The 2019/20 World Cup kicks off this weekend in Iowa City at Jingle Cross. The three-day event features a night time C2 race on Friday, the World Cup race on Saturday, and a C1 race on Sunday. The race takes place at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, which is just south of Iowa City. This is the fourth year that Iowa City is a World Cup race. Previously, Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and Toon Aerts have won the mens race. While Katie Compton, Katerina Nash and Kaitlin Keough have won the women’s race.
49 riders from eight nations will tow the start line on Saturday. Due to special UCI rules, the United States will field 16 riders as the home nation for the first two World Cups. Thus, they are the largest nation in the field. Behind them, which comes as no surprise, is Belgium with 15 riders. It’s a usual who’s who of North American and European racing.
At 37 years old, American Kevin Bradford-Parish is the oldest rider in the race. The farthest traveled rider is Estonia’s Jarno Trey. Ironically, Trey will turn 37 in October. The youngest rider in the race is American Benjamin Gomez Villafane, who turned 19 in June.
With very little racing in their legs, predicting the first round of the World Cup is always tough. Toon Aerts is looking to repeat his dominance from last year, but there are plenty of other riders in the field who should compete for victory. Here are our predictions:
- Toon Aerts
- Eli Iserbyt
- Laurens Sweeck
42 riders from 12 nations will line up on Saturday to kick off the Women’s World Cup. As with the men, the UCI allows a larger contingent of American riders to compete in the US based World Cups. In the women’s field, they will have 20 riders competing and are obviously the largest nation in the field.
Without diving into the politics, most nations in the women’s field send significantly less riders compared to the men. For instance, Belgium is only sending three women. Therefore it should come as no surprise that Canada is the next largest nation with six riders. We would however like to point out that the Netherlands are sending five riders, the largest of any non North American nation.
At 41 years-old, America’s adopted Czech rider Katerina Nash is the oldest rider in the field. Nash and Katie Compton are the only riders in this round of the World Cup born before 1980. On the other end of the spectrum, 16 year-old Nicole Bradbury (Canada) is the youngest rider in the field.
Like the men, the women have very few races to go by, so it’s a real guess as to who’s going to come out swinging. The big news is that World Champion Sanne Cant is not traveling to the United States. Cant has struggled in the past in the US, so it is not a huge surprise, but is disappointing non the less. Here’s how we think things will shake out:
- Katlin Keough
- Maud Kaptheijns
- Maghalie Rochette
Who do you think is going to win this weekend? Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.