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Is Van der Poel high?(9 posts)

Is Van der Poel high?cxfan
Nov 22, 2002 11:37 AM
These were his comments from Velo News. If they take out the barriers it should be a crit in dirt...In America, they call that short track mtb racing or bmx racing. For a guy who rode cross for 20 years and was world champ, why does he want to change the sport? Make the barriers closer together so they bunny hop them or have natural barriers to get over. Or maybe they want to bring a round of the WC to Colorado and race on the Plateau in Golden.

Barriers to progress
While the scheduling is not causing too many objections, other changes are. This year's venues will again include races in which riders may never be forced to dismount. Last year's world championships in Zolder, Belgium, was the first world's 'cross event without a single barrier on the course.

Van der Poel said that while barriers and dismounts have their place in the sport, they shouldn't be required.

"I have nothing against barriers, but the simple presence of barriers doesn't make it a cyclo-cross race," he said. "What they do accomplish is to give a huge advantage to those who get off to a good start. Let's say you don't get such a good start and you reach the first barriers in 10th position. By the time you are in a series of barriers, the first rider is already on his bike and gone, and that advantage just grows. Yes, it's tradition, but it's not a great tradition. It just puts too much emphasis on the start."
Too much amphetamines and Belgian pot?eurochien
Nov 22, 2002 12:08 PM
I agree. But then again I'm no pro. Maybe he knows something we don't from talking to the superstars over there? I dunno. It wouldn't be the same without barriers and some good running, even as a spectator.
re: Is Van der Poel high?gbecker
Nov 22, 2002 12:17 PM
All he is saying is that barriers should not be REQUIRED. He is NOT saying that all barriers SHOULD be removed from cyclocross races. There are many venues where courses can easily be designed around natural/existing obstacles to force riders off of their bikes.
Now before everyone jumps on me let me say that I like barriers BUT I have been to numerous races/venues where the promoters could have easily built a course with the given terrain that would have been more than difficult enough without any barriers included.
I think any of you that have been to a Supercup, big New England race, etc. can understand Van der Poel's comments about the start. Ask anyone who has done a race with 75+ people what happens if you don't get to the barriers in the first 10-20 places.... You end up STANDING STILL waiting for your turn to WALK across the barriers, all the while the leaders are GONE!!! Sure, the start is the most important of a cross race, but your chances for a decent finish shouldn't neccesarily be gone just because you didn't have a great start. My first race in Gloucester, MA it took me two complete laps to work my way through the field to be in a possition where I could run through the barriers (instead of walking through them).
Variety is the spice of life and course variety in racing keeps things interesting (at least for me). I hope everyone has a good race this weekend! See ya!
re: Is Van der Poel high?eurochien
Nov 22, 2002 12:31 PM
Good point dude. I avoid Nationals just for that reason. No matter how great people say SFO Presidio was a couple years ago, when I saw it was about 1 km long with 100+ riders fields, I said forget it.
re: Is Van der Poel high?cxer
Nov 22, 2002 1:16 PM
It makes sense since the rules changed and start is by country, not UCI points. Someone like Van Der Poel or Groendaal may be starting from 10 or 20 back!
If I were capable of winning a WC but had to start from mid-pack, I would be against barriers too.

If I were on the front line, I would be all for barriers!
re: Is Van der Poel high?atpjunkie
Nov 22, 2002 1:41 PM
it's true about the disadvantages due to the start. There could be a compromise. Keep the course wide and have the barriers further along in the course to allow things to settle. Also why don't they run smaller field elimination races the day before to trim the herd (big events only, like nationals, worlds etc..). I like barriers as to me they 'make' it cyclocross. They just need to structure the race course so it isn't so disadvantageous for those with lousy starting position.
re: Is Van der Poel high?EricTSV
Nov 22, 2002 1:54 PM
I also like barriers but I don't think they make or break a cyclocross race. I just raced the Beacon cyclocross race in NJ and they didn't have one barrier and I had to run 2 - 3 times per lap. A great cyclocross course can force people to dismount in other ways.
Nov 22, 2002 5:36 PM
sounds like it was a good race to mep lo
Nov 25, 2002 12:40 PM
and bart wellens won starting in the 5th row.......

hmmm, imagine that...... the greatest cross racer of the 90's knows what he is doing?????