Hoogerheide has a long history in cyclocross, perhaps officially starting on June 17, 1959 when former World Champ Adri van der Poel was born in the small Dutch town just a few kilometers from the Belgian border. The town has held the Gran Prix Adri van der Poel since 1988 and has been one of the regular stops on the UCI Cyclocross World Cup circuit. After a one-year hiatus due to the 2009 World Championships, the World Cup returns this weekend for one last tune-up race for the World Championship contenders.
With a full four races (juniors, U23, women, men) on schedule, most of the U.S. Worlds team will be in attendance and the racers will aim for a good showing to boost their confidence for Worlds in Tabor in the Czech Republic.
Conditions in Hoogerheide have varied from dry, frozen, fast conditions as seen at least year’s World Championships, to ankle-deep thick mud seen in 2008 and many other years. The weather forecast shows rain on Saturday with an icy rain/snow mix on Sunday – perhaps a possible course similar to Kansas City in 2007 or Bend in 2009?
In the men’s race, we’ll see the entire U.S. Worlds team line up, plus Tory Wells, with subsequent bib numbers. On the women’s side, we’ll see the women’s team minus Laura Van Gilder, but with the addition of Christine Vardaros. In the U23 race, all but Dave Hackworthy are expected to make the start, and in the junior race, we’ll see Jeff Bahson, Cody Kaiser and Chris Wallace line up.
Be sure to tune in to our live coverage of the men’s race, along with our post-race live chat with Jonathan Page this Sunday!
Here’s a video of the massive crowds and extremely fast course from last year at Worlds: