Monday 13 December 2021
Saturday December 18 it is time for another introduction of a newcomer in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. The competition heads to the Dutch town of Rucphen for the first time, where a course of just over 3 km awaits.
In Rucphen, which is just over the Belgian border in the Netherlands, the riders will get to know a brand new course of around 3 km in length filled with typical cyclo-cross obstacles. The riders will face sand, a few steep slopes, beams, two staircases and two bridges. Camiel's carrousel, the obstacle that course builder Camiel van den Bergh designed 8 years ago with his father to add something unique to the course, could not miss from this circuit.
"You ride about 400 metres in the shape of a snail shell, constantly in a curve. It is technically a very difficult part, because many riders lose their speed here. Also mentally it feels awkward, because you constantly meet your opponents in the opposite direction with only 2 metres in-between," says Van den Bergh. "Eight years ago, this part of the course was unique in the sports world, but in the meantime I have been contacted by various sports about its construction. In running, for example, you can also find it nowadays."
The ground is quite sandy and covered with agricultural soil. This means that rainwater quickly seeps through and only the top layer can get wet. "If the weather stays like it is now - rainy and snowy - the course will still be fast to ride, because it can't get very muddy," the course builder continues. That's why the local organisation thinks of technically strong riders such as Lucinda Brand when being asked who are their favourites. Take a look at the course here and make your own bet!