UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup: season’s final in Hoogerheide
On Sunday the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup comes to a close at the GP Adrie van der Poel in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands. Kevin Pauwels basically needs to finish the race to grab his second overall victory in the World Cup. Cant will need to keep an eye on Katherine Compton (USA) and Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) to bring home her first overall World Cup victory home. The Dutch race is the final chance for the riders to check out the opposition ahead of next week's 2015 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tábor, Czech Republic.
Elite Men: Pauwels almost certain
The crowds in Hoogerheide will be looking for strong performances from 20-year-old talents Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) and Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team). The duo recently decided to race the UCI World Championships in the Elite Men category and they will feature in that category in Hoogerheide too. However the two young riders cannot threat 30-year-old Pauwels in the race for the overall World Cup win.
Pauwels has an 80-point lead over Lars van der Haar (Team Giant-Alpecin), which equals the number of points at stake for the winner of Sunday’s race. Pauwels only risks missing out on the World Cup victory if he fails to finish, while Van der Haar wins. That's unlikely considering Pauwels has finished in the top 2 in every World Cup round. It is more likely that Van der Haar will be focusing on maintaining his second place in the World Cup standings as he has only a narrow seven-point lead over compatriot Corné van Kessel (Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team).
Fourth ranked German rider Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) needs to make up 14 points on Van Kessel to make the World Cup podium. Fresh Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team) makes his comeback in the World Cup after missing out two rounds due to illness. He's currently ranked in ninth place.
Elite Women: Cant looking for first overall World Cup win
In the Women's category Sanne Cant has a 29 point lead over Katherine Compton and one more over Ellen Van Loy. If 24-year-old Cant can keep the duo in sight in Hoogerheide the overall victory should go to the Belgian and European Champion. If Compton wins Cant needs to finish in the top-5. If Van Loy wins a sixth place is enough to secure the overall victory. It would be her first overall World Cup win.
However, all three women will face a difficult task to win in Hoogerheide as World Champion Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) and Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) exchanged the top-2 spots during the two previous World Cup rounds. Also French Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) and Eva Lechner (Team Colnago Sudtirol) are likely to be in the mix for a top result.
Men Under-23: competition wide open
Due to the switch of Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel to the Elite Men category, the World Cup standings in the Men Under 23 category will change a lot in the final round. Currently second-placed Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) has the best chance of claiming the overall win. He enjoys a lead of 44 points over Clément Venturini (France). In the Junior Men category Eli Iserbyt (Belgium) holds a comfortable 25-point lead over Johan Jacobs (Switzerland).
Follow the racing live on the UCI YouTube channel tv.uci.ch.