Monday 26th December 2011, 15:00 CET, 14:00 GMT, 09:00 US Eastern, 06:00 US Pacific, 01:00 on Tuesday, Sydney Australia
It's Belgium, it's the middle of winter, most people are recovering from a day of food, drink and family.... except for the cyclists, who are warming up for more cyclocross! I LOVE Belgium!
This is what gs had this to say about Zolder - and just look who won last year! Fans of The Hegemony, he'll be riding again today!
The World Cup race in Zolder is on and around the Zolder race circuit - which you may know as the battleground between the Germans and the Brits in Top Gear; or as the place where Super Mario became world champ. It's got long and straight stretches, which is very uncross-like. To make up for that they added hills and u-turns though, so that makes up for some. The race is in a pine forest, so it's a rough surface with hills and tree roots and other such shenanigans.
Starttime: women 13h30, men 15h
Last three winners elite men: Lars Boom (2010), Kevin Pauwels (2009) and Thijs Al (2008)
Links at cyclingfans, procycling & sports-livez - the coverage will start around half an hour before the race - and more about the race and what it means for the World Cup below the jump - and join us to chat through the race, and ask any questions at all, in the comments!
EDIT! And links to videos & photos at the bottom of the comments - if you find anything fun, please add it in too!
It's the 6th round of the World Cup - out of 8 in total (for the men - the women don't ride Igorre, so it's 5/7 for them) and the current standings look like this:
And the points for the top 50 to finish run like this:
1st=80, 2nd= 70, 3rd=65, 4th=60, 5th=55, 6th=50, 7th=48, 8th=46, 9th=44, 10th=42, 11th= 40
and then at 1 point increments down to number 50 with 1 point - so it looks like a two-horse race between Kevin Pauwels aka K-Pow, Yoah) and Sven Nys (aka Hulk It, Sven!). Poor old Niels Albert is sitting at 14th, with 155 points, thanks to his annoying hand injury - but he'll still be wanting to win this, and everything else - and of course, the other big question will be can Styby get any kind of results?
For the women, their standings are:
Their points are for the first 30, and run
1st=60, 2nd=50, 3rd=45, 4th=40, 5th=35, 6th=30, 7th=28, 8th=26th, 9th=24, 10th=22, 11th=20
Then at 1-point increments to 30th=1
(My bet for the women is for Compton to win like last time - this, after all, a course that rewards POWER!!! but then again, Marianne Vos is on her usual sparkling form, and I always peg Vos for the win - can't wait to hear how those two duel!) EDIT! Compton, who won it last year, isn't racing, so I bet Vos, or Daphny vdB!
If you like to have a startlist alongside you, as you try to work out which muddy rider is the one at the front/having acrobatic crashes, here is it
And if you're waiting for it to start, here's the last lap from last year's men's race, when it was all snow & ice...