After a year of rather serious cyclocross racing, European riders get to have a little fun at the season-end Soudal Classics Masters in Waregem. In addition to short Elite races, there is also the famed bunny hopping contest and this year, a “Hold Your Horses” race.

Hold Your Horses

What, exactly, is a Hold Your Horses race? Instead of starting with one foot clipped in and one on the ground, imagine having to trackstand for an indeterminate period of time in the grid before accelerating out for the holeshot and you get the idea.

Riders pulled up to the start line and had to stand on their bikes for between one and two minutes before the short one-lap, one kilometer race began. Put your foot down or lean on another racer and you are eliminated from the race.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank) and Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) held their horses and then unleashed their horsepower to win their respective races.

Mister High Jump Goes For Gold

The always popular Bunny Hop Contest was also back in 2018. Last year, Jan Denuwelaere set the event record with a successful hop of 80cm (7.9 hands or 1.75 cubits, if you need a translation). His air prowess unseated “Mister High Jump” Tom Meeusen (Corendon-Circus), who set the previous record of 75cm in 2016. Denuwelaere did not race ’cross this year, and Meeusen was back to defend his title against Van der Poel and other contenders to his throne.

The jumping started at 35cm and went up from there. Mister High Jump aced his 50cm test:

While Mister 30 went bust at 55cm

The final came down to Rob Peeters (Pauwels Sauzen Vastgoedservice) and Meeusen. Meeusen cleared 60cm, while Peeters could not, making Meeusen the winner. Meeusen got a few more shots at 65cm, but was unable to clear the 28-inch high rod. There would be no new record in 2018.

The Race

The Soudal Classics Masters also features a short race through an urban course. It does not appear that this year’s course had the snow as it did last year, but there were tight pavement turns and a balance beam riders had to find the right line on.

Sanne Cant and Mathieu van der Poel doubled up on their Hold Your Horses wins with victories in the abbreviated Elite races. Top ten results for both races are below.

Elite Women's Results: 2018 Soudal Classics Masters

1Sanne CantBEL21:45
2Maud KaptheijnsNEDs.t.
3Ellen Van LoyBELs.t.
4Laura VerdonschotBELs.t.
5Jolien VerschuerenBEL21:55
6Kim Van De SteeneBELs.t.
7Manon BakkerNEDs.t.
8Alicia FranckBEL22:05
9Lindy Van AnrooijNEDs.t.
10Joyce VanderbekenBEL22:22

Elite Men's Results: 2018 Soudal Classics Masters

1Mathieu van der PoelNED31:40
2Michael VanthourenhoutBEL31:43
3Toon AertsBELs.t
4Corne van KesselNEDs.t
5Tim MerlierBELs.t
6Tom MeeusenBELs.t
7Jim AernoutsBELs.t
8Michael BorosCZEs.t
9David van der PoelBEDs.t
10Dieter VanthourenhoutBELs.t