The final UCI World Cup of the 2016/2017 cyclocross season, the Grote Prijs Adri van der Poel, is set for Sunday in Hoogerheide, a small Dutch town near the Belgian border.
Hooerheide was the site of the 2014 Cyclocross World Championships, an event that played host to one of the most exciting Elite Men’s races in a long time with an epic duel between Czech Zdenek Stybar and Belgian legend Sven Nys (watch all the highlights of that Hoogerheide race here).
It was also host to the 2009 UCI Cyclocross World Championships, where Katie Compton took bronze behind Marianne Vos and Hanka Kupfernagel in a final lap sprint.
Eight years later, Vos and Compton will take the start again in Hoogerheide.
Hoogerheide typically is one of the more pavement-heavy courses, and organizers have estimated this year’s course to be just over 3k long, and 25% pavement.
The course doesn’t have the long stretch that goes through the little downtown that the course used in 2009, but features the steep “Stairway to Heaven.”
The staircase up the embankment is a true monster, and can be a difference-maker in the race.
While the 2017 World Cup course has quite a bit of pavement and a power-sucking meadow, the course has plenty of technical features, with steep and downs and some off-cambers.
The finish line is a bit ominous, in that it’s right by the town’s cemetery. See the full course map below, and the course preview video by Helen and Stefan Wyman here.
Racers hoping for a preview dual between Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, despite both being on the official start list below, will be disappointed in that Van Aert is skipping the event to rest his knee and save his bullets before Worlds.
Van der Poel will start the race named after his father Adrie after skipping the icy crashfest in Fiuggi.
So sad Fiuggi was my last race in the rainbow jersey. Without even realising it ? pic.twitter.com/bJ57dT4uDC
— Wout van Aert (@WoutvanAert) January 19, 2017
On the women’s side, all the favorites will be lining up, making for an exciting preview of the World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg.
Twenty six Americans will take the start according to the perhaps-not-so-accurate start list, which is all but four of the 2017 Worlds team, minus three U23 women (Zoerner, Schwartz and Arensman) and U23 Cooper Willsey).
Update: Elle Anderson will skip the race due to illness, Denzel Stephenson will skip to recovery from a wrist injury, while Emma White hasn’t arrived yet in Europe.
Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo Cycling Team; Westhampton, Mass.)
Stephen Hyde^* (Cannondale Cyclocrossword; Easthampton, Mass.)
Jack Kisseberth (Jam Fund-NCC/Easthampton, Mass.)
Travis Livermon (Maxxis-Shimano; Winston Salem, N.C.)
Tobin Ortenblad* (San Cruz Factory Racing; Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Jeremy Powers* (Aspire Racing; Easthampton, Mass.)
Kerry Werner (Kona Endurance Team; Birdsboro, Penn.)
Elle Anderson (Elle Anderson Racing; Oakland, Calif.)
Kaitlin Antonneau* (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld; Racine, Wisc.)
Katie Compton^* (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Rebecca Fahringer (Amy D. Foundation; Concord, N.H.)
Courtenay McFadden (American Classic/Zones; Bellingham, Wa.)
Amanda Miller* (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo; Fort Collins, Colo.)
Ellen Noble^* (Aspire Racing; Kennebunkport, Maine)
Emma White (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld; Delanson, N.Y)
Maxx Chance (EVOL DevoElite Racing; Boulder, Colo.)
Lance Haidet* (Raleigh/Clement; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru; Parker, Colo.)
Spencer Petrov (Cyclocross Alliance; Mason, Ohio)
Curtis White^* (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld; Delanson, N.Y.)
Ross Ellwood (Boulder Junior Cycling; Boulder, Colo.)
Lane Maher* (Hands on Cycling; Harwinton, Conn.)
Sam Noel (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld; Shelburne, Vt.)
Denzel Stephenson^* (Boulder Junior Cycling; Boulder, Colo.)
Caleb Swartz (Trek Cyclocross Collective; Madison, Wisc.)
Calder Wood (Rad Racing NW; Anacortes, Wash.)
Eleven Canadians, six Australians, and nine Brits will take the start. See the full start lists below, and tune in tomorrow for full coverage from the 2017 Hoogerheide World Cup.20170117_hoogerheide_Entries