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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Our sponsored athletes for this weekend’s UCI Cyclocross World Championships represents a broad swath of the reasons we support (and love) this mud-and-drama filled sport. We’re proud to support roughly 50 riders from nine nations including 11 newly crowned national champions, and two 2015-16 UCI World Cup series winners, competing across all categories of racing Saturday and Sunday at the famed course in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. 

Elite Men (3pm CET Sunday)
Expect the powerful Belgian team to feel the motivation and added pressure from racing on home ground. Belgian Wout Van Aert of Crelan-Vastgoedservice, just 21, took the silver medal a year ago. This season Van Aert captured the UCI World Cup and Bpost Bank Trofee series and is the world’s No. 1 ranked cyclocross racer among Elite Men. Watch also for Belgian Tom Meeusen of the Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team. 


Photo credit: Wil Matthews Photo

U.S. cyclocross’ most intriguing storyline this season was the battle between Jeremy Powers of Rapha-Focus and Stephen Hyde of Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld. Powers – winner of four Elite Men’s titles, including three in a row – found a newly formidable foe in Hyde, a rider he previously helped to mentor through his JAM Fund Cycling Team. It’s the sort of intense-but-friendly rivalry that draws fans to cyclocross. 

Photo credit: Balint Hamvas Cyclephotos

Photo credit: Wil Matthews Photo

Elite Women (3pm CET Saturday)
Great Britain’s Nikki Harris of Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team and Belgium’s Ellen Van Loy of Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team are second and third respectively in the UCI rankings. Harris had a breakthrough season that included her first ever World Cup victory, coming in December at Namur, Belgium. Van Loy’s strong season includes a victory at the 2015 Superprestige Race in Diegem.

Dutch rider Sophie de Boer of NNOF Cycling Team achieved a breakthrough of her own with a victory in the mud-soaked World Cup finale in Hoogerheide last weekend. American Kaitie Antonneau of Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld, with a second place World Cup finish this season, also proved she can race at the front with the best. American Elle Anderson of SRAM/Strava and Australian champ Lisa Jacobs of Rapha-Focus are two others to watch.

U23 Women (1pm CET Saturday)
Newly crowned Dutch champ Fleur Nagengast of Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team and American champ Ellen Noble of JAM Fund Cycling Team have high hopes for success on the Zolder racing circuit. American Allison Arensman of Twenty16 Pro Cycling continues her team’s grand tradition of preparing young women to compete against the world’s best. Her sister and teammate Hannah Arensman represents the U.S. in the Junior Women’s race.

Photo credit: Balint Hamvas Cyclephotos

U23 Men (11am CET Sunday)
Belgians Eli Iserbyt and Quentin Hermans build on Telenet-Fidea’s grand tradition of developing young riders. Iserbyt, the U23 World Cup winner, often has been simply unbeatable this season. Fellow Belgian and Telenet-Fidea rider Thijs Aerts, a former junior world champ, also is among the contenders, as is Belgium’s Yannick Peeters of Crelan-Vastgoedservice. 

Photo credit: Wil Matthews Photo

American ‘cross fans see a bright future in the U23 category. Logan Owen of Cal Giant-Specialized looks for a podium finish in Zolder after finishing third in the Elite Men’s Category at the U.S. championships. Teammate Tobin Ortenblad, also of Cal Giant-Specialized, carries momentum into Zolder with his U.S. U23 national title in a hard fought battle against Curtis White of Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.

Junior Men (11am CET Saturday)
Crelan-Vastgoedservice has two of Belgium’s best young hopes in Alessio Dhoore and Seppe Rombouts. Young U.S. hopes are Cameron Beard and Michael Owens of Cyclocrossworld. 

What They’re Riding
Most of these SRAM-support athletes will ride, as they have all season, Force 1 with Hydraulic Disc Brakes. 

Follow the action this weekend on @SRAMRoad Instagram and Twitter. 

Our full roster:

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