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All You Need to Know About 2017-2018 UCI Cyclocross World Cup

Presentation of the Rounds

Jingle Cross Iowa City

The 2017-2018 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup campaign kicks off in Iowa City on Sunday, 17 September. It is the second consecutive year that the World Cup gets underway in the USA after CrossVegas in 2015 and Jingle Cross Iowa City last year. This first round is part of a three-day Jingle Cross Cyclo-cross Festival that includes an Oktoberfest beer festival. In the Women’s category, US Champion Katherine Compton will attempt to repeat last year’s victory on the demanding course at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The steep climb up ‘Mount Krumpit’ and the ‘Holly Jolly Hell Hole swamp mud pit’ feature as key obstacles. Last year’s Elite Men’s winner Wout Van Aert, the reigning UCI World Champion and UCI World Cup winner, returns to Iowa City. Van Aert’s arch rival Mathieu van der Poel was side-lined by a knee injury last year but this time he’s fit and ready to reach out for the win at Jingle Cross.

Waterloo

One week after Jingle Cross, the world’s best cyclo-cross riders will meet up again in Wisconsin. The round in Waterloo, part of the Trek CX Cup, is a new addition to the UCI World Cup. The top-quality field will battle each other along a 2780m long course that twists through the meadows next to the Trek Headquarters. While half the course is technical, the other half is more straightforward and should allow riders to open up the gas. An off-camber section at the loading docks shortly before the finish might prove to be a key obstacle for the top guns. Last year, a C1 and C2 category race was staged in Waterloo. Wout Van Aert and Kaitlin Antonneau won the C1 races.

Koksijde

The sand course through the dunes of Koksijde always provide for spectacular racing. Some hate the sand, some love it. Sand specialists like Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert love this course. Sanne Cant has also enjoyed her best rides on this course. Last year’s storm forced the organisers to cancel the first Belgian World Cup round in November. Cross thumbs for a smooth organisation this time around.

Bogense

Almost one year before hosting the 2019 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, Bogense will be hosting its first ever UCI World Cup round. The idyllic Danish town on the Funen island welcomes the riders to a course near the harbour and the Kyst campsite, right next to the sea. It’s the first time the UCI World Cup visits Denmark. The home crowd will hopefully be able to cheer for Danish Champion Simon Andreassen, who was born on the island. Andreassen won the 2015 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in the Men Junior category, and currently combines mountain bike and cyclo-cross.

Zeven

After last year’s successful debut in the UCI World Cup, the German round is back this season. It is interesting to note that the Organising Committee includes former German star Hanka Kupfernagel whose impressive palmares across cycling’s different disciplines includes four titles of UCI Champion in cyclo-cross. Last year, Mathieu van der Poel blew away Wout Van Aert on the challenging course at the ‘Hinter der Ahe’ forest. Sanne Cant held off Katherine Compton on the final part of the race in the Women’s category.

Namur

Halfway through December, the UCI World Cup returns to the historical citadel in Namur, in the French-speaking southern part of Belgium. For the seventh time, riders will face the long climbs and the steep drops, including the famous off-camber drop which requires them to draw on all their technical skills. This race has become a classic. Last year, Katerina Nash won solo in the Women’s category after a tense battle with Sophie de Boer and Eva Lechner. Mathieu van der Poel beat Wout Van Aert after a great duel in the Men Elite category.

Heusden-Zolder

On December 26, the former F1 car racing circuit in Heusden-Zolder traditionally hosts the final Belgian round of the UCI World Cup. The course combines long straightforward sections with some challenging technical passages. The race is often decided on the back-end of the course which features a steep climb. Some riders manage to ride while others are forced to run. In 2016, Wout Van Aert was on another level in the Men Elite category. In the Women’s race, Marianne Vos held off Sanne Cant and Nash to capture her first World Cup win in two years, shortly after making her comeback to cyclo-cross.

Nommay Pays de Montbéliard

The penultimate UCI World Cup round will be raced in France. It’s the eighth time the World Cup visits Nommay. The last time was in 2014 when Tom Meeusen and Marianne Vos captured the wins. Meeusen beat local favourite Francis Mourey in the sprint. The course in Nommay is spread out in a small valley, offering a splendid overview for the fans. What’s on show? Countless climbs, off-camber sections and a brutal long set of stairs shortly after the start.

Hoogerheide Provincie Noord-Brabant

One week before the 2018 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Valkenburg, the final round of the UCI World Cup will be held in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands. Depending on the weather conditions, the Hoogerheide course can morph into multiple shapes. In the past, it has been slippery, it has been a mud-bath and last year it was ultra-fast. It proved to be the perfect setting for home riders Marianne Vos and Lars van der Haar to capture the wins in January 2017.

Riders to watch out for

(and their best results at the 2016-2017 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup)

Elite Men

Wout Van Aert (BEL)
4 x winner (Las Vegas, Iowa City, Heusden-Zolder, Fiuggi Regione Lazio)
Overall UCI World Cup winner

Mathieu van der Poel (NED)
3 x winner (Valkenburg, Zeven, Namur)

Lars van der Haar (NED)
1 x winner (Hoogerheide Provincie Noord-Brabant)

Kevin Pauwels (BEL)
1 x second (Iowa City)
3 x third (Zeven, Namur, Heusden-Zolder)
Runner-up overall, UCI World Cup

Tom Meeusen (BEL)
1 x second (Hoogerheide Provincie Noord-Brabant)
1 x third (Fiuggi Regione Lazio)
3 x fourth (Valkenburg, Zeven, Namur)
Third overall, UCI World Cup

Laurens Sweeck (BEL)
1 x second (Heusden-Zolder)
2 x third (Las Vegas, Iowa City)

Women 

Sophie de Boer (NED)
1 x winner (Las Vegas)
1 x second (Valkenburg)
2 x third (Namur, Fiuggi Regione Lazio)
Overall UCI World Cup winner

Sanne Cant (BEL)
1 x winner (Zeven)
1 x second (Heusden-Zolder)
Runner-up, overall UCI World Cup

Katherine Compton (USA)
1 x winner (Iowa City)
1 x second (Zeven)

Marianne Vos (NED)
3 x winner (Heusden-Zolder, Fiuggi Regione Lazio, Hoogerheide)

Katerina Nash (CZE)
1 x winner (Namur)
2 x second (Las Vegas, Fiuggi Regione Lazio)
1 x third (Heusden-Zolder)
Third overall, UCI World Cup

2016-2017 at a glance

The winners

  • Wout Van Aert (Men Elite)
  • Sophie de Boer (Women)
  • Joris Nieuwenhuis (Men Under 23)
  • Toon Vandebosch (Men Junior)

The series

  • 9 events
  • 6 countries
  • 500 riders
  • 28 nations

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