Gallery: The weekend in cyclocross

by Caley Fretz

We miss beer tents. Blasting terrible European electro-techno-horrorshow music. Frothy screaming at your rider of choice as they slog past.

Cyclocross feels different this year. No fans, no tents, just an hour of suffering through mud in relative silence. Weird.

It’s still such a photogenic sport, though, isn’t it? Less about vistas and backgrounds and more about facial expression. A good cyclocross photo shows you where a rider is, in that moment, not physically but down to the depths of their lactate-burning soul.

Last weekend gave us a pair of top-level cross races. The first, Scheldecross, was won by Mathieu van der Poel and Denise Betsema. Both rolled across the line solo. In the second, the Gavere leg of the Superprestige series on Sunday, both of Saturday’s champions were toppled. Betsema couldn’t hang on to Lucinda Brand through the thick mud, and Van der Poel lost a duel with young Brit Tom Pidcock, who took the biggest win of his ‘cross career.

Our photographers were there. Here are a few of our favorites.

US Champion Clara Honsinger (USA/Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) runs in Scheldecross Antwerp. Honsinger finished 17th, just behind compatriot Katie Compton.
Belgian National Champion Sanne Cant (BEL/Iko-Crelan), chasing.
Thibau Nys (BEL/Telenet Fidea Lions), son of the GOAT.
Lucinda Brand (NED/Telenet-Baloise Lions) didn’t quite have it on Saturday. She would go on to make up for it on Sunday.
Perfect form from Belgian National Champion Laurens Sweeck (BEL/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).
CX world champion Mathieu van der Poel (NED/Alpecin-Fenix) plowing through the sand sections.
Van der Poel won his first cyclocross race back after a break post-road season.

Superprestige Gavere

Onto the Superprestige. The conditions were nastier, forcing more bike changes and eventually leading to Van der Poel’s downfall.
Tom Pidcock (Trinity) has been knocking at the door, and on Sunday finally busted it down.
Sanne Cant hasn’t quite found her legs yet this year.
Pidcock is one of those talents that can go just about anywhere.
The 21 year old can go toe-to-toe with Van der Poel on technical, nasty courses like the one found in Gavere.
An exhausted Lars van der Haar (Telenet-Baloise Lions) after finishing fifth.
Lucinda Brand was untouchable on Sunday. Denise Betsema made an early move but couldn’t hold it in the thick mud, and Brand took advantage.
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado finished 3rd, 34 seconds back from Brand.
Pidcock, overwhelmed.
It was Brand’s fourth Superprestige victory in a row.
Something about white kits and cyclocross just go together. It’s the depravity of it all, perhaps.

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