Cyclocross

Rain & Mud Predicted For Another Treacherous Overijse Cyclocross World Cup – FloBikes

Can anyone break Eli Iserbyt‘s grip on the UCI Cyclocross World Cup lead? This Sunday in Overijse – with rain and mud predicted – fans will find out.

Belgians dominate the men’s World Cup with wins in all four rounds recorded so far this season. The Dutch do so in the women’s ranks.

Iserbyt won two of the three rounds in the USA before placing third behind Toon Aerts on home soil in Zonhoven last Sunday. Denise Betsema, after lower podium spots in the USA, stepped up to the top Sunday over Lucinda Brand.

Overijse Is Always A Mess

The fifth round of the World Cup takes place in Overijse, an infamous course known for punchy climbs, hair-raising descents and deep mud fields that will force riders to tractor through. The Overijse course is rarely dry, and 2021 will provide no exception to the race’s brutal reputation. The forecast shows 60°F (16°C) and an 80% chance of rain, which practically ensures another hard-fought battle through thick mud and treacherously slippery descents.

Parity In Men’s Field As Road Racers Rest

Last year it went the way of Belgian Wout Van Aert, who stood on his pedals Moto GP style to celebrate, and World Champion Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado taking the women’s title.

We still don’t know when Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, and Tom Pidcock – the podium in order the last edition – will return to cross. Van Aert will not be in Overijse to defend his title, but other top crossers will be on the start grid.

Michael Vanthourenhout, fourth last time, should be a contender with his second place and two thirds in the US and sixth in Zonhoven. And of course, the current top three in the World Cup standings – Iserbyt, Hermans, and Aerts – will be good bets and crowd favorites Sunday.

Given past performances in Overijse and recent World Cup rounds, you’d have to go with Dutchwoman Lucinda Brand. She placed second the last two years and is clearly on form with with her win in Fayetteville and second in Zonhoven. Defending champion Alvarado is improving and Betsema is obviously on form for the fifth round in Overijse.