It’s almost time for Nys, Albert, van der Haar, Meeusen – and not forgetting Ian Field of course – to chuck the ‘cross bikes in the coal shed for the summer and head for the beach.
Precocious Dutchman van der Haar took the overall World Cup win – and 30,000 Euros – from the man who we spoke to earlier in the year, Germany’s Philipp Walsleben with another of our interviewees Radomir Simunek taking fifth in the final round in Nommay.
The Superprestige overall went to the remarkable Sven Nys, taking it for the 13th time and relegating Niels Albert to second overall – it looked like Albert had it won until the last round where Nys tied on overall points with Albert but won on placings count back.
And today saw the final round of the third major season-long ‘cross competition, the BPost Bank Trofee.
This used to be the Gazet Van Antwerpen Series and unusually it’s decided on overall times – just like a stage race – Nys was leading by more than four minutes going in to the last round over second man, Albert in today’s closing round in Oostmalle.
But despite finishing in an unaccustomed 10th spot and Albert winning, Nys had enough time in hand to win the series overall.
Like Meat Loaf says; ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad!‘
The biggest one day race of the season, the Elite World Championship went to the remarkable Zdenek Stybar.
We thought we might have one last look at this highlight of the ‘cross season through the eyes of a man who was right there in the mud of Hoogerheide – New Zealand’s Angus Edmond – before we draw the curtain on another great winter of cyclocross.
Did you try to peak for the race, Angus – how?
“Yes and no.
“Because of my alternate life (work, girlfriend, being a dad) finding time to train is extremely hard. For me it was more about learning the course, it’s lines and sequences of turns before the race.
“Making sure that I ate well and was well rested in the days leading up to it and finally – no beers the night before.”
Tell us about the parcours.
“Hoogerheide was a great course. It changed many times in the three days that I rode it.
“When I first got there Friday it was fast, very little mud, a good ‘foreigner’ course.
“Saturday it rained, got super slippery and the mud holes and patches really started to appear.
“The juniors and elite women had a pretty tough course, I didn’t envy them at all. But by Sunday it started to dry out again and ended up somewhere in between the two previous days.
“The technical lines became rideable again, but not as easy as they were to begin with. It was an excellent choice for a World Championship race.”
What tyres did you run?
“FMB Super Muds with the pro casing. They are my favourite tyre and if I was to only own one set of tyres it would be them.
“They are super sticky in even the worse conditions and with the pro casing they can run at extremely low pressures whilst maintaining their form in the corners.
“I have not had a flat once the entire season, either.”
How was your start?
“It was my best start of the season! I clipped in straight away and it went well from there.
“I’m not picky about my starts. I’m always at the back and we all end up in a big bunch at the end of the first straight anyway.
“But it certainly put me in a good mood. It took the field a long time to stretch out and we were still running at obstacles like the flyover half way through the first lap.”
Did you have to change bikes every lap?
“No, just once after about three laps.
“My gears were starting to act up a little and I had probably collected up about a kilo or two of mud by then so I figured it would be a good plan.”
I notice you didn’t wear shades with all that much flying around.
“No, I’m quite picky about what I have in front of my eyes while racing, so rather nothing than something that irritates me.
“I never quite found the time during the season to hunt down the sunglasses sponsor that I had been looking for.”
And gloves – not mitts?
“I’m not big on suffering while racing so rather too warm than too cold, you can always take them off. But I must admit I have gotten to a few start grids and felt a little over dressed in the glove department.
“I have been looking for good mitts for a while now and have just done a deal with Grip Grab, so hopefully my glove selection for next season will expand.”
How did the race go for you?
“I would have liked to have done better, but at the same time I could not have gone faster or pushed harder. I made a few small mistakes, taking the wrong line through some mud for example, which both takes your speed off, and is demoralizing at the same time.