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Namur World Cup CX... LIVE

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FieldyCX namur world cup! One of hardest courses of the year worth a watch on tinterweb this afternoon 2pm kick off UK time.

wellens_online
Koude.. Dat gaat de grootste tegenstander zijn vandaag! Superlastige omloop hier in .
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Cold... that will the biggest competitor today! Superhard race here in #Namen. #realcross
Lars Boom
Vandaag paar rondjes getraind op het parkoers in namen! Echt super zwaar! Zoon zware cross heb ik in men carrière nog niet gereden denk ik!
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Rode a few laps on the parcours in Namur today! Really super hard! I haven't ridden a cross this hard in my entire career I think!

Gabby_Day World Cup Namur today...guna be a proper hard race. I will be brave...

Tim Johnson

There. If that doesn't get you in the mood, you're beyond hope. Today's World Cup manche in Namur is one of those you-shouldn't-miss-this races, easily a part of my personal top five. Add to that the presence of - FINALLY - mud again, the comeback of Niels Albert, a reborn Bart Wellens, a Kevin Pauwels desperately trying to hang on to early-season form and a Sven Nys with something to prove after his unfortunate mechanical; and you've got magic.

Zdenek Stybar is looking for revenge also, after his shameful - his words, not mine, though I don't disagree - performance yesterday.

Zdenek Stybar
New day, new start, new race, new motivation, stand up back on the feets....

And of course, as you no doubt noticed above the jump, Lars Boom is back in the field for the first time this season. How he'll do remains a mystery. I don't for a second believe he'll race "just for fun", he's way too competitive to cruise around for pictures. On the one hand, he'll be fresh whereas all the others have a few months of cross in their legs already. On the other hand, he probably hasn't been training that long and won't want to risk his road season for this. End result? On verra.

Butt enough on the who, onto the what now.

Sunday 18 December: Citadelcross, Namur (World Cup)

Woohoo, two races in one weekend! I love the end of the year. A day after the fields of Essen it's off to the climbs of Namur. The Citadelcross, as it is most commonly referred two, is a young-un. There have only been two editions so far, both part of the GVA series. It got an upgrade this year though, and it is now, for the first time, part of the World Cup. Which is cool, cause it's a cool race on the hills around the medieval citadel of Namur, which you may know from the GP de Wallonie (which was won by PhilGil, but you could've guessed that).

The Citadelcross is hard. Very hard. The hills in the Ardennes forest border on MTB-steepness, which should suit Sven Nys who likes to dabble in MTB during the summer (9th at the Beijing Olympics). With ascents come descents too, and with descents come crashes. Even more so than at other races it's important to start well, which will make Niels Albert cry. If you have to choose between Saturday's race or this one, definitely pick this one.

Starttime: women 13h30, men 15h
Last two winners elite men: Zdenek Stybar (2010), Niels Albert (2009)

Current World Cup classification

1. Kevin Pauwels 300 punten
2. Sven Nys 285
3. Zdenek Stybar (Tsj) 250
4. Bart Aernouts 221
5. Tom Meeusen 220
5. Francis Mourey (Fra) 218
7. Klaas Vantornout 210
8 Bart Wellens 155

Results women's race

1 M.Vos NED-
2 Chainel FRA-
3Compton USA-
4 S.Cant BEL-
5 Wyman GBR -
6 Lechner ITA-
7De Boer NED

Links

Sports-livez
Cyclingfans

Live coverage starts at 14h30 CET, the race itself half an hour later at 15h o'clock;

Awesome mud picture via cyclephotos.co.uk