Waterloo is hosting this year’s cyclo-cross world cup round 1. It was wretched conditions all round in the race making it a very difficult day. What is cyclo cross for those not familiar? It is a hybrid form of cycling involving all facets of it, road racing , mountain racing as well as test of endurance in the steeple chasing category. The bikes used here are special purpose ones called cx bikes. Most riders prefer to use gently modified road race bikes with thin tires and lower handle bars so as to easily clear obstacles. The bike has to be as light as possible because you will need to carry it on the steeple chase portion of the race.
Eli Iserbyt the European Champion soloed to victory in Round 1 making a crucial decision to change bike in the second last lap.The muddy conditions meant the tires needed to be spot on in terms of traction. The tire pressure needed to be a little lower than normal to negotiate the muddy roads. The slick course claimed some victims, notably Thibau Nys with a collarbone injury in the second lap and Toon Aerts who crashed into the barriers. Eventual third place finisher Quinten Hermans crashed into the tarmac, check out the clip. He leaned too hard. He would claim it affected his race badly. Just like in Formula one there were pit stops along the way so it was imperative to have the team move fast during the change of bikes sequence and be fully equipped. The key to winning the race was to get to the front of the group from the off when the road was fairly dry. Michael Vanthourenhout with the second place finish.