The first ‘new’ race of the season is always exciting, but today was doubly exciting, when I arrived in Kortrijk. When I started shooting cyclocross, back in 2011, my Belgian ‘family’, who host me, lived in Kortrijk. For the first three or four years, I was coming to Kortrijk week in, week out. Since then, they moved to another part of Belgium, but Kortrijk will always have a special place in my heart and it was nice to return.
Not sure what you thought, but I really liked the course itself. While it was quite fast and not very technical, it was a spectators’ dream! You can see quite a lot from any given part of the course and seeing the race unfolding the other side of the canal was quite special. Also, using three bridges was also quite fun, though the course had a distinct Diegem feel: you are practically confined to a part of the course, because it is so disjointed. This is not necessary a problem, just a limitation that one has to bear in mind.
It also reminded me of a conversation I had with someone last week about the future of cyclocross. I think the future of the sport lies (or one of the way to give it new momentum) would be the redbullification of it. What I mean by it is turning races into city/town centre spectacles. To often, races are held in little towns, in the middle of nowhere. One of Red Bull’s ‘thing’ is that they bring slightly mad sports events (like downhill skating) to big cities and create a phenomenal spectacle. I do believe that cyclocross can be that, it’s probably the easiest to follow cycling discipline, it’s relatively cheap to put on and fun to watch. And venues like today’s is a good step into that direction, in my opinion.
Anyway, there were plenty of bits of the course that I am looking forward to discover if Kortrijk stays on the calendar for the coming seasons.