While a lot of domestic cyclocross racing is canceled and a USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships look doomed, some of us are getting our racing fix through watching the races overseas.
Thankfully, cyclocross champs have kept our interest high, as they’ve continued to dominate the European road races, especially as the events in Italy, Belgium and France all have ventured offroad to include #gravel.
Watch our adopted daughters and sons get dirty on their way to glory.
Vos and Rivera Shine in La Rosa Sprints
After her powerful sprint victory on Stage 3 of the Giro Rosa, Marianne Vos (CCC – Liv) continued her sprint dominance, taking Stage 5 and Stage 6 sprint wins, making 28 total for the living legend.
Much to our chagrin, there isn’t live television coverage of the best women road racers in the world, but there are a few minutes of highlights of the seven-time cyclocross world champ’s Stage 6 masterclass and post-race interview.
On Stage 7, Vos looked to be in prime position for a third-straight victory, until disaster struck:
Vos finished with only scrapes, but overall leader Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) was taken to the hospital with potential fractures, and ended up withdrawing due to a fractured wrist.
Former (and multiple) USA Cycling cyclocross national champ Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) is also competing, and currently sits in 50th place. Rivera finished fourth in Stage 5 and 6 in impressive sprint finishes.
Earlier in the race, La Rosa took on gravel climbs which delivered quite a bit of drama, and forced the reigning world champ to employ some cyclocross skills:
Vermeersch Victorious on Gravel, Cobbles
Speaking of gravel…
While teammates Tim Merlier and Mathieu van der Poel were cleaning up in Italy, Belgian Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin Fenix) stayed home in Belgium to take on the cobbled classic of the Antwerp Port Epic.
The race featured pavement, cobbles, and dirt and gravel roads. Have a watch of the dusty day:
The tough course took its toll, with only 43 finishers of 144 starters.
With plenty of offroad riding at the Antwerp Port Epic, it’s fitting that a cyclocrosser finished on top.
Sporza has footage of the finale here.
Cyclocross stars took in the race to get ready for the season, and looked plenty dirty after the effort.
Former cyclocross world champs Eli Iserbyt and Philipp Walsleben along with Laurens Sweeck and David van der Poel were among the cyclocross stars in attendance.
Tour Goes Gravel, Wout Yo-Yos to Podium
Speaking of gravel, the Tour de France hit the gravel on Stage 18, and while Ineos saved its season with an impressive two-man breakaway, our readers might have been just as impressed with Wout Van Aert’s yo-yo trickery.
After doing plenty of work on the front for his yellow jersey teammate Primoz Roglic, Van Aert got dropped on the lumpy stage, chased back by himself on the descent, and then dropped everyone for a third-place on the stage.
At this point, one might be numb to Van Aert’s success at Le Tour, but we’re still enjoying being wowed by Wout. Have a watch of some of the Wout wow highlights at the 16-minute mark, with the sprint just before the 19-minute mark.
The “non-climber” has been dropping some of the world’s best climbers as a domestique, and outsprinting some of the world’s best sprinters.
Could Van Aert win the final stage on the Champs-Élysées or one day battle for the overall win? Stay tuned.