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by Mark Zalewski
January 28, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Costa wins in mountains, Mollema moves into lead at Vuelta a San Juan; Gaviria doubles wins in Vuelta a San Juan, stage 4; Wellens makes it two for Lotto-Soudal at Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana; Hidden motor inventor says he received $2 million in 1998 for exclusivity deal; “I can’t get my head around it:” Cavendish says worlds result still hard to understand; Women’s cyclocross worlds: the highly anticipated finale to a stellar season; Trek CXC Cup elevated to World Cup status, will offer equal payout for men’s and women’s events; UCI releases 2017-18 cyclocross calendar, changes to World Cup; Vuillermoz out with back injury after car crash; Philadelphia Classic cancelled for 2017; Irvine’s racing return delayed due to UCI testing pool requirements; Cylance sponsors The Women’s Tour and The Tour of Britain; Drunk driver given 10 days in jail for killing cyclist; USA Cycling partners with Bike Law; Indoor velodrome planned for Detroit; Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race trailer; Video: Amateur was predicted to beat world champ at 2016 Trek CX Cup.
If last Saturday’s World Cup finale in Hoogerheide was a prelude for the 2017 UCI Cyclocross World Championships this weekend then we are in for a major treat!
This season has shown that women’s professional cyclocross is more competitive than ever before. The women’s elite field frequently drew more starters than the men’s, and it was a hard-fought battle for the win every race. The number of race favourites continues to grow and the season had a series of interesting story lines to boot.
Sophie de Boer’s career-best season, Katie Compton’s fewer European appearances, the crash and return of top British riders Helen Wyman and Nikki Brammeier, the premature ending of a Thalita de Jong’s season in the rainbow jersey, and, of course, the comeback of Marianne Vos –a crescendo of a season building up to this weekend’s pinnacle event.
The depth in the women’s field has significantly increased in recent years, which makes the world championships even more exciting as there are always some surprises. This is cross, afetrall, and anything can happen. With that said, some favourites in addition to the ones mentioned above include: 2016 silver-medalist Caroline Mani (France), Italian champ and mountain biker Eva Lechner, British champ Nikki Brammeier, and Dutch powerhouse Lucinda Brand.
Freezing temperatures and icy conditions rendered parts of the course unrideable and saw many of the pro riders crash during official training times, including Marianne Vos. In response organisers have decided to make a few modifications like widening the icy off-camber section. But if the weather continues as is, conditions will be slippery and require perhaps more finesse than pure power.
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