I hadn’t known much about Zonhoven before I got here, but when I started to recce the course in the morning, the horribly steep and sandy descents did ring a bell. Even looking at them was scary, let alone the thought of people coming down on them, at race speed. I didn’t have to wait for the first batch of riders, who were the women.
Yes, the women started at 10:45am. In order to raise women’s cross’ profile, the UCI now requires organizers to hold women’s races above a certain (C1) level. The Superprestige organizers duly oblige but they put a twist in it and have the women’s start so early that not many people bothers to turn up – the World Cups’ 1:30pm start is much more favourable.
The weather was sunny and warm, another race done wearing only a t-shirt (and pants). The forecast promises similar weather for Koppenbergcross on Tuesday, so it unusually long dry and sunny season start will last one more race longer.