Monday, 2 February 2009

Hoogerheide Worlds 2009

We were in search of the Holy Grail of Cyclocross. And we found it...

Or at least that's what this guy thought. Yet another devout Sven Nys fan.

The place was absolutely heaving hours before the beginning of the Mens event. The warm up race was the ladies race. And although it didn't quite incite the same zealous intensity in the crowd, it certainly didn't disappoint. The whole race dominated by a chasing duo of Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) and Marianne Vos (Netherlands), who were being led the entire way by a fearsomely strong Katie Compton (USA). Unfortunately, the Euros let Katie play right into their hands and they both took her on the last lap. Katie finished just 2 seconds back in 3rd, achingly close to the victory she looked like she had all sewen up. GB had 3 riders in - Nikki Harris (14th), Helen Wymen (16th) and Gabby Day (24th). They were all caught up in a crash on the first corner and all had to fight back for their positions, showing their prowess on a brutally fast and battering course which was frozen hard in the frigid temperatures.
Gabby Day

Now, I would like to say I saw a lot of the Men's race, but I'd be lying. I saw almost none of it. The reason being, the Dutch are a tall race. And, although I'm half Dutch, it seems my dad's Scottishness won the game of genetic roulette , and I inherited his less lofty proportions. i couldn't see a thing what with all these tall folk and their oversized super-fan-hats. But, I can say i did see Albert Niels win an the most convincing fashion. He was so much faster than anyone else out there.

At this point I must confess that I had him confused for Sven Nys. Niels and Nys sound very much the same when they're being shouted by 20something thousand Belgies, they're both in the same kit and you could be forgiven thinking that Sven Nys was the only Belgie racing, judging by all the fan clubs and banners about. Sven did in fact finish in third spot, 38 seconds down, just behind the Check rider, Zdenek Styber.
British riders Jody Crawforth, Ian field and Paul Oldham finished 31st, 39th and 48th respectively out of the 64 strong field.
Just like a Euro rave but with more unfashionable hats and painful, tinny discotech beats!

3 comments:

Markdubya said...

HAHAHA I saw the Pope of CX when we went over 2 years ago, It was an amazing event, I will try and dig out a photo of him. Did you notice alot of men strong in the ways of the beard as well. Awesome.

Whats wrong with tinny euro disco beats, I heartt that Euro sound man.

Glad you had a great time

cheers

Mark

Tenacious Doug said...

Seems a fine reason to break out the old photo albums to find his holyness, unfortunately you can't seem to be able to post photos in topic replies.

uncle g said...

What, you mean amongst those 50,000 loonies we missed each other? Dang! My post is brewing-along with my images.