So starting tomorrow, it's on, the most important event on the cyclocross calendar. Hoogerheide in the Netherlands welcomes the world's elite of cross-country riders who are looking for their title holders on the 2,8-kilometer course. Who will be Sven Nys' successor? Who is following title subscriber Marianne Vos?
Last year, Hoogerheide marked the end of the World Cup, was snowy and icy. This year the signs are different. The track builders have marked out a course that, in addition to technical passages, also includes sections in which the top riders can put the spurs on their bikes.
The four races will be broadcast live from midday on Saturday. You can follow the races directly via the UCI live stream here.
//Saturday, 01.02.2014, 11:00-12:00 live – men U18
In the junior race, victory will probably only go to the Czech Adam Toupalik.
//Saturday, 01.02.2014/15/00, 16:00-XNUMX:XNUMX p.m. Live – Women Elite
In the women's category there are two riders who will fight for the title honors. While defending champion Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) delivered an impressive performance last week in Nommay, overall World Cup winner Katie Compton (Trek) had to get off her bike prematurely. Breathing problems had forced her to do so. However, she has beaten Vos multiple times during the season and should be hotter than ever for the title.
For the other riders, only the fight for bronze remains. If you take the World Cup in Nommay as a template, then the British European Champion Helen Wyman (Kona) and the Belgian Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) should deliver an exciting race.
//Sunday, 02.02.2014, 11:00-12:05 Live – Men U23
In the U23 class, there are three drivers to watch out for. The Dutchman Matthieu van der Poel (Enertherm-BKCP) not only has a big name, but can also look back on two world championship titles in the juniors. He mastered the jump to the U23 class without any problems. In his first race in the elite, he narrowly missed out on a win. This, on the other hand, was achieved by another young star. The Belgian Wout van Aert (Telenet-Fidea) is not only currently the strongest in his class on technical routes, after he was disqualified in the Belgian title fights due to a false start, he should focus all the more on the rainbow stripes. In the end, the reigning European champions may also be happy. Belgian Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) should not be underestimated.
//Sunday, February 02.02.2014nd, 15, 00:16-00:XNUMX p.m. Live – Men Elite
No question. In the elite there are not just a handful of drivers who can win the race. Above all, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) will try to win his third title. If he's in the same good form as he was in the Belgian title fights, then he'll be hard to beat. During the week, Nys and Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) prepared for Mallorca. The Czech also boasts two world championship titles in his palmarès. In addition, is a driver who should never be underestimated.
Behind this duo it is important to pay particular attention to the two shooting stars of the season: The only 22-year-old World Cup winner Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) and the German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus). Together with the strong Frenchman Francis Mourey (FDJ.fr) they will try to outsmart Nys and Stybar.
You can also trust Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) to have a good race.