On Saturday the second round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup is held in Tabor, Czech Republic. Four races throughout the day will be hosted on the former World Championships course at the banks of the LuÅ¾nicÃ river, south of town, with the youth categories racing in the morning while the Women and Elite Men race in the afternoon.
For many riders the race in Tabor is the perfect opportunity to make up for their less successful race in Valkenburg and get their World Cup campaign back on track. After last weekâ€™s spectacular World Cup round in Valkenburg, Netherlands it is young Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) who will start the race in the white jersey of leader in the World Cup.
The 22 year-old Dutchman will face stiff opposition from last weekâ€™s runner-up Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Pauwels dropped his chain whilst leading the race with Van der Haar but salvaged second place ahead of German rider Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus). The unlucky Belgian will build on last yearâ€™s result in Tabor when he won the Czech race ahead of Van der Haar.
Francis Mourey (FDJ.fr) wasnâ€™t spared by a mechanical either as the French champion was forced to leave the race with a broken derailleur. Also World champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) pulled out of the race after running into even more bad luck than Pauwels in Valkenburg, encountering a crash, flat tyres and a broken chain. That makes for more than enough men whoâ€™re keen on challenging Van der Haar in Tabor. No Marianne Vos in the Womenâ€™s race on Saturday.
The World champion and winner of the first round in Valkenburg concluded this part of the season with a win in Woerden, Netherlands on Tuesday evening. In that race Vos rode away from Compton in the final part of the race. Compton was also runner-up to Vos in Valkenburg thus becoming the top-favourite for the win in Tabor. Last year Compton was a runner-up to Sanne van Paassen in the Tabor World Cup round but Van Paassen is out with a leg injury. Outsiders for the win in Tabor are British riders Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team). They finished third and fourth last week on the demanding Cauberg course in Valkenburg.
Finishing right behind these British women was Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Faren Kuota). The 34 year-old French rider announced that she will retire from cycling at the Koppenbergcross in Oudenaarde, Belgium on November 1. As a result the World Cup round in Tabor will be her last race on World Cup level. In the Men Under 23 category Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) defends his leading position.
The main challenger for him might become World champion Mike Teunissen (Netherlands) as he won the Tabor World Cup round last year. His compatriot Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) will once again try to make up for his back-row starting position to mix in for the win. In the Junior Men category the Dubau twins will hope to repeat their 1-2 double from Valkenburg, with Yannick Peeters (Belgium) once again trying to mix in.
Watch the event live on UCIâ€™s YouTube Channel click here for : youtube.com/ucichannel