were a first year U23 rider or Sven Nys, everybody had to climb over the barriers.

The odd rider of the week - Xirogiannis, the Greek.

The token fringe rider of the week – Konstantinos Xirogiannis, the Greek crosser.

Seconds after the start of the elite men's race

Seconds after the start of the elite men’s race

A young Niels Albert supporter on the left and his idol on the right

A young Niels Albert supporter on the left and his idol on the right

Kevin Pauwels didn't have a good start but kept in touch with the front.

Kevin Pauwels didn’t have a good start but kept in touch with the front.

The Sunweb-Revor train with Kevin Pauwels (front), Jim Aernouts (middle) and Tijmen Eising (back)

The Sunweb-Revor train with Kevin Pauwels (front), Jim Aernouts (middle) and Tijmen Eising (back)

Managed to catch the moment before Dieter Vanthourenhout hits the saddle

Managed to catch the moment before Dieter Vanthourenhout hits the saddle

Kevin Pauwels on the way to win the race

Kevin Pauwels on the way to win the race

An interesting sprint, it looked a bit funny but most people on twitter said it was ok. What do you think?

An interesting sprint, it looked a bit funny but most people on twitter said it was ok. What do you think?

Oma Fientje, Kevin Pauwels' grandma cuts through the crowd to get to the podium

Oma Fientje, Kevin Pauwels’ grandma cuts through the crowd to get to the podium

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