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Kok'd Up: A Very Blustery Gallery by Patrick Verhoest

The North Sea and its associated low pressure systems win this round of the CX World Cup.

With winds gusting up to 110 km per hour (5 million mph), officials in Koksijde, Belgium reluctantly canceled all events at the Duinencross, one of the beloved monuments of Cyclocross. Our man Patrick was there, along with a few others recording the scene, and it sounds like maybe there really wasn't much of a debate about what to do. Which is shocking, given that this is cycling. Still, from the gallery above, it's not hard to see that dangerous conditions were afoot. As troubling as it might seem to have the sport dominated by a handful of superpowers, that doesn't justify having trees topple over on them. This point was driven home in warmups when Twan van den Brand lost control of his bike and hit a tree, injuring his shoulder. So yea, for all the things we can criticize the UCI for, this isn't one of them.

Not everyone took the day as a total loss. After grousing about the cancellation in the press, former/future world champion Mathieu van der Poel found himself with lots of energy and nothing to do but return to Antwerp where his cycling dynasty family was hanging out. That is, until his brother David -- also on the elite start list -- suggested they head back to Brabant by bike. So the brothers got on the road and put in a couple hundred km, meandering their way across Flanders with what he reports was a pretty still tailwind. Sounds like a dream ride, actually. At least the part where they didn't run into any downed power lines. [If you haven't figured out yet, I don't like riding in high wind events, which are a thing in Washington State.]

The cancellation marks the first year since 1977 that the Duinencross was not held. And hopefully the last. And so, I leave you with this.