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The ABC of CX: a who's who of the European cross peloton

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Because the more people understand what's happening, the more people I have to talk 'cross with. And that's a good thing. Now, even though most of the time they are all men-shaped mudhills on bikes, there are still some things you can recognise.

SVEN NYS

Team: Landbouwkrediet
Colours: Dark green

Special kit: Belgium's national Champion
Could be confused with: no one

Sven-nys_medium

ZDENEK STYBAR

Team: Telenet-Fidea
Colours: Yellow, white and turquoise

Special kit: World Champion
Could be confused with: no one (not as long as he's world champ)

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NIELS ALBERT

Team: BKCP Powerplus
Colours: White with black accents
Special kit: World Champion bands
Could be confused with: Radomir Simunek, Dieter Vantornhout and Enrico Franzoi, though Albert is the only one with rainbows on his kit.
How to pick him from a line-up: His rainbow bands, and the fact that he's a whole lot better than his teammates.

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DIETER VANTHOURENHOUT

Team: BKCP Powerplus
Colours: White with black accents
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Niels Albert, Radomir Simunek, Enrico Franzoi
How to pick him from a line-up: Uh... does it matter? He's not been doing too good lately. If you remember that Dieter is the Vanthourenhout at BKCP, you'll at least be able to keep him and his nephew (or cousin. one word for the two things in Dutch) Sven apart.

Vanthou

RADOMIR SIMUNEK

Team: BKCP Powerplus
Colours: White with black accents
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Niels Albert, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Enrico Franzoi
How to pick him from a line-up: He looks like his dad. Does that help?

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BART WELLENS

Team: Telenet-Fidea
Colours: Yellow, white and turquoise
Special kit: World Champion bands
Could be confused with: Kevin Pauwels, Tom Meeusen, Rob Peeters, though Wellens is the only one with rainbows.
How to pick him from a line-up: Better runner than his teammates. Better runner than anyone else in the peloton, these days. Sports a hobo looking little beard these days. Oldest of the Fidea lads.

Wellens

KEVIN PAUWELS

Team: Telenet-Fidea
Colours: Yellow, white and turquoise
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Bart Wellens, Tom Meeusen, Rob Peeters.
How to pick him from a line-up: Looks like he can't give interviews which consist of more than one syllable. Babyface, but less so than Tom Meeusen.

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TOM MEEUSEN

Team: Telenet-Fidea
Colours: Yellow, white and turquoise
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Bart Wellens, Kevin Pauwels, Rob Peeters.
How to pick him from a line-up: Youngest of the Fidea bunch. Great at bunnyhopping.

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KLAAS VANTORNOUT

Team: Sunweb-Projob
Colours: Red and yellow
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Sven Vanthourenhout, Kenneth Van Compernolle, Martin Zlamalik
How to pick him from a line-up: Most confusion will occur between him and Sven Vanthourenhout, a fact not helped by the similarity of their names. Klaas is taller than Sven though, and lankier. Klaas is a great runner too.

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SVEN VANTHOURENHOUT

Team: Sunweb-Projob
Colours: Red and yellow
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Klaas Vantornout, Kenneth Van Compernolle, Martin Zlamalik
How to pick him from a line-up: Most confusion will occur between him and Klaas Vantornout, a fact not helped by the similarity of their names. Sven is the shorter of the two, and Klaas is usually in front of him.

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IAN FIELD

Team: sponsored by Hargroves cycles
Colours: Red and yellow
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Klaas Vantornout, Sven Vanthourenhout, Kenneth Van Compernolle, Martin Zlamalik, random Spaniards
How to pick him from a line-up: Black accents on his shorts, much more red in his shirt.

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BART AERNOUTS

Team: Rabobank
Colours: Blue and orange
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Gerben De Knegt
How to pick him from a line-up: Squarer head, sillier grin.

Bart_aernouts_parijs_11_juni_10

GERBEN DE KNEGT

Team: Rabobank
Colours: Blue and orange
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Bart Aernouts
How to pick him from a line-up: More of the tall tree Dutchman type than Bart. Tall, slim guy, long long legs.

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JONATHAN PAGE

Team: sponsored by BikePlanet
Colours: Black
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: Jan Denuwelaere
How to pick him from a line-up: Pretty much entirely in black, while Denuwelaere's kit has a lot more blue in it.

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FRANCIS MOUREY

Team: FDJ
Colours: Like you don't know
Special kit: French champion
Could be confused with: no one

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STEVE CHAINEL

Team: BBox
Colours: Look at that kid! Too cute :)
Special kit: /
Could be confused with: no one

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ENRICO FRANZOI

Team: BKCP Powerplus
Colours: White with black accents
Special kit: Italian champ rainbow bands
Could be confused with: Radomir Simunek, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Niels Albert

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PHILLIP WALSLEBEN

Team: BKCP Powerplus
Colours: White with black accents
Special kit: German champion
Could be confused with: no one

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Photo credit

Sven Nys: via www.gphasselt.be
Zdenek Stybar: via static-c.telenetportaal.be
Niels Albert: via www.nielsalbert.com

Dieter Vanthourenhout: via www.nieuwsblad.be
Bart Wellens: via www.standaard.be
Kevin Pauwels: via www.sporza.be
Tom Meeusen: via s1.gva.be
Klaas Vantornout: via www.kempenactueel.be
Sven Vanthourenhout: via www.hln.be
Ian Field: via www.ianfield.co.uk
Bart Aernouts: via bartaernouts.com
Gerben de Knegt: via www.gerbendeknegt.nl
Jonathan Page:
via
www.thejonathanpage.com
Francis Mourey: via www.brest.maville.com
Steve Chainel: via
farm4.static.flickr.com
Enrico Franzoi: via www.cxmagazine.com

Radomir Simunek: via m.sporza.be
Philipp Walsleben: via www.philipp-walsleben.de

 

Bonus material:

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via 06.live-radsport.ch