Here’s the latest ‘cross updates from the Euro scene:
The biggest news is that Belgium got a rare, big snowstorm that started during last Sunday’s Superprestige race and continued for several days. The conditions provided a good opportunity for Katie Compton and Jonathan Page to practice riding on frozen surfaces as they prepare for the potential ice, snow, and mud of Kansas City’s National Championships in December. But their first goal is to do well at the upcoming Koksijde World Cup…
The Koksijde World Cup boasts a new race course. Mark Legg-Compton says, “The Euros love to use exactly the same course every year, so this year the big news is a course change in Koksijde.” One of the changes is the organizers removed the one set of barriers. (Have you donated yet to save save the endangered barriers? While the barriers in Europe are disappearing, not all news is dire. Reports have surfaced that barriers have been sighted and are thriving in Livermore, California, with last week’s course having no less than four sets of barriers, including this six-pack.)
At Koksijde’s new course, we may see Fidea’s Bart Wellens on a new bike. He’s been seen testing a new Ridley frame based off the X-Fire, without a seatmast, instead of his normal X-Night seen here.
Last week at the Hamme Zogge Superprestige, finishing right behind Wellens and his X-Night in fourth was his Fidea teammate, three-time World Champion Erwin Vervecken. The tall Belgian’s form has been improving greatly, and it’s surely helped give a boost to his recently downtrodden stock. Is he tiring of riding behind Wellens? Maybe so, as he’s changing teams and has a new contract to ride for Revor starting on January 1, 2009.
And finally, for next season, Euro race organizers will have an extra expense, as they will no longer be allowed to use the painfully unforgiving metal barrier fencing. Katie Compton probably wishes this was enforced earlier, as she crashed into this type of fencing at the Pijnacker World Cup on the last lap.