If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that there was no shortage of live, on the ground coverage of the 2016 World Championships in Heusden-Zolder thanks to social media. Not only were we there, live-Tweeting the event, but an estimated 70,000 fans were there many (all?) of them doing the same.
Here’s a quick look back at Zolder through the social media lens.
As the weekend kicked off, many were talking about the course and the rain to come.
Of course the rains came and the races were a muddy affair.
With our feet firmly back on US soil the 2015/16 Squid World Tour comes to an end. @eekachorek & @tweakn101 collectively stood on 9 UCI podiums, raced in 13 States and 4 countries. We truly couldn’t ask for a better team of athletes, partners and supporters. If this season is any indication, 2016/17 is going to be off the charts. Huge thanks to everyone who was part of the ride. And thanks for making the journey & for capturing ? the eye of the tiger @marshallkappel #tweakn2worlds #squidworldtour #cyclocross #cxzolder16 A photo posted by Squid Bikes (@squidbikes) on
The Junior Men’s World Cup winner and European Champion got the racing going with an impressive solo victory.
US fans were of course cheering for the American contingent.
Go USA, Go USA! #usacycling #usacjuniors #zolder2016 #cyclocross
Posted by Steen Wear on Saturday, January 30, 2016
In similar fashion to the Junior Men’s race, British phenom Evie Richards took the first-ever U23 Women’s Cyclocross World Championships.
Can’t believe it ! #worldchampion #zolder #cyclocross ??? A photo posted by Evie Richards (@eviee_alicee) on
Sadly, Richards’ historic achievement was overshadowed some for the worst reason.
Wat de andere ook zegen over jou Femke, ik geloof u #femkevandendriessche, iedereen verdient toch een tweede kans? #femkevdd #belgium #hln #wkveldrijden #wkzolder #cxzolder16 #hetlaatstenieuws A photo posted by Jonas Clauw (@jonasclauwofficial) on
Regardless, the fans were into the event.
Cyclocross Worlds aren’t complete without a beer tent conga #worldcxchamps #cxzolder16 #zolder2016 #cyclocross #cx #belgium #veloculture
Posted by Velo Culture on Monday, February 1, 2016
The tightest race of the weekend came on Saturday and it was a down to the wire finish with five women in with a chance to win the Elite Women’s race. Thalita de Jong was up for the challenge, having come from far back in the field to take the rainbow jersey.
Cracking race today at #Zolder. Great ride by everyone, specially #ThalitadeJong. Feeling sorry for #SanneCant #cxzolder16 #mud #cycling #cyclocross A photo posted by Arash (@a630mp) on
Sunday, Eli Iserbyt took to the U23 Men’s race for the first time. Last year he won silver in the Junior Men’s event. This year, he took gold.
#WK #wkzolder2016 #eliiserbyt #thijsaerts #supporteren #toupalik #omg #stemkappot A video posted by Donna Morren (@donna.morren) on
There was high drama in the U23 Men’s as Adam Toupalik thought he had won, sprinting for the “win” and celebrating as he crossed the line…on the second to last lap. He was, however able to take silver in the actual finale.
Quand Adam Toupalik pense avoir gagné alors qu’il reste… Un tour ! Terrible image. Au final, Adam Toupalik termine 2e. Désillusion. When you thought it was the finish but there is one lap to go. Terrible video of Adam Toupalik. He finished 2nd and missed his greatest victory of his career. TERRIBLE. #CXZolder16 #CX #Zolder #Belgium #Iserbyt #Toupalik #Belgique #Belge #Gazette #InstaGazette #Cycling #cyclisme #cyclocross #Tcheque #Fail #WTF #funny #video A video posted by La Gazette Des Sports (@lagazettedes_sports) on
Wout van Aert took the Men’s Elite race after an action packed finish.
Silver medalist Lars van der Haar did what he could, but it wasn’t enough. He was gracious in defeat.
So close… What a fight. Congrats, Lars! #KeepChallenging #CXZolder16 pic.twitter.com/3Kpmn5q27w
— Team Giant-Alpecin (@GiantAlpecin) January 31, 2016
Former World Champion Matthieu van der Poel was the heavy favorite, but he had some missteps.
Cyclo-cross : Van der Poel : “Van Aert le plus costaud” #vanderPoel #vanderHaar #CXZolder16 #CXWorlds https://t.co/DtTgCoQAuc — Cyclism’Actu (@cyclismactu) January 31, 2016
And we saw the final World Championship race of a living legend, Sven Nys.
.@SvenNys wrapped up his @UCI_CX World Championship career with a 4th place finish at #CXZolder16 #RideShimano pic.twitter.com/9umBAgEguZ
— RideShimano (@RideShimano) February 1, 2016
In the end, racing was fierce, the crowds roared and champions were crowned.
This is what the best riders on the planet are fighting for. The rainbow Stripes. #cxzolder16 A photo posted by UCI (@uci_cycling) on