Lovely day in Wallonia, and our man Patrick was there for the inaugural Spa Francorchamps SuperPrestige event! The course is within a Formula 1 venue of some repute, but whatever... it just looks like a cool place for a race.
The Women's race saw Nikki Harris hold off Helen Wyman for the win, with Ellen Van Loy hot on their heels for the final podium place. Here's your podium heading up the course's main feature, a very nasty grass run-up.
Pretty good pain faces there. It was not an easy day, even by Cyclocross standards.
OK, the U-23 did not include Mathieu van der Poel, so of course reigning World Champ Wout Van Aert won, but not without an impressive push from Michael Vanthournhout.
Oh, and say hey to the top US U23 riders, Grant Ellwood (31) and Ian McPherson (30):
OK, on to the Elite Men. And heeeeere they come!
This was a run-up of the highest order...
Notice anything different between these two? Sorry, I am endlessly fascinated with Pauwels' quirky ways.
Bearded guy (Mark McConnell). Everyone loves a big beard nowadays, I guess.
Eventually the race left the run-up and found a few other oddities, like the tunnel:
MvP didn't have his usual class today, settling for fourth.
Eventually the race came down to Pauwels and Lars van der Haar:
Pauwels, the crafty bugger, had a little extra on the day, and took the solo win.
And that's your Day at the Races!
All photos by Patrick Verhoest.