World Cup #5 – Heusden-Zolder

World Cup #5 – Heusden-Zolder





I think it is hard deny that we are witnessing something unique happening in cyclocross at the moment. The sport is growing very dynamically around the world, more and more people seem to interested in and passionate about cross. Not only that, but the iron grip of the Belgians seem to be loosening, too. I’m saying that bearing in mind that come the Worlds at Hoogerheide and I might have to eat my words.

Last year, after the last World Cup race at Hoogerheide, the journalist were working hard to find a precedent for a podium that contained no Belgians. They had to go back all they way to 2001, when Richard Groenendaal ahead of Daniele Pontoni and Petr Dlask.

But that was last year. We only had to wait 11 months for another ‘sans-Belgians’ podium, this time the situation is even worse, the best Belgian, Rob Peeters was only 5th. To find a precedent for this, one has to go even further back. I’m not saying that the Belgian rule is over, far from it, it’s enough to take a quick look at the overall standings of the Superprestige and Bpost Bank Trofee standings, but this year seems to be definitely different from the previous years and I think races like today, when there was a new leader of the race in almost every lap, show the best side of the sport.

It is worth also noting, that Katie Compton has beaten Marianne Vos twice in a row, fair and square. While Vos has always been very humble and never claimed to have super powers and to be unbeatable, she has practically been just that. While two defeats are definitely not enough to draw a trend line, it might signal that strong opponents can best Vos.

I would be interested in knowing what you, the readers think, whether this really is the beginning a new era, or it’s just a blip on the radar and this season is a statistical aberration? Please let me know below in the comments.
Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

The moment Niels Albert crashed in the first lap of the  5th lap of UCI cyclocross World Cup race in Zolder, Belgium. Photo by Balint Hamvas / Cyclephotos. All rights reserved.

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

Cyclocross photos from the World Cup #5, Zolder by cyclephotos

14 Comments

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  1. 1
    Flanderscyclingguy

    Hey, I hope you don’t mind I reblog some of your awesome pictures on my Tumblr account? Offcourse I add you as the source!

  2. 9
    Sebastien

    My point of view is not the most pertinent, i have some dificulties to follow the actuality (and my english is a pity). I think this race is maybe the futur direction of cyclocross (it is exactly the same in crosscountry and downhill). They could do the race without to put one foot on the floor (almost) and this kind of race gives an advantage to powerful persons (not the case of Vos actually) So yes maybe it is a new era, more faster, less inexcusable with injuries, fall,… And one more time Good Job !!!! 🙂

  3. 11
    Ronne

    great pics! Thank you.

    you are right, i also think there is a little shift from the overall belgian dominance in the mens elite to a more international flavored group of top riders constantly fighting for the podium. With Moray, Bina, Walsleben, LvdH, van Amerongen etc. there is a great pack of riders who are able to mix up the belgian squad. But i doubt this will late for long since you look at the beloften and the juniors. These are dominated by the belgians and the netherlands (van der Poel bros) and the fantastic czech talent Tupalik. Other countries doesnt play any role.
    Btw, zolder was a little special because of the crash of albert in the first lap (without it he maybe won), sven nys was saving power for the azencross since he had no chance to reach Top 3 in the overall world cup standings?, Pauwels and the “lange Klaas” had not a good day.

  4. 13
    Simon

    I looked into it. Judging by the UCI ranking system the Belgian dominance lookes to be right on track statistically.

    Belgians in Top 20 past 6 years (starting with this current season): 10, 9, 8, 9, 10, 8
    Belgians in Top 10 past 6 years: 5, 6, 7, 6, 6, 7
    Belgians in Top 5 past 6 years: 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 4

    • 14
      admin

      Hi Simon,

      I love the fact that you went back the UCI’s site to look into this, thanks! However, I still thing that the above data doesn’t tell the whole story. But this time, I won’t base my statement on feelings, will look into the data a bit deeper! Thanks for the idea and inspiring me to do this!

      Balint

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