2020 CX Worlds Dubendorf
Photo credit: Balint Hamvas

20 Fun Facts from the 2020 World Championships

We thought we would conclude our thoughts on the 2020 World Championships with 20 Fun Facts. Some are interesting, some are goofy, but they’re all true. Enjoy!

  1. This marks the eighth time Switzerland has held the World Championships. Belgium holds the record with nine. France and the Netherlands have also hosted Worlds eight times. Next year Belgium will host them in Ostend bringing their tally to ten. Meanwhile Hoogerheide will host Worlds in 2023, which will move then into second with nine editions of the World Championships.
  2. Kata Blanka Vas finished second in the U23 Women’s race, giving Hungary their first ever medal in the process. In fact, she is only the second rider from Hungary to podium at a World Championships in any discipline. Laszlo Bodrogi has delivered Hungary three World Championship medals (all in the time trial).
  3. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (21) became the second youngest Elite Women’s World Champion ever. In 2006, 18 year old Marianne Vos out-sprinted Hanka Kupfernagel in Zeddam, Netherlands for her first title.
  4. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Annemarie Worst and Lucinda Brand helped the Dutch to become the first nation to sweep the Elite Women’s podium at Worlds. This has happened nine times for the Elite Men, once for the U23 Men and Women and once for the Junior Men.
  5. Like the Dutch women, Belgium’s Thibau Nys, Lennert Belmans and Emiel Verstrynge became the first nation to sweep the Junior Men’s podium. The last time the Belgians swept a podium at Worlds was the Elite Men’s race at Koksijde in 2012. Niels Albert famously won the race ahead of Rob Peeters and Kevin Pauwels.
  6. By sweeping the Junior Men’s race, Belgium is now tied with the Netherlands for most medals in that category. Both countries have 20 medals, but the Dutch have eight champions compared to Belgium’s seven.
  7. With his second place finish in the Elite Men’s race, Tom Pidcock became the first rider from Great Britain to reach the podium in that category. Helen Wyman and Louise Robinson have each podiumed once in the Elite Women’s race. Pidcock remains the only U23 Man to reach the podium, winning the title in 2019. 
  8. With his win in Dubendorf, Mathieu van der Poel holds the Dutch record for most Elite Men’s titles with three. In fact, no Dutch man has won the elite title more than once. Previous winners include Henni Stamsnijder (1981), Henk Baars (1990), Adrie van der Poel (1996), Richard Groenendaal (2000) and Lars Boom (2008).
  9. Mathieu van der Poel moved into a tie for fourth place overall with three World Championships. He joins Wout van Aert (BEL), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Erwin Vervecken (BEL), Mario de Clercq (BEL), Rolf Wolfshohl (GER) and Roger Rondeaux (FRA). Should he win next year, he will move into a tie for third with Renato Longo (ITA), Roland Liboton (BEL) and Albert Zweifel (SWI). Eric de Vlaeminck (BEL) holds the record with seven titles, while Andre Dufraisse (FRA) is second overall with five.
  10. After winning in Dubendorf, Mathieu van der Poel remains undefeated in Switzerland. He is also undefeated in Denmark, Italy, the United States and Great Britain.
  11. Toon Aerts’ third place finish in Switzerland extended Belgium’s streak of podium finishers to 23 consecutive years. The last time Belgium failed to land on the podium was in 1997 in Munich. There, Italy’s Daniele Pontoni took home the title ahead of Thomas Frischknecht (SWI) and Luca Bramati (ITA). Erwin Vervecken was the top Belgian in eighth.
  12. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Mathieu van der Poel combined for the third youngest Elite World Championships winners of all time. The youngest combined winners also includes Mathieu van der Poel. In 2015 he took the men’s title while Pauline Ferrand-Prevot took home the women’s title. The second youngest winners are Wout van Aert and Thalita de Jong in 2016.
  13. Shirin van Anrooji and Puck Pieterse took the top two steps in the Junior Women’s race. This continues a unique streak where a Dutch woman has reached the podium in the first World Championship for each category. In 2000, Daphny van den Brand finished third in the first Elite Women’s race. Maud Kaptheijns finished third in the inaugural U23 Women’s race in 2016.
  14. In a country that has become accustomed to World Championships, Belgium only walked away with one title this year. The last time the Belgians didn’t take home a single title was in 2001 in Sankt Wendel.
  15. Until this weekend, there has never been a Dutch Elite Men’s and Women’s World Champion in the same year. The only other nation to accomplish this is Belgium. In 2017  and 2018 Wout van Aert and Sanne Cant both took home the title.
  16. Two countries made their debut at the 2020 World Championships. In the Women Junior race Georgiana Turlea from Romania made her debut. She finished 46th in her third ever UCI race (all this season). In the Elite Men’s race, Goran Cerovic from Montenegro made his countries debut. Unfortunately, he did not finish the race in his first ever UCI race.
  17. With a finish time of 1:08:52, this was the fifth longest Elite Men’s race in the “modern era”. Overall it’s the 17th longest race. The longest race ever was 1:28:33 in 1979 (Luxembourg). In 1963 Calais, France held the shortest race ever at 45:52. For the Elite Women this was the fourth longest race at 45:20. The longest race was 49:34 in 2018 (Valkenburg), while the shortest was 28:29 in 2001 (Tabor). This was the longest U23 Women’s race with a time of 48:31. That’s nearly 10 minutes longer than the shortest race in Valkenburg with a time of 37:52 (to be fair that was was an absolute mess, if they added another lap the finish time would be over 50 minutes). 
  18. For the U23 Men this was actually the third shortest race ever at 47:53. In 1996, the race was almost a minute short at 46:57. Tabor hosted the longest U23 Men’s race in 2001 with a time of 55:58. The Men’s Junior race was the fifth shortest race in history with a finishing time of 38:50. Poprad held the shortest race in 1999 with a finish time of 37:26. In what has to be considered a different era, the 1985 Worlds in Munich produced a winning time of 57:30.
  19. Dubendorf joins the list of recent World Championships that haven’t had a race held at that venue since. The last three World Championships: Boegense, Denmark, Valkenburg, Netherlands and Bieles, Luxembourg haven’t hosted a race since. The Heusden-Zolder, Belgium course hosted Worlds in 2016 and continues to host a World Cup.
  20. Katerina Nash has the dubious honor of being the oldest rider at this year’s World Championships. The Czech rider has had a great season finishing third overall in the World Cup and 11th at Worlds. On the men’s side, fellow Czech, Emil Hekele was the oldest rider. He’s younger than Nash by a few months. He finished 32nd.

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