Belgian Stars Cross Over
Procycling|February 2018

BRECHT DECALUWÉ Van Aert risks cyclo-cross stardom for Classics mediocrity

Last cyclo-cross season – 2016/17 – Wout Van Aert gave us a ding-dong battle with his arch-rival, Mathieu van der Poel. The duo dominated the sport and provided splendid action all season long. Those that don’t like cyclo-cross probably claimed every race was the same: 60 riders at the start, Van Aert and Van der Poel take an early lead and then one of them winning. But it was more nuanced than that. The two young bucks pushed each other to the limit and were ready to exploit the smallest error. Races were decided by tiny differences: a difficult pedal stroke, a poor passage in the sand, a better approach to the final climb, maybe a mechanical… It was edge-of-the-seat stuff.

How cyclo-cross fans were spoiled. The 20172018 season has been different. Van Aert has failed to match Van der Poel and the races have been boring to watch. At the time of writing the scoreboard in the major events shows Mathieu 16 - Wout 4. It’s such a comedown after the drama of last year. The reason? Van Aert claims his rival is simply going even faster. But here’s another reason: Van Aert is on a different mental track and training schedule.

It must be hard being Wout Van Aert. Young and extremely talented but racing in a sport whose ripples barely reach beyond the Flemish border. Maybe outsiders know the Flemish go crazy for cross. Perhaps they’ve heard of the legend of Sven Nys. But that interest does not extend to Van Aert and his talent. He is not getting the credit he deserves.

Van Aert knows this. Even in Belgium, the media continually ask him about his road ambitions, especially after his impressive campaign last summer. In fact, both cyclo-cross’s leading lights showed their class at races on the Europe Tour in 2017. They doled out humiliation to their road-going competitors in races like the Boucles de la Mayenne, GP Pino Cerami and Dwars door het Hageland.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PROCYCLINGView All

Danny Van Poppel

Lot toNL's Dutch sprinter on his best and worst grand tours and crashing on the cobbles

3 mins read
Procycling
March 2018

Mathieu Burgaudeau

The French teenager at Vendée U has already caught the eye of Direct Énergie

2 mins read
Procycling
February 2018

Summit Ambition

With nine summit finishes and a testing third week, is the Vuelta the year's toughest grand tour, once again?

3 mins read
Procycling
February 2018

ZDENĔK ŠTYBAR

The Quick-Step Floors' Classics specialist on cars, climbs and Belgian fans

3 mins read
Procycling
February 2018

Lars Bak

Lotto Soudal's stalwart Dane tells us why he has survived so long as a pro

3 mins read
Procycling
February 2018

Can Quintana Win The Tour?

It’s not quite now or never for the Colombian in 2018, but time is beginning to run low. Procycling explains why.

5 mins read
Procycling
February 2018

Belgian Stars Cross Over

BRECHT DECALUWÉ Van Aert risks cyclo-cross stardom for Classics mediocrity

5 mins read
Procycling
February 2018

Ryan Mullen

Trek's new Irish TT specialist on why the café run should be a bike-talk free zone

2 mins read
Procycling
January 2018

Robert Stannard

The young Australian made an instant impression on his debut in the European U23 racing scene.

2 mins read
Procycling
January 2018

Lapierre Pulsium 900 Ultimate

The 2018 Pulsium incarnation is designed to handle the rough pavé of the cobbled Classics, but is also a light, fast climber, as Procycling’s

6 mins read
Procycling
January 2018
RELATED STORIES

ON HUNTING AND SNIPING

Long-range target shooting here in the U.S. has become increasingly popular, at least since the first International Match with the Irish team in 1874.

9 mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

Death in the Desert

This Colt .45 “Peacemaker” was found out in the desert in historically one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

4 mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

A COVID-19 Project

As far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, I can’t find much good to say about it. One thing I can say, though; I had a lot of idle time on my hands. After perusing YouTube videos during this time of lockdown, I came across a company that makes rifle kits – Kibler’s Long Rifles.

10+ mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

Smithmoor .22 Offhand Target Championship NSmithmoor Rangen Carpenter, Wyoming – February 20-21, 2021

The Smithmoor .22 Offhand Target Championship held February 20-21, was a great success! It was a two-day match with 50 record shots per day on the 100-yard German Ring Target from SPG Sales (blackpowderspg.com). Wyoming Schuetzen Union rules were used.

6 mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

A .40 Caliber Long-Range Rifle

During a recent stay in New Zealand, we found ourselves in Rotorua, which is the stomping grounds of expert Kiwi rifleman, Laurie Kerr. Laurie has been a friend since we first met at Raton, New Mexico, a number of years ago and we have managed to stay in relatively good communication ever since.

5 mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

BE MORE THAN A Wannabe PART II

Since my first article was published in Issue No. 113 of The Black Powder Cartridge News, I have received several emails and groups from readers.

5 mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

The Hide Hunting Exploits of HARRY “SAM” YOUNG

It’s difficult now to remember exactly where I first read or heard about Hard Knocks by Harry “Sam” Young. The book is an extremely entertaining read and in the Publisher’s Note, it specifically states, “The great lesson of this book is that “truth is stranger than fiction.”

10+ mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

Match Results

World’s Largest Black Powder Target Rifle Match Phoenix, Arizona – March 1-10, 2021 BEN AVERY SHOOTING FACILITY

9 mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

The Wyoming Schuetzen Union's “Center Shot”

John Bodine, “Old Reliable”

10+ mins read
The Black Powder Cartridge News
Summer 2021

BASS CENTRE Ashbory

Time for something a little different, suggests our Editor...

2 mins read
Bass Player
July 2021