The Dutch seem like they are unbeatable, hammering most of their opponents into the ground by wide margins, the French and Germans put forward a few outside contenders to take a win in a tough field, and the Belgians wait until the final moment to dash the dreams of upstarts from non-Continental countries. Is it cyclocross season already?
No, after four years of waiting, the World Cup of Soccer is once again upon us, and today’s USA vs. Belgium match gave American cyclocrossers hope that our country could upend the Belgians in another sport. Even a psychic rabbit predicted it would happen:
The psychic rabbit predicted an American win. © Mikeyphillips on flickr
Belgians are dominant in the ’cross world, and typically beat up on Americans (in the men’s field), and it turns out they’re pretty intense on the soccer field as well—they took this round of the World Cup with a 2-1 score. Still, the Americans played them to a draw for 90 solid minutes.
Perhaps it was some of their nontraditional training regimens that gave the Belgians an unfair advantage, despite the American’s coach’s focus on fitness?
Of course, pro ’crossers and cyclists from both sides of the pond had to weigh in on the match on Facebook and Twitter:
The Belgian cyclists certainly were ready:
And America’s top cyclocrosser had to go on a ride to get away:
While a Belgian-based one was more than brave:
And the rest added their color commentary:
American fans were left to wonder what could have been:
American fans were left to wonder what could have been. © APJ photography on flickr
In the end, all were exhausted from the drama, especially those in Europe in other timezones. But one country certainly was out to celebrate:
No winter clothes here: Belgians celebrate a summer World Cup victory that didn’t involve mud or Nys. © koinsky on flickr