Superprestige #1 – Gieten

Superprestige #1 – Gieten


The Gieten cyclocross race kicked off the Superprestige series and it brought some spectacular racing.

Wout van Aert seemed to have gotten away with the least amount of pressure from the field. He pulled away from the start and never looked back. Clearly, his recent collarbone injury didnít have a massive effect on him.

The womenís race was interesting, for two reasons. Firstly, according to the UCIís rule book, the womenís races must precede the elite menís race. That clearly wasnít the case here, the Ďdamen’ race started at 2:45pm, the Ďbeloftení at 4:30pm and then the elite men at 5:30pm. Thatís not what the guidebook says and as far as I know, Helen Wyman has already been raising this issue to the UCI Cyclocross Committee.

The racing itself ended up being rather exciting. Sanne Cant had a strong start and it seemed that sheíll win the race easily, but Ellen Van Loy and Sophie de Boer stayed with her for the better part of the race.
Elle Anderson rode her first race as a member of her new team and she rode well but the jet leg prevented her to leave her mark on the race.

Another new-old rider was Sanne van Paassen, who was forced to sit out the whole 2013/2014 season after suffering an injury on her left quads. With no UCI points in her bag, she started from the back of the race but she moved up to fifth pretty quickly. She chased Anderson for a while and managed to pull away and grab fourth place. Clearly, it wasnít the result she had expected because she crossed the line heavily sobbing and it took her some time to calm down.

On the front, Van Loy gave Cant a run for her money and the winner was decided in an all-out sprint between the two, of which Cant emerged victorious. This was her second win, after last weekís in Neerpelt.

After two laps, the elite menís race looked rather straightforward. After the usual early attacks, Lars van der Haar pulled away and it seemed that nobody could respond. Last year, in his first season among the elite men, he lost to Niels Albert after a gripping battle, and he was keen on establishing a lead that allowed him to ride comfortably to the win.

By half way through, van der Haar built up a comfortable lead and it appeared that Kevin Pauwels, Mathieu van der Poel and Sven Nys, who joined the lead group after a forgettable start, were just racing for second.
I have talked about this many times: it is rather difficult to see how the race unfolds when you view it solely from behind a camera. However, today, I was able to follow the dynamic of the race, how van der Haar built up his lead and how it started to dwindle in the last three lap between him and the 19 (!) year old Mathieu van der Poel. Van der Poel overtook van der Haar in the last lap and won the race, his first win among the elite men.

Van der Haar joined the elite men in 2012/2013, technically still an U23 rider. He said he needed challenges and van der Poel is following a similar path – only two years earlier. He wonít be able to compete at the Worlds and at the World Cups among the elite men but elsewhere, we should expect him in the thick of the action. And his hairdo is still the coolest.

Cyclocross 2013/2014 - The Album

If you havenít seen it yet, check out my coffee table album about the 2013/2014 cyclocross season. It is an exclusive chronicle of the 13/14 season on 240 pages.

Sanne van Paassen finalises the cassette setup of the race for the first Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Sanne van Paassen finalises the cassette setup of the race

2014-cyclocross-superprestige-gieten-helicopter-1415

Elle Anderson puts on her helmet before the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Elle Anderson had flown in from the US only a few days prior to the race, so there was plenty for her to get used to, including the time zone.

Elle Anderson rides in the second lap in the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

The womenís Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten ended in a sprint finish between Sanne Cant and Ellen Van Loy. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Karen Verhestraeten regains composure after the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Painful day – part I

Yara Kastelijn regains composure after the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Painful day – part II

2014-cyclocross-superprestige-gieten-pebble-1617

2014-cyclocross-superprestige-gieten-balloons-1643

Wout Van Aert celebrates his win on the podium of the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Wout Van Aert on the podium

Mathieu van der Poel smiles before the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Mathieu van der Poel has enough elite men’s UCI points to start the race from the front row.

The start of the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Lars van der Haar chases Mathieu van der Poel in the second lap of the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Tijmen Eising rides in the third lap of the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Tijmen Eising, the junior World Champion of the 2009 race in Hoogerheide took part in the race. He had had a few stellar seasons but after the less than successful 2011/2012 season among the U23s, he couldnít find a contract for last season and he has eventually left the sport. Today, he fought hard and has managed to finish the race without being lapped.

2014-cyclocross-superprestige-gieten-lake-1752

Sven Nysí timekeeper during the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Sven Nysí famous timekeeping man. He relays information about his position and gaps back to Nys.

Sven Nys rides in the fifth lap of the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

And this is the two of them in action.

Relive the highlights of the 2013/2014 season and order the exclusive, coffee-table chronicle of the previous season: http://cyclephotos.wpengine.com/book1314

Relive the highlights of the 2013/2014 season and order the exclusive, coffee-table chronicle of the previous season: http://cyclephotos.wpengine.com/book1314

Mathieu van der Poel rides in the penultimate lap of the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Two laps to go. Full gas.

Lars van der Haar is about to start the last lap of the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

This photo was taken with about a minute before they started the last lap. Van der Haar leads the race but you can see a frantically chasing van der Poel in the bottom-right corner.

Tom Meeusen talks to tv channel Vier after the Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, in 2014. Photo by Balint Hamvas / cyclephotos.co.uk

Tom Meeusen talks to TV channel Vier.

2014-cyclocross-superprestige-gieten-mathieu-van-der-poel-1839

10 Comments

Add yours
  1. 1
    Carl

    Great series of images Balint, sounds like a number of great races. Super happy for Van der Poel and on Colnago disc. Now I just need to find some online video footage. Thanks for documenting and sharing your comments

  2. 6
    Tim

    Great shots as always Balint and as others have echoed great work with the narrative as well! Did I catch some off camera flash in a few of the shots?

    • 7
      Balint Hamvas

      Tim,

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I’ve used off-shoe flash in a few shots. As I’ve lost my trusted Manfrotto Superclamp, I have to make to at the moment with just one flash.

+ Leave a Comment