Wednesday 22 February 2012

Vio Cyclo Cross Masters

Vos dominates women's cycling. Tonight,
we get to see how she fares against the men
The final round of the GVA Trofee last weekend has been widely called Daphny Van Den Brand's last CX race, as she plans to retire after an incredible quarter-century of racing. However, she has one race left: it takes place this evening in Hasselt and it's the Vio Cyclo Cross Masters, unique in that it takes place indoors.

The premise of the event is simple: take all the greatest 'cross stars of the closing season and then have them battle one another for supremacy on a parcours designed to represent the most challenging obstacles found in the year's races with sand, ladders, beams and washboards all making an appearance along the 1km track. It is, according to the official website, "A rock 'n' roll event where cyclo cross is promoted as a true sporting spectacle."

The races differ somewhat to standard 'cross events. There's an individual time trial over a single lap, then the women race for twenty minutes and the men for thirty. Best of all, and for the very first time this year, there's a Battle of the Sexes - in it, the top three World Cup women and their male counterparts will compete against one another, the women getting an advantage of two laps. Plenty of us have been wondering how current World Champion Marianne Vos might fare if she raced against men, and since she'll be taking part this is our chance to find out.

British National Champion Helen Wyman will be racing, Gabby Day - despite inclusion on the start list - apparently will not.


1 Marianne Vos Rabobank
2 Daphny Van den Brand AA drink
3 Sanne Cant BKCP Powerplus
4 Helen Wyman Kona
5 Sabrina Stultiens Brainwash
6 Joyce Vanderbeken Style and Concept
7 Ellen Van Loy Kriekel Cycling team
8 Christine Vardaros Baboco cycling team
9 Gabriella Day The Chain Stay
10 Nicole De Bie-Leyten Telenet Fidea

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