Insanity. Chaos. A sea of people. Beer. Frites. Color. Sand. Elbows. The Cyclocross World Championships were all that and more. That’s what happens when you pack 53,000 people in a small area, with lots of beer tents and cyclocross racing in West Flanders, Belgium. You think you’re prepared after attending World Cup races in Belgium and even the World Championships in Germany, but Koksijde took it to a whole other level – for the racers and for the media. Here are some of the obstacles that we had to overcome.
Most of the Americans and most other riders in the field were out-gunned on the specialist course in the elite men’s ace at the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium. Only one rider, Ryan Trebon, finished in the top 20. Surprising outcome after better results this year at World Cups, or were they?
“That’s not unexpected.” veteran Tim Johnson…
On a tough course in Koksijde, Belgium, only one American, Ryan Trebon, survived the blazing speed to finish on the same lap as the winner of the Cyclocross World Championships. He finished in 18th place.
Tough day for one of the pre-race favorites, Katie Compton at the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium on Sunday. The goal was the rainbow stripes for the American who has come so very close in the past but she had to settle for fifth place.
In front of a record crowd, 53,000 fans, the Belgians crushed the Elite Men’s race at the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde on Sunday when they took the first seven spots at the finish. At the front, with his second rainbow jersey of his career was Niels Albert who led from start to finish.
Photo gallery of the Elite men’s race at the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium
Prior to the Elite Women Cyclocross World Championships, we asked ‘can anyone beat Vos?’ The answer was a clear no on a cold, grey Sunday morning in Koksijde, Belgium. With a huge crowd, getting bigger every lap, Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, took over the front of the race halfway through the first lap and went on to win her fifth Cyclocross World Championships, and her eighth World Championships in all cycling disciplines – all at the tender age of 24.
Photo gallery of the women’s race at the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium
While three riders at the front of the race were locked in a battle for the rainbow stripes, American Zach McDonald was also in a battle, one against time. After a bad start, McDonald put in an amazing surge to move up from the mid 30s in the field to ultimately cross the line in 12th place at the U23 Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium on Saturday afternoon.
The Belgian media was impatiently waiting for one man at the post-race press conference for the u23 Men’s Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium. And it wasn’t the World Champion Lars van der Haar of the Netherlands that they were waiting for. That man was second place Wietse Bosmans who let the opportunity of a lifetime crumble away on the final lap when he didn’t attack when his rival bobbled on a sandy climb.
Photo gallery of the U23 Men race at the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium
For the second year in a row, Drew Dillman was the top American Men Junior rider at the Cyclocross World Championships on Saturday. On the sandy and very tough course at Koksijde, Belgium, Dillman finished 14th besting his result of 21st last year. Both he and USA Jr Cross Champion Logan Owen rode together for most of the race until Dillman was able to pull away on a downhill sandy section on the final lap.
Photo gallery of the Junior Men race at the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium
Cliché as it may be, Friday definitely felt like the calm before the storm, even more so with the sun shining on the Cyclocross Worlds Course in Koksijde, Belgium. The final day of open pre-ride before the racing starts on Saturday offered up time for the racers to try out their tire pressure and their legs in the sand, and for the fans to enjoy watching the training for free before the madness starts. And madness it is going to be, all tickets have been pre-sold for Sunday, which means over 40,000 fans, mostly Belgians, will be massed in the venue with easy access to multiple beer tents. Madness.
Photo gallery from Friday, the day before the Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium.
Wow. The video feed doesn’t do justice to the brutality of theCyclocross World Championships course in Koksijde can be under certain conditions. Wednesday morning, with many of you following along on @podium_live, I walked the course to see it first hand. Brutal. Yes, there are the two sand dunes which the course traverses three times – twice for one and a single time for the second one – but there are a lot more sandy sections, uphill, downhill, off camber, all over the course.
Photos from the 2012 Cyclocross World Championships training on both Wednesday and Thursday in Koksijde, Belgium.
With an unknown course awaiting her, Meredith Miller (CalGiant/Specialized) is not willing to set any public goals – yet – for the upcoming Cyclocross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium this weekend.
There’s one more race on the schedule to close out USA Cyclocross National Champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) most successful season ever, and it’s the big one, the World Championships this weekend on the tough sandy course in Koksijde. The race is held on the same course where he finished 31st at last November’s World Cup.
AEG Facilities’ Home Depot Center Velodrome will host the second installment of the USA vs. Canada Showdown Series on Sunday, January 22 at 6 p.m. The series will pit national team riders from the U.S. and Canadian National Teams in both sprint and endurance races in a free-to-the-public evening event. The U.S. and Canadian National…