Enjoy the Bpost Bank Trofee Koppenberg gallery and race report below. (Word edits by Nicholas Lemke)
The Koppenbergcross cyclocross race needs little introduction. The cobbled climb of the Koppenberg is one of the most famous climbs of the Spring Classics and the Autumn cyclocross race, which utilizes a portion of the same climb, has become a classic in its own right.
And if the course alone didn’t provide enough intrigue, this race will certainly be remembered for its controversial finish. It seemed that a sprint between Sven Nys and Wout Van Aert was inevitable, but the race judges, fate, and Jan Denuwelaere intervened. Denuwelaera was lapped and should’ve been pulled from the course, but he was allowed to carry-on and when Van Aert launched his attack, Nys was boxed in by Denuwelaera and was unable to sprint. Van Aert bagged one of the biggest wins of his life, but nonetheless commented that he preferred a win where his opponent was unhindered.
And don’t forget the women’s race, which was equally eventful: a dog attacked Ellen van Loy in the first lap, Sophie de Boer once again showcased her magnificent form, and five laps of great racing took place at the first race in Belgium with equal prize money for women. After winning this race many times before, Helen Wyman had a bad day and finished eighth; however, her major victory came in orchestrating, together with Stef Wyman, the women’s equal prize purse. A massive thank you to Kris Auer of Twenty20 Cycling, who was adventurous enough to sponsor a bike race on this side of the pond.
If you haven’t 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 high-quality, colourful pages.