Next Sunday, the cyclocross circus will pitch its tents on unexplored grounds. In the mountainous backdrop of Val di Sole in Italy, snow and ice must offer a spectacle.
The Baloise Trek Lions team, of which Sven Nys is the manager, is notably absent. Nys is a proponent of the internationalization of cross country and his team has already visited the United States. “It’s a conscious choice,” said Sven Nys. “Every year we have a break somewhere during the cyclocross season and it usually falls during that time.”
“This year the only time a break was possible without missing two classification crosses was the weekend in Val di Sole. Before Val di Sole on Sunday there will be a race in Essen and it is a single cross . “
With Lucinda Brand, Nys is still the leader of the World Cup and Toon Aerts and Lars van der Haar are also doing well in this ranking. “There are 16 races in the World Cup, so missing a race in the World Cup is not a disaster.”
“The snowcrosses are still a spectacle, but the ride there, the elevation it’s been up to (around 1,200m) and with everything to come I think it’s the right choice. “
The Val di Sole is going to be special, as cyclo-cross races on snowy fields and slippery paths have become rare.
There is a lot of snow in the Val di Sole. And if that hadn’t been the case, the organization would have used the snow cannon if necessary. Because the organization has a clear objective: to attract the attention of the Olympic Committee. Cyclo-cross wants to be on the program for the Winter Games.
Sven Nys finds it a shame that his team cannot support this Olympic ambition in Italy this weekend. He is a strong supporter of Olympic cyclo-cross.
“I have been a member of the cyclo-cross committee for ten years and our sport has already reached many stages. A lot has been invested in women’s cyclo-cross. As a result, men and women are much more equal in cross than in road cycling. “
Nys mentions a number of arguments. “There are a lot of countries at the start of a cyclocross race, which is important for making an Olympic sport and, moreover, cyclocross is much more of a televised sport than mountain biking. It is much cheaper to represent. and it’s attractive. It fits perfectly into the format of the Games. “
“If our sport becomes an Olympic sport, the sky is the limit. Then all the federations will wake up and put money back in cyclo-cross. Now it is only in Flanders and the Netherlands. In countries like Switzerland or France, mountain biking (or Olympic) put an end to that. “
But the chance that today’s cyclocross toppers will still experience it is very low. “Cycling will first have to become a demonstration sport. Cyclocross will never be seen at the Winter Games until 2030.”
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