Get to know newcomer Besançon!

Thursday 25 November 2021

Get to know newcomer Besançon!

On Sunday 28 November, the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup heads to Besançon in France for the very first time. There the riders are expected for the eighth round on one of the most challenging courses of this season.  

The site of the Michel Vautrot sports complex in Besançon is not unfamiliar to French cyclists. In 2016 and 2019, the national cyclocross championships and the Cup of France already took place here several times as well. The course is the perfect playground for the cyclo-cross rider. The circuit is filled with stairs, steep slopes and beams. The off cambers, sections where one part of the road surface is higher than the other, will demand the riders to use their best technique. "Especially with a slippery surface, these off cambers will provide a nice spectacle," says former rider Mickaël Kirsch of the local organisation.  

"What is unique about this circuit is the spectator experience. Spectators can follow the entire race because they have an almost constant view of the entire track," Kirsch continues. When asked who those spectators will see win, his answer is also clear: "The rider and cyclist who will win here on Sunday will have to be in the best possible shape. In the women's category I'm thinking of world champion Brand." Kirsch continues, "But I also rate the chances of French rider Perrine Clauzel and home rider Caroline Mani - who became French champion in the Under-23 category in Besançon in 2009 - high, because of their experience with the course." In the men's race, he thinks Eli Iserbyt and Toon Aerts have the biggest shot at winning.  

Take a look here to see what the course was like during the French Championships in 2019 and get into the mood. Looking forward to Sunday's race? Prepare yourself below and descend to the course or crawl into your seat to enjoy a brand new mud spectacle of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup.