The world’s top cyclocross racers are convening in Germany for Saturday’s World Cup in Zeven. The race represents the major expansion of the current UCI Cyclocross World Cup beyond its typical countries of Belgium and The Netherlands, and the first time in over ten years the World Cup stops in Germany.
Three World Champions and five Continental Champions have made the trip to Zeven for tomorrow’s race, and a largely grass-based course, similar to some American courses, awaits the racers:
The UCI describes tomorrow’s World Cup in Zeven as follows:
It’s the first time the town in the Elbe-Weser triangle features in the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. In fact, it’s been more than 10 years since the UCI hosted a World Cup round on German soil. The course at the ‘Hinter der Ahe’ forest features lots of flat grass sections with U-turns, small dams and a short climb near the lake. Former UCI World Champion Hanka Kupfernagel said the course will be very exhausting when it’s wet and thus muddy. When it’s dry, it’ll be extremely fast.
The race looks more likely to be “extremely fast” given the expected partly sunny conditions, with temperatures in the mid 40s.
Current weather forecast for Zeven, Germany:
According to the Zeven World Cup’s official technical guide, the course that awaits the UCI World Cup racers on Saturday offers up a pretty typical cyclocross course, as opposed to last week’s scheduled sand specialty in Koksijde.
The whole race track is located at the Veranstaltungsgelände of the Sammgemeinte Zeven. Start & finish area are situated at an asphalted strip (200 metres in length). Total length of the race track is about 2600 m. It is a fast track with both natural (hill) and artificial obstacles (planks). Minimum width of the race track at every time is 3m.
It is a fast track, characterized by 4 climbs onto the hill (located in the corner bottom right of the race track) and the passage over two planks. These planks are placed 4m apart, have a height of 35 cm and extend the entire width of the course.
The described course is 2600 meters long, and those 2600 meters are 78% grass, 12% pavement, which leaves 10% to be a mystery, if we’ve done our math right. In the preview video below, there’s at least one sand pit filled with a truckload or two of sand.
Why Germany? Germany has a deep history in cyclocross and boasts several top UCI World Champions, including Klaus-Peter Thaler (1985, 1987), Mike Kluge (1992) and Hanka Kupfernagel, who won no fewer than four World Championships between 2001 and 2008. Philipp Walsleben also won the U23 World Title in Hoogerheide in 2009.
See former World Champ Hanka Kupfernagel talk about the new World Cup course an venue in the video below (in German).
2016 Zeven UCI Cyclocross World Cup Course Preview Video:
2016 Zeven UCI Cyclocross World Cup Technical Guide:TechnicalguideTelenetUCICycloCrossWorldCupZeven-1
See the expected start lists for Saturday’s Zeven World Cup here.