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January 1 is right around the corner, and that means it is prime time for new teams, new kits and new bikes. With the new year falling during cyclocros season, it means the GP Sven Nys race also doubles as a bit of fashion show for riders with new team and programs for the new year.

In this Rumors & Rumblings, we are looking at some of the team changes, rider signings and equipment changes in the cyclocross world. As always, there are probably some we will miss, so if you have a line on anything, you can always reach us at news [at] cxmagazine.com.

Mathieu van der Poel Re-Signs Through 2020, Gets New Bike

Mathieu van der Poel’s reign of dominance in cyclocross — and success on his mountain and road bikes — has led to speculation about his future in the discipline and whether he will go to the road or elsewhere. Questions about Van der Poel’s future, at least in the near term have been answered.

Van der Poel re-signed with his team through 2020 and indicated he will be racing cyclocross and targeting the 2020 Mountain Bike Olympics. To begin working toward his goal, Van der Poel will be racing a full Mountain Bike World Cup schedule in 2018.

A translated quote (if I could do it all again, I would have majored in Dutch in college) from his team’s release lays out his plan, “My program is being mapped out towards the Olympic Games in 2020. That is what top mountain biking is all about. And that preparation starts right after the cyclocross season. On March 10 I will ride the first World Cup of the season in Stellenbosch and I will normally complete the entire World Cup.”

When Van der Poel and his teammates hit the course at the GP Sven Nys in Baal on January 1, they will have a new bike for the new year. The team will be riding the Canyon Inflite CF SLX — we profiled Lucie Chainel’s yellow Inflite at World Cup Waterloo — with a slightly different aesthetic than the Chainels’ yellow steeds.

Finally, if you have a closetful of Beobank-Corendon team gear, you are going to need to get a wardrobe upgrade. The team has dropped Beobank as a sponsor and picked up Circus to become Corendon-Circus.

After seeing Van der Poel bounce back from illness with a dominant win at Zolder, it is safe to say not much will change for the Dutch star on the course. With the team on Canyon bikes with their notable kinked top tube, the biggest change could be more “ugly or nah” commentary on the internet.

Nikki Brammeier Launches Mudiiita Cyclocross Project

Earlier this season, Nikki Brammeier announced she would be leaving her Boels-Dolmans road team to focus on cyclocross full time. She has certainly had the results this season, including a second at World Cup Namur, to justify the decision.

Last week, Brammeier announced her new Mudiiita Cyclocross Project.

In a blog post that explains the project, Brammeier said Mudiiita stands for “The pleasure of finding joy in the happiness and success of others.” For her personally, it means she will be racing for the Mudiiita / Canyon Pro Cyclocross Team.

However, as her announcement indicates, Brammeier is hoping the program becomes much more, especially in supporting the growth of cyclocross in Britain.

Her website says, “Cyclocross can be a mainstream sport in the UK. If the Belgians can do it then why can’t we? We have the history, we have the passion. Let’s change the face of ‘cross and make it happen. Cycling has given us both so much over the years and we have always had the vision of staying close to the sport. We dream of being able to give something back by creating something new and exciting for the next generation of cyclists, leaving a lasting legacy. Through the MUDIIITA ’Cross Project, we will bring a new approach to developing, publicising and changing the face of ’cross in the UK. We aim to create a trusted network of support in a safe and professional environment alongside a series of accessible ‘cross skills sessions for both children and adults, a development-focused ’cross academy and the UK’s first pro ’cross team.”

With the continuing success of British cyclocross, we are excited to see how Brammeier’s new Mudiiita ’Cross Project helps grow the sport across the pond. We wish Brammeier the best in teaching her young ’crossers there’s no “I” in team since, you know, there’s three in Mudiiita.

Young Riders Sign Big Contracts

Speaking of British cyclocross, there is also some news for the next wave of British stars. Earlier this year, Telenet Fidea signed young phenom Tom Pidcock, and the decision has paid off immediate dividends, with Pidcock winning all the U23 World Cups he has raced this season and the overall U23 series.

Pidcock’s star continues to grow, as Team Wiggins, Bradley Wiggins’ development team, announced it has signed Pidcock to race on the road in 2018.

There has also been big news for one of Pidcock’s younger mates. Corendon-Circus (née Beobank-Corendon) recently announced the signing of Ben Tulett, who won the Junior race at Koppenbergcross earlier this season. Tulett will be racing for the IKO-Beobank youth academy team that has Sanne Cant has its figurehead.

Ben Tulett joins Ben Turner as a member of the Corendon-Circus team. Turner finished third at Junior Worlds in 2017 and signed with the team earlier this year.

The Corendon-Circus team is also investing in young Women’s talent. The team announced the signing of young Dutch rider Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado. Del Carmen Alvarado, who was born in the Dominican Republic, will begin racing with the team on January 1.

We will be keeping our eyes out for more signings of young stars and news about what colors established riders will be flying in the coming year in our semi-regular Rumors & Rumblings column.