This weekend the Cyclocross world crowns its champions in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, just up the road from the Belgian border. European borders being what they are, I think you can call this home turf for pretty much all the favorites in all classes, save for one American f'n Champion and a few of her British friends.
Hoogerheide is pretty well plowed turf, having hosted the very same World Championships a mere five years ago. Our Man Patrick Verhoest was there, of course, and offers a wee photo retrospective from that fateful day.
Welcome to the, um, Netherlands...
Sure, welcome! If by "welcome" you mean "eat my dust."
Yes, that is Marianne Vos, and in the end the field got Vos'd:
The final podium, with Marianne joined by Hanka Kupfernagel (silver) and Katie F'n Compton (bronze):
Time for the men. And by "men" I mean "Belgians":
Wellens-face was ever-present on this day.
Lars Boom came in to home turf (Vlijmen isn't too far away) and as the defending world champion, but alas by 2009 his road career became his official priority. It showed:
Wellens-face, part II:
In happier times.... And by "happy," I mean "totally unhappy":
Boom did take a few turns on the front, a nice show for the home crowd...
But in the end, Niels Albert capped off his first Elite season in dreamy fashion:
Have you ever seen a cleaner kit after a CX race? No, you have not.
Coming second was one Zdenek "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" Stybar:
And a disappointed Sven for third:
Sven: "I am happy for you, and by happy I mean that I will commence eating your lunch next week."
All photos by Patrick Verhoest