Since I have been covering cross, the personal significance of the New Year has kind of ended. The cyclocross season is understandably very dominant at this time of the year, so there I feel continuity instead of closure on the 31st of December. My real New Year usually comes at the evening of Oostmalle, the last race of the season.
The last race of the calendar year is always interesting for a many riders, riders who change teams. This is the last time they ride in the colours of teams they might have been riding for long, long years. This year, we will be seeing a fair amount of movement, most prominent will probably be the new Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace team with Rob Peeters, Wout van Aert (from March 2014) and Yannick Peeters (Sept 2014).
Today was also the last day for Sven Nys to ride on a Colnago. As it’s been an open secret for a while now, he’ll be riding on Trek bikes from Wednesday. I remember rumours about him having a life-long contract with Colnago and the rest, but it’s safe to say that they turned out to be untrue.
So when he crossed the line, he had enough lead over Tom Meeusen to pick up the bike, kiss it and hold it over his head. This is where I screwed up. I had made a bet a few seconds beforehand and I lost. All previous editions I have attended ended with fireworks coming out of the finish bridge, so I assumed that was going to be the case today, too and to capture that, I prepared with a wide angle lens. But Sven Nys stopped and kissed and I totally missed the kiss. How annoying. But that’s life, I guess, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
So this was it for 2013 but the year is not quite over just yet – expect my top 10 posts tomorrow and on Tuesday. Then on to Baal and a hopefully even more prosperous 2014.