I’ve seen a few races but this has been the craziest, ever. Over 60 000 spectators, a very sandy course and kilometers and kilometers of barriers to keep the two separate. The only problem that it makes it moving around for us, photographers next to impossible, especially that they locked down the level crossings during the elite men’s race and both us and the spectators were only allowed to use the bridges.
Of course, the dedicated is hard to deter so most of us got around eventually but it was quite an adventure, especially with 15 kg of gear on our backs. What was easy is to follow the races. The women’s race? Marianne Vos leading with a mile. The men’s race was more exciting but only because the eventual winner, Niels Albert wasn’t a pre-race favourite, moreover, he even said that he would ride to help his fellow Belgians.
But then he pulled away from the rest of the field straight from the start and when he got rid of Zdenek Stybar, no one could get close to him ever again. And the best bit? The crowd as it went absolutely nuts when the front of the race approached. Even I got goosebumps and I wasn’t even riding!
Now I’m back to London, but here are the photos. And don’t forget, the 2011/2012 Cyclocross book is available to pre-order now – if you buy, you help me to keep this thing going!