I remember the last World Cup race last year, when Martin Bina won the race and there was no Belgian on the podium, how unusual it was that not the one of the usual suspects won. The great thing about this season is that while the Sven Nys and Niels Albert are still pull performances out of their hats like nobody else, it feels a lot less unusual to have a non-Belgian at the top of the podium.
Francis Mourey has been around since forever, or at least that’s how it feels like, even though he is only 32. In previous season, he has always targeted the World Cups and preferred French races instead of Superprestiges and GVA Trofees, but wins somehow eluded him.
This year, however, he finished fourth at Tabor and he came tantalisingly close to a win at Koksijde, but still, not many would have bet on him before the race. But with great and consistent racing, he pulled away from the rest of the field and never looked back from lap three. While I was walking back to the start line, I was imagining how he would go ecstatic upon winning the race, but I don’t think he looked particularly emotional, he took it quite matter-of-factly.
Nonetheless, it was a well deserved and well timed win, his last World Cup win was in 2006, apparently.
Next up is Christmas for the riders and their families alike, but there is not much time to celebrate – ‘cross is back on Boxing Day in Zolder, for another round of the World Cup. It’s a funny time of the year: most websites and blog talk about the top 10 moments of the year, but in our case, potentially the best moments might still lay ahead of us. So for now, I just want to wish you, my reader, a very Happy Christmas. I would like to thank you for coming back, thank you for the comments, tweets, facebook posts. I would like to thank all the buyers of my books for helping this site carry on and I hope I did not disappoint when it comes to cyclocross photos. Thank you and see you in three days time!