Niels Albert wins the 2010 Diegem Superprestige. © Dan Seaton

Niels Albert wins the 2010 Diegem Superprestige. © Dan Seaton

by Evan Schmitt

The holidays are fast approaching and in Belgium that means a big two weeks of racing around the holidays. Superprestige action returns to the floodlight course in Diegem on Friday, December 23. The race takes place under the lights in the small town just outside of Brussels. In 2010, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won the race on a course covered in snow.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) will be the man to watch as he took a big win at the World Cup in Namur last weekend. Belgian National Champion Albert is back from injury and took a pair of second places last weekend in Essen and Namur. Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) is back on the rise after a win last Saturday in Essen. It’s a big US week, and Mitchell Hoke, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), Troy Wells, Ryan Knapp and Jake Wells will compose the American squad. World Champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) will be looking for some success as he has been on a cold streak lately.

Vos, here winning Superprestige Gieten 2011, took the win in Namur today. Bart Hazen

Marianne Vos winning the Gieten Superprestige last month. Bart Hazen

In the women’s race, World Champion Marianne Vos (Nederland-Bloeit) is coming off a big weekend with wins in Essen and Namur. Lucie Chainel is coming off a second place ride in Namur and the Young Telenet-Fidea duo of Sophie De Boer and Nikki Harris will be looking for a strong showing after rounding out the top three in Essen. Maureen Bruno Roy will be the lone American in the field in Diegem.

In the U23 race, Dan Gerow, Kolben Preble, Yannick Eckmann and Zach McDonald will represent the Americans. In the Junior’s race, the US field is enormous with Andrew Dillman, Andrew Godby, Curtis White, Tobin Ortenblad, Logan Owen, Jordan Cullen, Cypress Gorry, Lionel Rocheleau, Luke Haley, John Francisco, Sam O’Keefe, Nate Morse, Stephen Basset and Spencer Downing will make up the American contingent.

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