Saturday: GP Hasselt
First order of business is the GvA Trofee event in Hasselt, in Belgian Limburg, home of the Boerenkrijg monument (at right), commemorating the expulsion of asphalt sections of over 100 meters from cyclocross courses. Ultimately their victory did not translate into start/finish areas, and there was a nice little crash on the tarmac in Hasselt two years ago, but whatever. It's not an especially dramatic course, but it should be full of twists and turns, including some late-added logs and corners thanks to the lack of mud currently plaguing the nation of Belgium. Check out the parcours here, FWIW. Little red lines are the course. The green spots mark tgsgirl's childhood memories.
All the usual suspects are there, except of course Niels Albert (sigh). Past winners... take a wild guess. Actually Pauwels last year, and Nys hasn't won since 2007. K-Pow and Stybar should be players here. It's only the third of eight rounds in the GvA Trofee, but Pauwels already has a 10-point lead and could be in a very strong position if he has a good day tomorrow.
Sunday: Cyclocross Gavere
This course gets panned a bit for some of the asphalt stretches, and it's true that they run the riders past a long stretch of VIP tents at the beginning and end, but it's got some lovely, long climbing stretches to it and should make for a challenging and interesting course. The descents look pretty harrowing and there is plenty of time spent off the bike. See vid below.
Albert leads the Superprestige series, which hits the halfway mark Sunday. Nys will pass Albert with or without a win, though he has a tidy history of success here (wins in two of the last three). Don't be too shocked to see Nys hold back just a touch on Saturday and pursue his goal of winning at least one classification by nailing Sunday's race instead. It's a better course for him anyway.
Cyclocross Superprestige Asper-Gavere 2009 - Final lap (via cyclocrosschannel)
Gavere includes a women's race, with some (though maybe not all?) of the big names in attendance, including Helen Wyman and Amy Dombroski. Hopefully we should see a bit of video there. Weather looks like more of the same miserable sunny nonsense. Enjoy!