Hi all — Day 2 was a hoot! Here’s a quick photo download to go along with what you already know happened.
We brought some chalk with us — Ant1’s idea I think — and wrote our names and/or hometowns in the concrete culvert, then left the chalk there. By the end of the race it was a pretty cool scene.
Here are a couple from the women’s U23 race. The leaders were set early on and it was just a matter of who would emerge as the top Dutch woman.
This was the decisive moment, a little hangup on the chicanery near the team tents on the final lap. Puck Pieterse was the beneficiary, and although Shirin van Anrooij caught up again, she was too gassed from that effort to win a sprint. But Pieterse was the strongest anyway, she’d been leading almost every lap.
Not much to say about the men’s race. We had a hunch Pidcock would be good. And that Lars van der Haar’s history of winning fast, grassy crits in America could come in handy. And it did.
Ant1 is a must for every cycling event. I’m not sure if he’s available for rent, but you should definitely inquire before your next major cycling event.
This is Felipe Nystrom. There’s a story about him on Zwift, he has an incredible back story. During the race he got pulled at about lap 6, and then came and hung out with the crowd, who had all been cheering him madly since he was well off the back and riding alone for most of the race. He was a star. Also in what sport does a guy from the event you are watching come hang with the fans during the event?!
Final thoughts are all positive. The venue is a great place for spectating, with several culverts that I guess were for the maze of MTB trails they just constructed, but which became very convenient ways to cross under the race at any time. You could basically get from one end of the race to the other in about 5 minutes. There were also a few key spots where you could see key bits of the course or several views from one place, so it’s not like everyone was trying to squeeze into the same spot. I’ve got nothing but love for Walmart and its owners, they are doing cool stuff with their bottomless riches for NW Arkansas, which is much appreciated from my brief chats with the locals. Now I’m in the airport and boy are there a lot of skinny kids with bike bags. Mini-Zaventem post Roubaix scene.
Having these championships in the US is just something to be grateful for. For cross, the US is one of those money countries, not quite to the level of Qatar because the US does supply a decent share of athletes to the cause, including some like Clara Honsinger who might pull on a medal one of these days. But we aren’t the NL or BE or UK, so if we get to host worlds every decade, that’s a bit of a luxury that we have purchased for ourselves, and should fully enjoy. I did.