The fourth Superprestige race of the season will take place on Sunday, at Asper-Gavere. There are six riders within the realistic reach of the title, 7th placed Corne van Kessel has 24 points, 9 less than Tom Meeusen at 6th. Young Mathieu van der Poel leads the classification with 40 points, but Sven Nys and Lars van der Haar is very close and Kevin Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout and Meeusen are all within reach sight of the top.
Asper-Gavere is one of my favourite courses, it’s set on a military estate and features tough climbs and treacherous descents. It is almost always muddy and as the venue itself is very compact, the crowd often becomes very dense and thus the atmosphere is one of the best you can find in Belgium. A course like this favours mud grinders, like Nys, when speed is not that important, and given that there has been a fair amount of rain this week, it will be a muddy and technical affair.
The women’s race is also promising a great battle. Sanne Cant is on great form, having won both at the European Championships last week and then a day later at Ruddervoorde. Nikki Harris started to show more form, she thrives in the mud and she won the race back in 2012, while Sophie de Boer, who has won the hilly Ronse and Koppenberg races this season, will be racing on a course that suits her.
What’s also worth noting is that there isn’t a general classification for women – the only major race series without one for women…
2013 – Sven Nys
2012 – Sven Nys
2011 – Kevin Pauwels
2013 – Sanne Cant
2012 – Nikki Harris
2011 – Sanne van Paassen
If you havenít seen it yet, check out my coffee table album about the 2013/2014 cyclocross season. It is an exclusive chronicle of the 13/14 season on 240 high-quality, colourful pages.
Tune in around 3pm CET, TV coverage starts at 3:30pm CET on Vier.