INTERVIEW: Life in the tough Belgian cyclocross scene is a dream few have and fewer live. But New Zealand's Angus Edmond has joined the big leagues and took time to tell us about riding against the biggest cross riders in the world.
After a heavy night of Friday night action at the Gent six day with a promising weekend of bikes, beer, frites and track action ahead, there was still time to enhance the weekend with one more Belgian staple - Cyclocross. With the World Cup action just a drive away, the opportunity to see the best 'cross men in the world couldn't be knocked back.
Cyclocross has started to sneak its way onto the pages of Pez. This annual changing of the guard is often looked at by road racers as the down season or winter break, but nothing will serve your road cycling training better in the run towards 2014 than a stint of cross racing this season.
The first Belgian races have almost begun, the World Cup starts next month and there are only 8 days, 9 hours and 7 minutes to Cross Vegas (accurate at time of writing). Yes it's crept up on us - it's that time for the men who start like kilometre riders then bang out the same watts as a top chrono man but through sand, mud and snow.
It’s that time - the Tour Down Under has been and gone, San Luis is nearly finished, we’re running out of six days (which means I get my life back!) and the Belgian ‘cross supporters are making sure that their scarves, coats and hats are looking pristine for Sunday. It's Cross Worlds time!
The period from just before Christmas to New Year’s is the Holy Week of cyclocross in Belgium, with a flurry of races to whip up a last bit of form before the national champs and tapering for the Worlds. What better way to celebrate the holidays than to take the family to the races?
Every year, cyclocross gets bigger and bigger in North America, and it’s getting to become the cycling discipline that the “cool kids” do now, with nothing cooler than the Worlds coming to Louisville in 2013. However, there’s a place where cross is soaked deep into the mud like nowhere else, and that’s Belgium. And since I’m living in Belgium for a few months, let’s join the craziness shall we?
With plenty of time for extravagant victory salutes as he circled the running track finish in St. Wendel, Germany, Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic & Telenet-Fidea) successfully defended his world elite cyclo-cross title on a sunny Sunday afternoon from ‘Mr. Consistency’ himself, Sven Nys (Belgium & Lanbouwkrediet) with Nys’s countryman – and Stybar’s trade team mate - Kevin Pauwels taking bronze.
Valentin Scherz led the Cyfac-Champion System Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks to victory in the 2010 MAC-Mid Atlantic Cross, stood on the podium with the best U.S. racers, and was ranked the number 1 U23 Cross racer in the World. While Valentin’s talents would surely have come out, his influence on national and local crossers, his Philadelphia host family, and a 2nd host family for his Swiss teammate Anthony Grand, was a direct result of this PEZ writer’s own cultural immersion program in Germany, Belgium, and Holland in 1991.
It’s been a mixed day in Belgium when I get Gabby Day on the ’phone. Sunny and dry in the morning, but lashing rain in the afternoon. Perfect all-condition training for that weekend’s upcoming Cyclocross World Cup meeting in Plzen, Czech Republic. As she packed her bags for the race, Gabby gave us the low-down on Europe’s hardcore winter sport
Here at PEZ, we adore the mud-filled fun of the cyclocross season, but it's an all too rare event to be able to cover the racing like we do during the road season. This past weekend, ace photographer, Darrell Parks, made the trip up to New Jersey to shoot Rounds 5 and 6 of the USGP Cyclocross Series. Read on!