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Krawatencross Lille...LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mathieu Van der Poel won worlds last week, and will be showing off his stripes in Lille, for the closing BPost race, the Krawatencross. Both the mens' and womens' races will be televised!

Van der Poel will be showing off his rainbow stripes.
Van der Poel will be showing off his rainbow stripes.
Patrick Verhoest

I know, road has started, and worlds are over, but cyclo-cross isn't, oh no. We're back in the Antwerp area for the finale of the BPost Bank Trofee, the Krawatencross. Wout Van Aert leads the BPost with an unassailable lead, and would have wanted to take the victory in rainbow stripes. He lives very close to Lille, and will at least be hoping to beat the new rainbow jersey, Mathieu Van der Poel.

The Route:

Krawatencross is a great, fun course, going through a forest section with some good muddy sections, and past a lake, and this is the defining feature. The riders go through the wet sand, and skirt the lake closely. Then there's some elevation change, with the sand predominantly at the beginning of the lap.


Lille Parcours

Last year, Sven Nys prevailed in a thrilling sprint from Lars Van der Haar and Tom Meeusen. He opened up the sprint, Meeusen had a problem, and had too far to come around.

Who's Riding/Not Riding?

Wietse Bosmans is back after another Lyme Disease sabbatical, he was okay in Maldegem on Wednesday, finishing ahead of Wout and Nys.

The Favourites:

I cannot choose between the two youngsters. I never can, but this race will be more of a target for Wout Van Aert, with Van der Poel having his eyes on the following day's Superprestige in Hoogstraten, hoping to maintain his lead. Van Aert has also perhaps been more focused this week, with Van der Poel going around showing off his rainbows, and Van Aert has a point to prove after his unlucky world championships. So, no doubt, do Belgian newspapers. He's a strong sand rider, winning Koksijde. Yeah, he'll win, and take the BPost in style.

Stars:  :Stars: :Stars: :Stars: :Stars:

Aert to the win, Hoogerheide 2014 Patrick Verhoest

(Patrick Verhoest)

What to say about Mathieu Van der Poel? He's the new world champion, the Superprestige leader, and has won his last four races, in Leuven, the Dutch nats, Hoogerheide, and the big one, the worlds last Sunday. Will he be focusing on maintaining his tenuous grip on the Superprestige lead tomorrow though? Possibly. He's a strong favourite, but not as strong as Van Aert. Second place.

Stars:  :Stars: :Stars: :Stars: :Stars:

Mathieu van der Poel in mud

(David Stockman/Getty)

Third on the podium should be Lars Van der Haar. Van der Haar showed good, not great form in the worlds, but better than anyone who's likely to challenge for third. He dropped Pauwels, and finished a minute ahead of everyone else. He was good last year, and is proficient on sand. I still can't get used to him in the Giant kit though.

Stars:  :Stars: :Stars: :Stars:


(Patrick Verhoest)

Next is someone who's just had his best ever season, winning Zonhoven, Francorchamps, Milton Keynes, Hasselt, Namur, Otegem and Maldegem and the World Cup. He can win the Superprestige, but has seen his best ever chance at a world title slip away. With a weak Nys, and a good course for him, he could have won, but those young riders stole his chances, and they're only going to get stronger. I am of course talking about Kevin Pauwels. Pauwels was beaten by the above three at worlds, but he has an interest in this race, he will be second in the BPost unless Nys finishes more than a minute ahead of him, which he last did on the 12th of October, in Ronse. He will also be looking to the Superprestige, where he will want to score two more points than Van der Poel in the two remaining races. However, it looks like a second place in both series.

Stars:  :Stars: :Stars: :Stars:

Kevin Pauwels solo win

(Patrick Verhoest)

Klaas Vantornout, on a good day, with the right weather, can win this race, which I think is more than I can say for Pauwels and Van der Haar. He is fantastic at running, good at sand riding and great at powering through heavy mud and if it buckets rain, and he's on a good day, he will scare Van Aert and Van der Poel. His good days have been few and far between, but he had a good one to win his Belgian jersey, can he win something in it?

Stars:  :Stars: :Stars:

(Patrick Verhoest)

Tom Meeusen: Meeusen did well last year, and is riding his way back into form after his bad Hoogerheide, finishing 6th in worlds. He has been second in numerous races this year, including the Belgian nats, Diegem and Essen, as well as winning Overijse and Ruddervoorde, and this course is good for him, requiring good handling and sand skills, he has both. He also needs 26 seconds on Nys to get on the BPost podium.

Stars: :Stars: :Stars:

The classification for the Bpost Bank Trofee is all but sewn up, for the men, with only 3rd in the balance, for the podium spots. If anyone cares, Sven Vanthourenhout and Jens Adams will fight out 7th, is the closest battle towards the top of the field.

I did it! I did out the favourites without Sven Nys! About time.

The Mens' race will be shown on Sporza at the standard time, 3 PM CET/2 PM GMT/6 AM PST/8 AM CST/ 9 AM EST on Saturdy. I don't think they tend to geo-restrict this one, so we'll get to watch.

We Get to see the Womens' Race!

Yes, in a kind move by Sporza, we will get live, full coverage of the women's race.

Who's Riding/Not Riding?

Disappointingly but understandably, Vos and Ferrand-Prevot are justifiably giving the rest of the season a miss, and focusing on road. It would be nice to see Ferrand-Prevot in her rainbow jersey this season, but she has it on the road as well. Vos is resting her hamstring, which is giving her trouble. Katerina Nash is also not riding, leaving a quite sparse field, especiallly as Nikki Harris has declared herself out ill.

The Favourites:

The top favourite for this race will be Worlds silver medallist Sanne Cant, who, now the "part-time crossers" are gone, will be making her bid for victories. She has won the most races this season, including Zonhoven, Koksijde and Milton Keynes, the World Cup, and is within shouting distance of taking the considerably more exciting women's BPost competition.

Stars: :Stars: :Stars: :Stars: :Stars:

Sanne Cant

(Bryn Lennon/Getty)

Helen Wyman's year has followed a similar path to Harris'. Starting off with second places in Ronse, Cauberg, Ruddervoorde and Francorchamps, she too got injured, but came back for national championships, which she won, and worlds, where she got the holeshot and eventually finished 7th. A win here would be a great way for her to finish the season.

Stars: :Stars::Stars:

Helen Wyman second

(Patrick Verhoest)

Ellen Van Loy finished on the podium of the World Cup, and leads the BPost by just under 2 minutes. This lead is large, but not unassailable. In the Worlds, Cant finished 1 minute and 34 seconds ahead of her, and that would be enough, if she won the bonus sprints. However, this race may not be as fast, and Van Loy should just about sew it up.

Stars: :Stars:

Van Loy third

(Patrick Verhoest)

Tune in to the race at 1 CET/12 GMT/4 PST/ 6 CST/7 EST.