Although he is a member of the Belgium-based Creafin - Fristads team that counts Eva Lechner, Tim Merlier and Sieben Wouters as members, Gianni Vermeersch came to the U.S. World Cups largely flying solo for the two weeks of racing.
Vermeersch did team up with fellow temporary privateer Tom Meeusen (Corendon - Circus) where possible, with Meeusen working the pits for Vermeersch on Jingle Cross Day 3 and Vermeersch returning the favor at the Trek CX Cup C2.
However, he still spent a lot of time working on his own bikes and getting himself ready to race. It was like being a privateer, at least temporarily.
Solo or no, Vermeersch had a productive trip to the U.S. He finished fourth in the Jingle Cross World Cup, missing out on the podium by inches, and then he bounced back the next day with a win in the Jingle Cross C1. He added a second fourth-place finish at World Cup Waterloo to bookend his U.S. trip with a nice haul of prize money and UCI points.
Vermeersch's bike for the 2019/20 season is a Stevens Super Prestige. We checked out his bike during the Jingle Cross weekend for our latest bike profile.
Gianni Vermeersch's Stevens Super Prestige
The Stevens Super Prestige has been ridden by a who's who of international cyclocross in recent years.
Two seasons ago, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon - Circus) rode the bike before his team added Canyon as a sponsor at the beginning of 2018, and three-time World Champion Sanne Cant (IKO - Crelan) continues to pilot well-decorated Super Prestige bikes. Wout van Aert (Jumbo - Visma) also rode a Super Prestige through all of his team tumult last season.
This season, the Vermeersch's Creafin - Fristads team is on the company's flagship cyclocross bike. The bike has a lightweight carbon frame, with a claimed weight of 1,000g, and Vermeersch's 54cm frame and build checked in at 17.0 pounds.
Vermeersch's bikes at the U.S. World Cups featured the black and red colorway of Stevens' 2019 model year. The race-oriented bike has bridgeless seatstays and a boxy front fork with internal cable routing.
In a departure from the all-Shimano, all-the-time groupsets we saw on the bikes of Eli Iserbyt and Vincent Baestaens, Vermeersch had an Easton EC90 SL crankset with WickWerkx chain rings mounted. He ran a 46/39t chain ring combo, which WickWerkx does not currently offer in the U.S. for 4-bolt cranks, but interestingly, Helen Wyman does.
Vermeersch did run Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 front and rear derailleurs and R9170 shift-brake levers to stay in the Shimano family. Like the other Euros, there was no GRX or Ultegra RX to be seen on his bike. In fact, Vermeersch told us he did not even know what a clutch is—he just rides what the team gives him.
With no clutch on his rear derailleur, Vermeersch used an inner chain guard to keep things in line.
Vermeersch's wheels were the same DT Swiss CRC 1100 Spline T38 carbon tubulars Iserbyt rode to two U.S. World Cup wins.
Vermeersch had A Dugast Typhoon intermediate treads mounted when we looked at his bike.
Vermeersch's cockpit came via Fizik, with a Cyrano stem and alloy Cyrano handlebar. He also ran a Cyrano seatpost and Fizik saddle. His pedals were the Shimano XTR M9100 SPDs that many riders are running this season.
Vermeersch now takes his Stevens Super Prestige into the European cyclocross season hoping to continue his early-season success and hop on a World Cup podium or two.
For a closer look at his bike, see the photo gallery and specs below.