This was the first cyclo-cross race of the season for me and it took some getting used to, I got a bit rusty during the summer. I wasn’t really satisfied with my morning performance in terms of the quality of the photos, however, I knew that the men’s race would be the easiest as they complete the most laps, so it usually gives you a lot of chances to catch good frames on different parts of the course.
Zdenek Stybar makes final preparations.
But he’s willing to help out cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys with his race bib.
Stybar leads right after the start.
He was the first rider on the top of the big climb.
By the end of the first lap, reigning World Champion, Niels Albert took the lead.
An avid supporter.
Albert powered up on all climbs with admirable ease.
Dutch rider Gerben De Knegt tackles the same climb in his fourth lap.
Former World Champ, Erwin Vervecken spits. I have to be honest, I was just lucky catching the right moment, this was a result of a sequence of photos, the preceding and following photos were both out of focus. Sometimes you just get it right.
Sven Vanthourenhout and Thijs Al tackling a corner at rather high speed.
I can imagine more attractive mascots but then again, who am I to judge?
Though Stybar (20) wasn’t able to keep Albert’s pace, he was the strongest rider in the following pack. He pulled away gradually from the chasers’ group and only Klass Vantournout (4) was able to match his speed.
Last year’s overall World Cup winner, Sven Nys had a good start but dropped out after 5 laps, He didn’t feel well, allegedly. His fans were equally sad.
Albert en route to his first World Cup victory in the season.
The public announcer’s pulpit.
Stybar’s 2nd place wasn’t really in danger in the last lap.
Klaas Vantornhout came in third.
It was a fast and demanding course.
The World Cup leader.
And he also gets kisses.