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Prepare for madness - Zonhoven CX... LIVE

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I know, I know. Tabor was apparently pretty dull. Do not despair though, fore today's cross race will be anything but dull. It will be madness.

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Picture by cyclephotos.co.uk, used with permission 

Sunday 30 October: Zonhoven (Superprestige)

Zonhoven? Zonhoven is freaking madness. Long, slippery insane descents, retardedly steep climbs. It. Is. Awesome. Some bits where they struggle to walk up with their bikes, so they're almost on all fours. The sandpits are really, really deep. And cool. Am I too excited? I'm sorry. I love this race. Really. Aaaaaaawesome.

Starttime: women 10h45, men 15h
Last three winners elite men: Zdenek Stybar (2010, oct.), Sven Nys (2010, feb.) and Niels Albert (2008, not a typo)
Map
Picture of the sandpit. Click it, it's madness!

The race is a bit different from last year. The finish is on asphalt now - a UCI requirement if you want to one day upgrade to world cup, national or world champ races. A long stretch along the purperen hei - a typical for this area of the world plant which turns the fields purple - was discarded. It provided for pretty pictures on tv, but was so far from the centre of the action that it had little to no spectators. Instead, they changed out the long flat for... three steep - two regular and one ultra steep - hills. More hills! And, they kept the sandpit. Plus, they added a 50m stretch of loose sands. Man. Can this race get any better?

All week long, riders have been in the press saying how great this race is, how fair (you won't win if you're not the best - bad luck not included), how hard, how awesome. And beware, Sven Nys is digging out the white helmet: "It's time for the white helmet. Races which for me are of the highest priority."

We've only had one Superprestige race so far - Ruddervoorde - so if I provide you with the top 10 you'll immediately see how points are distributed.

1. Niels Albert 15
2. Bart Aernouts 14
3. Klaas Vantornout 13
4. Sven Nys 12
5. Bart Wellens 11
6. Zdenek Stybar 10
7. Tom Meeusen 9
8. Sven Vanthourenhout 8
9. Steve Chainel 7
10. Dieter Vanthourenhout 6
11. Jim Aernouts 5
12. Thijs van Amerongen 4
13. Kevin Pauwels 3
14. Vincent Baestaens 2
15. Rob Peeters 1

The women had their race this morning:

1.  Sanne Van Paassen TWC Het Snelle Wiel
  2.  Nikki Harris Young Telenet-fidea
  3.  Sabrina Stultiens RTC Buitenlust -
  4.  Sanne Cant
  5.  Pavla Havlikova Young Telenet-fidea

Startlist

Picture set by Kristof Ramon

Live, legal, online video here