Ah, the vacation spot on the ‘Silver Lake’ (Zilvermeer). An in-land oasis where 1000’s of Belgians enjoy themselves lying lazily on the white beach sand every summer, basking in the sun. But come January, Mol-Zilvermeer becomes a place of intolerable suffering…where Champions are made and where the best of the ‘old’ classes can have a shot to don the illustrious dark blue World Champion’s jersey for their efforts competing in the Cyclocross Master’s World Championships. Mol is epic. Mol is beautiful. Mol is a phenomenal place to have a ‘cross. It will be missed, but the excitement for Master’s Worlds in Louisville, KY USA is reaching a fever pitch.
Pete and Za Boys packed up their rental Sprinter van and headed to Mol Wednesday for a ‘Wednesday Worlds” of their own. They pre-rode this Saturday’s World Championship course, and Pete checks in. You’ll also see that they had a field trip to see our very good friends and BoulderCX sponsor Ridley Bikes. See those photos below from Michael Robson’s professional lens.
And now, “Turbo Pete” Webber!…
Hey Cyclocross Fans!
Yesterday, Wednesday, our crew travelled to Mol to pre-ride the track for Worlds.
The course is pretty awesome. It is mostly flat, with a good mixture of high speed and slower sections. There are a zillion turns, mostly fast and with a good groove. There are a few tight 180s with a deep rut defining the best line. You've got to be balanced on the bike and hit the rut while leaning and turning. The main challenge is sand. There are two major sand pits, one is a long beach section, the other is in the forest. Both are ride-able if you hit the ruts right, but if you screw up you can loose significant time. They are pretty fast when you have a clean line, but traffic will up the difficulty. The beach section is directly following the start/finish, and it will be chaos on the first lap. Since call ups are in a random order, luck will play a big role. It will be essential to get thru the beach clean on the first lap.
Most of the course is under a canopy of pine trees, and the pine needles are combined with a dark, sandy loamy soil. In some places it is hard-pack, in other places it is loose and rutted. Water drains quickly, so mud will not be an issue. There is one set of 6 log stairs, and one set of double planks. No running otherwise. Overall, the technical challenge is moderate. The physical challenge is definitely high. The soft ground requires power, the many turns require sprinting, and the sand pits keep your heart rate pinned. The rider with good legs, high-end speed, solid technical skills, and no mistakes will win.
Thanks for the update Pete!
It also must be remembered that this crew of guys are amazing bike nerds. I mean, Michael Robson in himself is at galactic levels of bike geek-dom. I am often in awe…and in shock…at the time he spends tweaking and experimenting with bikes. So, he and Ward put together some “Cross Tips” for us. Check ‘em out…
Here are a collection of photos from the course. Note the mixture of sand and loamy soil. I remember those roots REALLY vividly!
Finally, as mentioned, the squad donned their ‘day clothes’ and visited our amazing friends and BoulderCX Sponsor, Ridley Bikes. I’ve written enough about their amazing products having been on X-Night’s and X-Fires the last 2 years. Game changing. Michael Robson, pro photographer, Aussie (Oi! Oi! Oi!), mad crosser and friend snapped a beautiful essay below. The Ridley operation is surgically clean. Amazing…