Sunday 27th December, 15:00 CET; 14:00 GMT; 09:00 USA Eastern; 01:00 Monday, Canberra in Aus - tv coverage starts half an hour earlier
Don't you love this time of the year? 2 races every weekend? Me, I'd want to have a nice long rest after the insanity that was Koksijde (don't know why Koksijde is so awesome? Watch the last lap!) but no, the 'cross riders drive over to the Netherlands to race all over again. Here's what our lovely GS has to say about the race:
The day after the epic sand-cross it's back to Holland. It's way up in the north of the country, so the chances of ice (yeah, ice!) are good (though late November may be a bit early for a full-on snow race). The Radomir Simunek Memorial (there are two, which is a bit odd) is a field race which saw Nys win his fiftieth Superprestige leg in 2009. That's right. Fiftieth. There are very few natural obstacles and it can be a bit of a bore I'm afraid. Some highish beams and a bridge which shouldn't even bother Napolitano, that's all.
Apparently the conditions out there are windy, and it went from "power drizzle" to proper rain half-way through the women's race, so hopefully by the time the men start, the course will be nicely churned up into mud? And if you're bored waiting, here are the final 2 laps from last year (imagine my little moment of wistfulness, remembering all the flooding, torrential rain and early ice & snow from last year's CX season)
Log into http://superprestige.vt4.be/ at 14:30 Euro time to see the usual clips from the women, u23 etc, and pre-race interviews, possibly with Pauwels-Nys polemica!
Map, info, links etc below
On the women's side, the race was won by the World Champion, Marianne Vos, who started her season in true Vos style, with a silver yesterday and win today - and Daphny van den Brand in 2nd, Helen Wyman 3rd. That's a podium I will always be happy with, fangirl that I am!
Here's the course:
Here's the startlist for those who, like me, who like their reminders of who's who mid-race
and here's what the race means for the overall Superprestige standings - Styby and Nys neck-and-neck
|1||Zdenek Stybar (Tsj)||50||10||12||15||13||0||0||0||0|
|9||Radomir Simunek (Tsj)||26||0||7||11||8||0||0||0||0|
Who'll be the lucky winner today? The last 3 winners were Tom Meeusen (2010), Sven Nys (2009) and Klaas Vantornout (2008) and I'd love to see Meeusen do it again!
The official stream can be awesome, but it can be flakey (I always open it 5 minutes before the programme starts, as it can take a LONG time to load) - so if it's not working for you, try for links at cyclingfans, procycling and sports-livez.
As always, if you've got no clue about 'cross, or just like to chat through the races, join right in! CX is so much fun, & it's even better with online friends!