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Beautiful looking course, the amount of steps scare me, not just the amount of pain my quads would receive but the chance of tripping or catching a toe on that # of stairs !!

Surprised they allow that in World champs
 

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cool looking course, but I agree about the steps, especially since they do not have any kick boards, if they are slippery, as I am sure they will be, that could get really messy and dangerous.
 

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dreww said:
Beautiful looking course, the amount of steps scare me, not just the amount of pain my quads would receive but the chance of tripping or catching a toe on that # of stairs !!

Surprised they allow that in World champs

yeah i agree.

does anyone have a guess as to what those stairs are normally used for? or were they built for the race? Thst first step is pretty tall on the left side. ouch

jb
 

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Look brand new to me

jeremyb said:
yeah i agree. does anyone have a guess as to what those stairs are normally used for? or were they built for the race? Thst first step is pretty tall on the left side. ouch jb
In all that damp rainy weather they would look grey pretty quick if they were not new.
 

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custom

note on the big stairs they built a smaller parallel set for spectators. truly a sweet course. I'd love to ride that. those stairs appear to be about 16" deep at least.plenty of foot room
 

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jeremyb said:
yeah i agree.

does anyone have a guess as to what those stairs are normally used for? or were they built for the race? Thst first step is pretty tall on the left side. ouch

jb
The stairs were built just for the race. I'm not sure if they finished yet either. They look pretty brutal don't they.
 

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cyclocrossed said:
The stairs were built just for the race. I'm not sure if they finished yet either. They look pretty brutal don't they.
the length of the stair section is brutal! some of those downhill (i am asuming the photos are taken pointing in the direction of travel) sections look pretty nice and technical too.
 

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That downhill section is easier than it was at the Nationals last year, they straightened out a nasty switchback section.

The forecast predicts overnight freezing, so it should prove an interesting section at least.

Oh, and those stairs are new, last year it was just a run-up. It surely is spectator-friendly!
 

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are you sure about that

race is in Holland. Nijs (Nys) is sponsored by a Dutch Company. I wouldn't put it past him.
he seems to race his checkbook rather than country. maybe as long as a Rabobank rider wins they'll be happy. I still haven't forgiven him for 2000.
 

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atpjunkie said:
race is in Holland. Nijs (Nys) is sponsored by a Dutch Company. I wouldn't put it past him.
he seems to race his checkbook rather than country. maybe as long as a Rabobank rider wins they'll be happy. I still haven't forgiven him for 2000.
In 2000 Nijs was new to the elite ranks, Groenendaal was the man, and De Clerq was the best sprinter. Nijs would have been foolish to try bring Groenendaal back.

Now Nijs is more confident and fears no one. I don't think he would fear bringing even Wellens up to another Rabobank rider as Nijs will expect to win with a late attack regardless. He is also clearly the man now, and will not give away a world championship.
 

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O.K predictions please

We have seen the course, you know the players now place your bets:

I was thinking last night about this - yeah Nijs is the man this season no doubt, but as Dwyane Barry said add mud and Groenendaal or Wellens could definately take the title. It looks like a power course to my eyes, no barriers as yet if non present then no place for Nijs to make time up with his trademark bunnyhops.

Your thoughts ??
 

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true, he was just up from U23's

but how can you say Groenendaal was the man? De Clerq had won the 2 previous years
denmark and Poprad mario didn't win in sprints but by monster bridges and dumping whoever was left (including his own countryman). De Clerq was attempting to bridge up to Richard and was getting no helpfrom his countryman so he did multiple laps pulling 3-5 riders. when it looked like he'd cracked,Nys thought he could break away for an easy 2nd. when Mario mustered the strength to join him in the bridge Nys slowed and played 'team guy'. I mean I agree with you pretty much, I just didn't see any of Mario's behavior as that of a sprinter.

do you mean Groenendaal was the man as far as Rabobank's team structure?
 

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atpjunkie said:
do you mean Groenendaal was the man as far as Rabobank's team structure?
Yes, I meant Groenendaal was the man at Rabobank. De Clerq could win solo but he was a very good sprinter (I believe he even won a Tour de France stage sprint). That was the danger if Nijs helped De Clerq get back to Groenendaal. One or the other would have had to have dropped him if Rabobank was to take the win, and clearly Nijs couldn't as he tried to bridge on his own at least once and De Clerq came back to him.
 

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okay were eye to eye then

if Nys would have done that bridge (when De Clerq fought to get on his wheel) my money was on De Clerq. Nys performed as a very good Rabobank rider but a very BAD Belgian.
 

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dreww said:
Your thoughts ??
Juniors - Slovak rider Gavenda has to be big favorite
Women - Daphny Van den Brand looks as good as ever this year
U23 - Should be the battle of the weekend between Albert and Boom.
Elite - Have to pick Nijs. But if he falters for the first time in several years there is a real chance for a non-Belgium to be world champion.
 

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Agree on Daphne for womens, hope Bessette et al can give her a run though and Hanka always rides strong.

Is Lars Boom still Espoir ? thought 2004 was his last?
 

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dreww said:
Agree on Daphne for womens, hope Bessette et al can give her a run though and Hanka always rides strong.

Is Lars Boom still Espoir ? thought 2004 was his last?
Yes Boom is still an U23. Hanka is definitely a WK rider but Van den Brand seems to pretty much have her number this year everytime they've met. That course looks tricky which I think will not favor Bessette's chances.
 

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Lars Boom turned 20 on December 31st! He's only a few days older than Albert, and would be in the same year if he was born a couple of hours later.

Edit: I think Daphny is in beter shape than ever, she rarely lost a race, only in a sprint to Marianne Vos and it is very unlikely that it will come to a sprint in Zeddam.

And Nys, well, his superiority has been decaying the last couple of races, however he still is the number one favourite by a long shot, followed by Vervecken, De Knegt, and Groenendaal. It's a tough course, so I don't expect the faster not-so strong guys to really suprise anyone.
 
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