27th December, 15:00 CET (2pm UK, 9am USA EST, 1am 28th Aus AEDT)
This one, as gs said in her fabulous cyclocross calendar, is the one with the washboards, so plenty of jumping riders. It's got a sandpit too, and a section through some woods, but this course is the one set around football pitches, so plenty of long, straight runs, perfect for the riders who like to sprint, like Niels Albert, who won the race for the last three years in a row and in 2006, and like Kevin Pauwels and Lars van der Haar. Then again, Sven Nys is always good on the second day of racing, and he's leading the bpost series, +1:06 ahead of Albert and +1:59 to Klaas Vantornout - and Nys has five wins here already, from 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2009... Zdenek Stybar won in 2008, and he showed yesterday, at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup, that he's very fast, and ex-BMXer that he is, he'll love those jumps.... Should be a lot of fun!
To watch it - well, Sporza shows the bpost series, but they're geo-restricted to Belgium, where everyone will be watching on big tvs, with their feet up and a bottle of delicious beer (unless they're at work, like gs...). You can try the Sporza Match Center, where the livestream appears, and the bpost livestreaming page, but I think us unfortunate non-Belgians will be hunting for streams. Turn up in the comments and we'll try to help each other out - and chat through the race as usual. Coverage starts at 14:30 CET, half an hour before the race.
For the women? Well, hopefully we'll see a few minutes of highlights before the men's race starts, but Sporza doesn't show us much. Belgian champion Sanne Cant won last year, and Marianne Vos two years before that - both riders will line up tomorrow, and Cant is just 21 seconds behind bpost series leader Helen Wyman in the race for overall....
More information about the race on the official website. Join us below for conversation!
Photo: Wietse Bosmans in the 2012 Azencross u23 race - photo used with kind permission of Balínt Hamvas - see more of his photos from last year on cyclephotos.co.uk