Cyclo-cross World Championships without Van der Poel: “He will netflix, maybe read a book”

“In addition,” continues Van der Poel, “there is a lot more ‘quiet bends’ being constructed.”

By this Van der Poel means that riders come to a complete stop, only to have to accelerate again. “That is attractive for the sponsors, because the riders stand still for a while and so does the camera and then the sponsors come into better view.”


He thinks it is getting out of hand and talked about it with some colleagues. “For example, I talked about it with Gerben de Knegt, Sven Vanthourenhout and Steve Chainel, the national coaches of the Netherlands, Belgium and France. They share that opinion. It must be discussed by the cyclo-cross committee. Hopefully this will change.”

In recent cyclocross races, Van der Poel sees that on the more traditional courses, with fewer bends and hills, much more tension remains in the race. “Look at Hoogerheide, Besançon, Rucphen. Those were atypical crosses by today’s standards.”

“There were flat parts of 150 meters or longer, on which you could still overtake or accelerate. Those crosses were much more exciting; you didn’t know who was going to win until the last.”