The only thing I know is that the new (old) race features sand, and that this is the first year that I've seen people giddy over Gieten. It's the Superprestige, so Sven Nys will want to win (more so than normal), and Niels Albert is gunning for his first ever weekend double (seriously).
Normally, choosing between Koksijde and Gieten is like choosing between getting a back massage from Bernie Eisel and having your leg eternally chewed on by a rabid hyena. It really isn't a fair fight.
This year though, Gieten has changed. I still don't see it winning over Koksijde - not in a million years, but change is good in this case. Because oh my, Gieten was boring. Anyways, onwards to the new Gieten. Which is actually the old Gieten, because the race is going back to its roots. Rather than the usual flat grass crit, this year the race takes place in the forest and around a pond. Which means: sand. Beachy sand even, judging from the map. There's still a lot of straight stretches, but hell, it can't be any worse than what we used to get.
(Neutral rating since I don't know what to expect either)
|1.||Sven Nys||58 points|
|4.||Philipp Walsleben (Dui)||41|
|5.||Lars van der Haar (Ned)||39|
|10.||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned)||23|
Winner gets 15 points, second place 14, third place 13... etcetera.