Cyclocross Masters in Waregem, Belgium, is equal parts competition and fun (it isn’t trying to, but doesn’t even compete with the party atmosphere of SSCXWC).

Events like a team relay, shortened races on a purposefully-challenging course, and a bunnyhop contest brought out the crowds despite the typical Belgian winter weather. Under the night lights and the towering Saint Amand church, the 2016/7 season of European cyclocross came to a close.

[Don’t be sad about the season ending yet! California’s grassroots Rockville series, complete with relays and BBQ, is an option for your last-minute ‘cross fix.]

Relays: Kings and Queens of ‘Cross Storm the Stage

Three laps, three riders. In the relay race, two teams took the limelight: Sophie de Boer, Mathieu van der Poel, and David van der Poel on one team, and Joyce Vanderbeken, Diether Sweeck, and Laurens Sweeck on the other. After some tight racing, Team Vanderbeken/Sweeck took the win. Check out the other dream teams here.


Men’s and Women’s Races: The Usual Suspects

Wout van Aert raged the 30-minute-short race, with Mathieu van der Poel coming through in second, and Kevin Pauwels taking third.

The course featured comical obstacles, like a deep and snowy 180…

…and thin ramps over a sand pit.

In the women’s race, Sophie de Boer assumed her spot at the top of the podium after 20 minutes of sprinting against 10 other elite riders. Ellen van Loy grabbed second, and Laura Verdonschot came in third.


High Jump: Practice Makes Perfect

He may not be PC, but Jan Denuwelaere knows how to get his bike airborne. Denuwelaere set a “world record” at Cyclocross Masters with an 80cm bunny hop. Denuwelaere told that his team practices bunnyhopping as high as possible every week, but he had “not expected to exceed 70 cm.”

Some weren’t nearly as successful.

Tom Meeusen, who set the “world record” of 75cm last year, was not able to defend his title, and took fifth in the men’s race.

Results: 2017 Soudal Classics Cyclocross Masters - Elite Men

1Van Aert WoutCrelan - Charles23
2Van der Poel MathieuBeobank-Corendon22
3Pauwels KevinMarlux-Napoleon Games33
4Van der Haar LarsTelenet Fidea26
5Meeusen TomTelenet Fidea29
6Denuwelaere JanMahieu construct Kona team29
7Sweeck LaurensEra Circus24
8Vanthourenhout MichaelMarlux-Napoleon Games24
9Cleppe NicolasTelenet-Fidea22
10Iserbyt EliMarlux-Napoleon Games20
11Adams JoeriKalas-NNOF27
12Hermans QuintenTelenet-Fidea22
13Baestaens VincentStoempersclub Leuven28
14Aernouts JimTelenet Fidea28
15Van Kessel CorneTelenet Fidea26
16Adams JensPauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice25
17Walsleben PhilippBeobank-Corendon30
18Vermeersch GianniSteylaerts-Verona25
19Van der Poel DavidBeobank-Corendon25
20Peeters RobPauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice32
21Boros MichaelPauwels sauzen - Vastgoedservice25
22De Clercq AngeloMarlux-Napoleon Games26
23Vanthourenhout DieterMarlux-Napoleon Games32
24Sweeck DietherEra Circus24

Results: 2017 Soudal Classics Cyclocross Masters - Elite Women

1De Boer SophieBreepark27
2Van Loy EllenTelenet-Fidea37
3Verdonschot LauraMarlux-Napoleon Games21
4Kaptheijns MaudSteylaerts-Verona23
5Sels LoesKalas - NNOF32
6Van Anrooij LindyCycling.Be - Alphamotorhomes CT21
7Vanderbeken JoyceDonen Vondelmolen33
8Verhestraeten KarenDonen Vondelmolen26
9Maes ShanaDonen Vondelmolen22
10Franck AliciaMarlux-Napoleon Games23
11Vermeir AurelieBike-Advice CT25