The 2018/2019 UCI Cyclocross World Cup kicks off this Sunday in Waterloo, WI. Waterloo is home to the Trek Bicycle Corporation and Van Holten Pickles. While we think there’s a great sponsorship opportunity there, we will focus on Trek, which hosts this race literally right next to their headquarters. Traditionally, Jingle Cross hosts the first World Cup race, but this year they are swapped with Jingle Cross hosting round two of the World Cup.
Despite being the first major race of the season, the much anticipated showdown between Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert will not take place on American soil. Van der Poel announced last week that he’s taking a break and will not start his cross campaign until October. On the bright side, American fans will have plenty of reasons to cheer, with 16 Americans taking the start in Waterloo. Six Canadians will be racing on Sunday as well. This means that half the field will be made up of North American riders.
This years course will be very similar to last year. The course is 90% grass and dirt, with the other 10% being on pavement. The bulk of the course is tight, twisty grass, with off camber sections and some wooded areas. In terms of man made obstacles, there will be three flyovers, one set of stairs and one set of barriers. The biggest change from previous years is the weather. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s/low 70s and dry.
As previously mentioned, last years winner, Mathieu van der Poel, will not be in attendance. However, the rest of the top ten returns to battle it out. Corne van Kessel finished second last year, with Daan Soete rounding out the podium in third. The top ten (minus van der Poel) were separated by a mere 30 seconds last year. This years race should be just as close with plenty of action and late race attacks.
- Wout van Aert
- Toon Aerts
- Lars van der Haar
Dark horse: Stephen Hyde