Wednesday 28th December 2011, 15:00 CET, 09:00 US Eastern
Yep, cross on Wednesday. Boy, do I love the week between Christmas and New Year's. Cold outside, warm inside. Good drinks to enjoy and cx on tv, does it get any better than that? In true cross tradition the final week of the year is absolutely mental, with plenty of races to watch. In midweek there's the Azencross in Loenhout, in the north of the province of Antwerp. It's a workers' cross, where the speeds won't reach dizzying heights but the heartrates sure will. There's not too much natural height difference, but there are handful of bridges (one that saw Nys have a positively ridiculous crash in 2009, flat on the tummy), a big staircase and some really kick-ass washboards
There's lots of mud, Marianne Vos won the women's race, Albertina is in the crowd, and it's important for the series!
It's race 5 out of the 8 that make up the GVA Trofee, and here's the current standings:
|1 (1)||Kevin Pauwels||Sunweb Revor Cycling Team||98|
|2 (2)||Zdenek Stybar||Quickstep Cycling Team||76|
|3 (4)||Tom Meeusen||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||67|
|4 (3)||Sven Nys||Landbouwkrediet||60|
|5 (5)||Bart Aernouts||Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.||59|
|6 (7)||Niels Albert||BKCP-Powerplus||57|
|7 (13)||Bart Wellens||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||50|
|8 (6)||Klaas Vantornout||Sunweb Revor Cycling Team||46|
|9 (8)||Joeri Adams||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||36|
|10 (17)||Rob Peeters||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||34|
So it looks like Kevin Pauwels has a nice gap to keep this series stitched up - but we're only half-way through - and this is a very heavy week, so hopefully we'll see some different faces up on the podium.