Let’s go. Marianne Vos and Eli Iserbyt won the Battle of Waterloo on Sunday. On Monday, the cyclocross circus flew from Chicago to Fayetteville, where the second round of the World Cup is already on the schedule for Wednesday. Also a first knowledge of the place where the World Cup will take place in early 2022. Cycling Flash explore with you.
The cyclocross event in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the World Cup will be held early next year, is one with a political edge. Brook Watts, the US organizer who also put Las Vegas and Waterloo on the cyclocross map and was in charge of developing the World Cup project, stepped down this spring after a political disagreement with state Arkansas.
The state passed a law earlier this year banning hormone treatments or puberty inhibitors to underage transgender residents. The Republican majority in the Senate passed the law, and it was absolutely not well received in the American sports and cycling world. The question has even been asked aloud as to whether a state that restricts the rights of a group in society so much can host a World Cup.
It didn’t come to that, but Brook Watts announced at the end of April that he was stepping down as organizer. He could “not to live with the problematic situation of Arkansas ”, he sounded in a statement. The similarity between Watts and Discover Fayetteville, the city’s tourist office, was broken. In the meantime, he went into business with Sport Medalist, which previously hosted the Tour of Utah, Tour of California and the World Road Championships in Richmond.
Previously, a cyclo-cross race in Fayetteville was only organized in 2019. It was a C2 cross and it took place on a different course than the World Cup / World Cup. Last year, the Pan American Championships were also scheduled to take place there, but like the rest of the United States, the Covid-19 also put a damper on it. This World Cup race will therefore be the very first cross ever on the World Cup course at the end of January 2022.
Another thing: the main sponsor of both events is the Walton family, owners of the American supermarket chain Walmart. Walmart’s headquarters are in Bentonville, less than half an hour from Centennial Park in Fayetteville. With 2.3 million employees (and 11,400 stores in 26 countries), it is one of the largest private employers in the world. The Waltons are among the richest families on the planet.
2019: Kerry Werner (C2 – different course)
2019: Maghalie Rochette (C2 – ander course)
This World Cup round – and therefore also the World Cup in three and a half months – will take place in the Centennial Park. The park is located just minutes from downtown Fayetteville.
The circuit has a total length of 2.89 kilometers, of which 3% is paved and 97% is grass. Artificial obstacles on the course include two bridges, a staircase and a paved section. There is also a slope of 250 meters with an average slope of 7.4% and a maximum slope of good 15%.
Brook Watts started designing the course in early 2018 and was inspired by the many Belgian and Dutch cyclocross races he has visited in recent years. For example, he designed a staircase of 38 steps. Watts told us earlier that he was mainly inspired by Ruddervoorde and Valkenburg, and that he added “a touch” of Namur.
Wednesday 13 October
12:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. with us): Women’s World Cup
2 p.m. (9 p.m. with us): Men’s World Cup
S Centennial Park Ln, Fayetteville, AR 72704 United States
The field of participants in men is almost identical to that of the last few weeks, with the exception of the unlucky Thibau Nys. Of course still without the Van Aert, Van der Poel, Pidcock, Merlier and Vermeersch “crossing road racers”, but with all the other toppers, with the exception of Laurens Sweeck. Sweeck has chosen not to relocate to the United States and is currently considering an internship in Mallorca. Tom Meeusen is not here either, the Kempenaar has not been selected.
The favorites are the same as those of the last few weeks. always with Show alerts to Eli iserbyt up. You already get Michel Vanthourenhout And particularly Quinten hermans after Waterloo an additional dash after their name. Iserbyt was Vanthourenhout’s best, but Hermans (who finished third) was closest to the European champion. Without this cursor in the second round, he would undoubtedly have finished second.
As with our previous preview, the last stars go to Lars van der Haar to Horn van Kessel. Winning might be a little too ambitious, but former teammates need to be able to compete for podium spots on the Centennial Park course.
Daan Soete and young people Ryan Kamp, Pim ronhaar to Show Vandebosch did more than well at Waterloo, but fell a bit too far in the final to qualify them as podium contenders. It should be possible to get closer to the top five. Daan Soete may be able to benefit from his mountain biking experience on this circuit.
Another special mention for Niels Vandeputte, in Waterloo respectively fifth. The Alpecin-Fenix rider impressed with a surprisingly fast last lap, with which he regained no less than five places. Will we see another strong final round from the young Belgian on Wednesday?
Favorites according to WielerFlits
*** Eli Iserbyt
** Quinten Hermans, Toon Aerts
* Michael Vanthourenhout, Lars van der Haar, Corné van Kessel
If the Waterloo women’s race made us understand anything, it’s that women’s cyclo-cross continues to gain in attractiveness. The battle between Brand Lucinda to Marianne Vos deep into the finale was particularly captivating. What if Denise Betsema was not pushed back by a chain problem in the first half? Now she had to fire a cartridge to get back and she missed it in the last few hundred yards to compete even longer with Brand and Vos.
Due to the progress made at Waterloo, these three women are now at the top of our list, but Annemarie Pire, Blanka Kata Vas to Jolanda Neff are three formidable competitors who can also simply participate in the victory of the day. We have been told that cyclists with an ATV training are certainly not at a disadvantage at Centennial Park.
In addition, the 250-meter-long climb should not be underestimated. “A touch of Valkenburg and Namen”, as Brook Watts described it to us at the time. Curious to know what impact this climb will have on the course. In our star distribution, we only have room for six names, so for example Yara Kasteline just outside the boat. But she can also compete for the podium in Fayetteville.
We are also curious about the performance of the three Dutch promises Puck Pieterse, Shirin of Anrooij to Fem van Empel. They can also do even better at Fayetteville than Sunday at Waterloo, although a place in the top 5 is still a little too ambitious at the moment.
Favorites according to WielerFlits
*** Marianne Vos
** Blanka Kata Vas, Denise Betsema
* Lucinda Brand, Jolanda Neff, Annemarie Pire
Weather and TV
The women’s and men’s competitions are covered by Telenet Play Sports and Proximus in Belgium (both open net from 7 p.m.). The matches can also be followed live on Eurosport. Sporza will provide a detailed summary later.
Here is the weather forecast for Fayetteville according to Weather.com.. And it will not be a godsend, because severe thunderstorms are expected. The past few days have been no different. On Sunday, the finish of the course even had to be interrupted for a while due to the danger of a tornado. But fortunately, this is now over.
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