The slopes of the legendary Cauberg Hill, where Amstel Gold Race finishes provides some steep climbs and gnarly descents for the first World Cup of the cyclocross season tomorrow at the Cauberg Cyclocross in the Netherlands. The elite women’s and elite men’s race will be streamed live on the UCI youtube channel.
The 2.65-km course, which is described as having the “feel of a Swiss course” by the organizers, includes plenty of riding leaning into slopes and is highly technical. Making it even more difficult will be the wet and muddy conditions with rain in the forecast for the weekend.
World Champion Marianne Vos (Rabo Women Cycling Team) is the one to watch in the field of 42 Elite women, along with last year’s World Cup winner Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective). Vos will be looking for an early lead in the World Cup before taking a break from the second round for minor surgery. Missing from the field is Sanne van Paassen of the Netherlands who is sidelined with a leg injury. Joining Compton for the United States are USA Under23 National Champion Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Meredith Miller (CalGiant/Specialized) and Christine Vardaros.
The elite men’s field will include 55 riders from 16 countries. Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah) won the final World Cup of the last season in February and is looking strong after a second place behind World Champion Sven Nys (Crela-Euphony) in Ronse last weekend. He will also have to contend with Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) who is out to defend his overall World Cup title. The US national champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy) will be the lone representative for the United States.
Unbeaten in the Juniors World Cup last season, the Netherlands’ Mathieu van der Poel starts as favorite in the Men Under23 field. Despite being three years younger than his strongest rivals, the son of the course’s designer Adrie van der Poel has what it takes to win in Valkenburg. After claiming the Junior Men UCI Road World Championships title in Firenze a few weeks ago, he went on to beat all his older rivals at the first UCI European cross race of the season in Ronse last weekend. Another strong contender is van der Poel’s compatriot and U23 World Champion Mike Teunissen. Last year’s overall World Cup winner Wietse Bosmans (BKCP-Powerplus) has moved up to the Elite category this year, but his runner-up Wout Van Aert (Belgium) will definitely challenge these two riders.
The multi-time USA junior cyclocross champion Logan Owen will be starting his first World Cup as an espoir racer after finishing fourth to van der Poel in both the road and cyclocross world championships in 2013. His strong showing in last week’s UCI cross race – his first ever racing in the elite men’s field – showed that he is a racer to watch. Owen’s CalGiant/Specialized teammate Tobin Ortenblad will also be racing. After struggling a bit earlier in the season, Ortenblad snagged two top 10 finishes in Boulder last weekend and is looking to ride that wave. Also lining up for the United States will be Curtis White (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com).
The Junior Men’s race is wide open with the departure of van der Poel and it will be interesting to discover the names of the future. The United States will be represented by Maxx Chance, Josey Weik and David Lombardo. Weik, along with Red Zone Cycling teammate, Gavin Haley, are starting their European cyclocross racing tour. The only Canadian at the race, Willem Boersma, will be lining up in the junior’s race.
As for prize money, the winner in the elite men’s race will take home 5,000 € while the elite women’s winner gets 1,000 €. The under23 winner will get 175 € and the jumior winner prize money is 150 €.
World Cup #1 Cauberg Cross Sunday October 20, 2013
- 10:00 – 10:40 CET / 1:00 am – 1:40 am PDT: Junior Men
- 11:10 – 12:00 CET / 2:10 am – 3:00 am PDT: Under23 Men
- 13:30 – 14:10 CET / 4:30 am – 5:10 am PDT: Elite Women
- 15:00 – 16:05 CET / 6:00 am – 7:05 am PDT: Elite Men
The first round of the 2013-2014 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup will be broadcast live on the UCI youtube channel (geo-restriction might come into play for United States resident) starting at 13:30 CET or 4:30 am PDT.