Race for the Rainbow
All photos © Balint Hamvas cyclephotos.co.uk
The world’s best cyclocross racers gather this weekend in Bieles, Luxembourg, to battle for their sport’s most coveted title, World Champion. SRAM is proud to support top contenders, including three 2016-2017 UCI Cyclocross World Cup Series winners, with technical expertise and componentry in their drive for the rainbow jersey.
Elite Men (3pm CET Sunday)
Defending Cyclocross World Champion and 2017 World Cup Series Champ Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) of Belgium is planning to race in spite of a knee injury that kept him from competing at the final round of the World Cup in Hoogerheide. But don’t count him out; this isn’t the first time this season Wout has raced when injured and won. At World Cup Round 1 in Las Vegas, Wout crashed hard and broke his big toe, but the Belgian fought through the pain to regain his place at the lead and ride to a solo victory. Heathy or not, Wout will have his work cut out for him as he goes up against current Dutch National Champ and 2015 World Champ, Mathieu van der Poel.
Elite Women (3pm CET Saturday)
World Cup Series Champ Sophie de Boer (Breepark.nl) of the Netherlands enters the World Championships as the sport’s No. 1 ranked women. Her overall fitness and consistency this year is a strong indicator of her ability to challenge her biggest opponent, Sanne Cant, at Worlds.
No. 9 ranked rider and Luxembourg National Champ Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team) will have the crowd on her side for extra motivation. Familiarity with the course and terrain will provide her with an additional advantage.
No. 13 ranked rider and British National Champ Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team) will also factor into the race with her consistent form and strong showing in muddy racing conditions.
U23 Women (1pm CET Saturday)
American Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) has been unstoppable in the U23 standings this season. In addition to her World Cup Series win, she successfully defended her U23 U.S. National Championship title in the icy conditions of Hartford, Connecticut. All eyes will be on Ellen to see if she can continue to repeat her consistent performances this season and earn the rainbow stripes.
U23 Men (11am CET Sunday)
Fellow American Curtis White (Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld.com) had an outstanding season domestically and is the reigning U23 Pan Am champ. White is currently ranked 28th in the Elite Men’s standings and is a dark horse Sunday as he races against his powerful Belgian competition in the form of Eli Iserbyt and Quinten Hermans.
What They’re Riding