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Cyclocross 2021 World Cup | EurekaBike Blog

10 Nov 2021Fabio Struffaldi

Mud and sweat: the cyclo-cross season

The 2021-22 cyclo-cross season is getting underway, with the European Championship of the past weekend, the UCI World Cup circuits and the Superprestige to then culminate with the World Championships in a single stage. This year the World Cup is as rich as ever because it has 16 appointments: after the first 3 rounds in the USA, it landed in Europe whith other 2 stops in Belgium, and then it will continue in four other host nations.

Cyclo-cross is a discipline that has a long tradition in Belgium and enormous media attention. Top riders are considered equal to the great pros of the road and the competitions are followed by large crowds of enthusiasts. In recent years, however, the popularity of cyclo-cross has grown globally thanks to the presence of the two stars Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van der Poel and a national rivalry (Belgium against the Netherlands), to which a third wheel has been added, the British Tom Pidcock. As a result of the growth of the three athletes who are now at the top of world road cycling, they will not be able to compete many races of the World Cup because their preparation is focused on the first races on road in Spring. Despite this, they have already anticipated that the World Championship, which this year will take place in Fayetteville in the USA on January 29-30, will be their goal: we will therefore see Van Aert and Van der Poel in some World Cup events later in the season. Their program includes a debut in December and a gradual improvement in order to be top form at the World Championship that both have already won (and for the Dutchman would be the fourth consecutive win).

Out of the 16 UCI cyclocross World Cup rounds, the Italian race stands out, which will return after a few years of absence on December 12 in Val di Sole. It will be very suggestive because it will take place on the snow and will also be the test event to convince the IOC to insert cyclo-cross among the disciplines of the Winter Olympics.


These are the rounds the UCI cyclo-cross World Cup:

10 OCT 2021 Waterloo (USA)

13 OCT 2021Fayetteville (USA)

17 OCT 2021 Iowa (USA)

24 OCT 2021Zonhoven (BEL)

31 OCT 2021 Overijse (BEL)

14 NOV 2021Tabor (CZE)

21 NOV 2021 Koksijde (BEL)

28 NOV 2021Besancon (FRA)

5 DEC 2021 Antwerpen (BEL)

12 DEC 2021 Val di Sole (ITA)

18 DEC 2021Rucphen (NED)

19 DEC 2021Namur (BEL)

26 DEC 2021 Dendermonde (BEL)

2 JAN 2022Hulst (NED)

16 JAN 2022 Flamanville (FRA)

23 JAN 2022 Hoogerheide (NED)

Despite the absence of the big names of the road, the Cyclocross World Cup season is very open and hard-fought this year. If Eli Iserbyt seems the most credited with the final victory (he has already won three races out of 5), the opponents Toon Aerts, Michael Vanthourenhout and the emerging Quentin Hermans are strong candidates and every competition is hard fought. We run on selective and technical circuits and very often mud and rain make the race extremely uncertain. Rai Sport offers coverage of the main events, not only in Elite category, but also in Women and Juniors. The only drawback that would make the category more varied, is the absence of real contenders to the dominance of the Belgians, and at the European Championship of last week it was a great surprise to see the Dutch Van der Haar on top of the podium who defeated the Flemish battleship. Italy was honored with the ninth place of Jakob Dorigoni: the Bolzano rider and Giole Bertolini have been participating in the World Cup races for several years with mixed results but in a growing trend, but far are the times of Renato Longo who managed to winning 5 World Championships in the 60s or more recently we remember the triumph of Daniele Pontoni (who has just been appointed manager of the Italian national team).

Awaiting the growth of Dorigoni, who is only 23 years old, there is hope for an Italian movement that sees signs of awakening in the youth categories and in women: Arzuffi and Lechner among the latter, Toneatti Under 23 and Luca Paletti who has just taken the European bronze in the first year as a junior. Cyclo-cross has proven over the years to be a spectacular and a still loved discipline; moreover, it can be carried out as an integration of winter preparation or even as a step towards the road competions, not to mention that many athletes interchange fluidly between mountain biking in summer and cyclocross in winter.

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