I was watching the livecast from Crossvegas last week and as the race concluded, there was a tv spot from ĎVierí, one of the main Belgian channels which broadcast cyclocross. It was only a short medley of race footage from previous seasons but it gave me goosebumps: I canít wait to be back in Belgium week in, week out, chasing those muddy gladiators for the next five months.
When I got into cyclocross, I’ve never thought that I could ever get bored of the sport and that jolt of excitement proved me that I am just as excited about it as I was five years ago. However, there is one major challenge.
Having photographed most race venues for over four times, it is getting increasingly difficult to find new angles. And there is the eternal question: if you donít photograph an iconic part of the course, have you photographed the race at all? Can you omit the cobbled climb at Koppenbergcross? Can you ignore the long, sandy lane in Koksijde?
This is the reason I always very excited when a new race venue appears in the calendar: new venue means a clean slate, unknown quantities, no stress over where to go and what to do. This season will be quite generous with a few brand new venues, like Spa or the new Hamme course, a few courses that Iíve only shot once, like the new Gieten or Essen courses.
And then there is Erpe-Mere, the de-facto season opener in Europe for the majority of the riders. While itís definitely not a new race in the calendar, Iíve nover covered this race before, so itís another new beginning for me.
As for the riders, weíve seen a glimpse of what to come at Crossvegas, it seems itís going to be yet another year when Sven Nys tries to win it all – but maybe the pretenders will be strong enough this year.
So before the season kicks off, check out a couple of my shots from previous season firsts. Bring it on cyclocross.
This is the place for shameless self promotion: the 2013/2014 Cyclocross album is available, a nice coffee table visual chronicle of the last season. You can relive the funniest, most poignant or hardest moments. Head over here to get more info and to order it: