Have you read our World Cup fantasy preview? Even if you’re not playing our fantasy cyclocross league, you should still check it out, because it’s a great preview of the weekend’s racing. But we’ve got some last minute news prior to tomorrow’s UCI Cyclocross World Cup start, and it centers on the race’s favorites. Sven Nys, racing today’s race in Lebbeke, suffered facial lacerations and ended up in the hospital (see larger video here). His status for tomorrow’s race remains in doubt. On the women’s side, American Katie Compton is still suffering from leg injuries suffered in a crash in last week’s Cincinnati racing, and doubts her chances but plans to start and hopes to finish. Meanwhile, Hanka Kupfernagel, the reigning World Champion, who was not on the start list, is rumored to be racing.
Here’s a more in-depth update from CXM correspondent Mark Legg-Compton, husband of Katie:
Katie crashed in Cincinnati after getting caught in the tape on day 2 of racing. For some reason that we are still working on (we have a hypothesis) but are never sure as her leg issues are never consistent she is having some muscle issues. We will start tomorrow, the goal is to finish but we’ll see how it goes, otherwise we’ll be drinking a little more wine on sunday night before heading back to Colorado.The cramps have varying degrees of symptoms, they are less than in January [when she had to drop out of worlds] but are still preventing her from training this week.
The course is very similar to last year and with Hanka here it could be an interesting race. The “travel money” for the next world cup will be based off this world cup. Katie won’t be racing the Tabor WC next week. Hanka is here despite not being on the start list. I expect her to be lining up despite the hard rules of entry deadlines which clearly she didn’t make. Katie will be riding Edge 68mm wheels with Challenge Grifo XS white tires for the race. The white compound is quite a bit stickier than the black. Sue Butler is here and looking forward to the race, a first time for her in Kalmthout.
For the women the main riders to watch will be Hanka Kupfernagel looking to show off her World Championship jersey while defending champion from last year Daphny van den Brandt is looking to capitalize on her early season form. Also watch out for Maryline Salvetat who displayed a turn of speed in France last weekend while US National Champion Katie Compton is battling a recent injury is hoping to be in the mix.
With Sven Njs injured it could be a wide open race for then men.
Some information about Kalmthout:
Pop. 17,500 Kalmthout is situated in the northern part of Belgium, between the city of Antwerp and the frontier of the Netherlands. The Nature Reserve “Kalmthoutse Heide” is the main attraction of the community which we live about 300m from the reserve which is primarliy a bird sanctuary which makes also for some great cyclocross training grounds.In Kalmthout there are two regions, the Heide and the Bosdiun. The Heide is where you will find the large bird sanctuary which also make for some great cyclocross training which Adri Van der Poel used throughout his career while the Bosdiun is an industrial zone where the World Cup of Kalmthout is hosted. The race starts in an industrial zone and deposits the riders into a small forest with very tight winding turns before exiting the forest through the second pit zone and back into the industrial zone.