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5 key moments in the World Championships CX history

For the next few days, Rideshimano will be looking back at a few key moments in the history of the cyclocross world championships, ahead of this season’s edition, which will be held this coming weekend in Valkenburg.

1. Mud, poise & sweat

The cyclocross world championship is one of the most demanding events on the sporting calendar. A winning ride requires an almost flawless display of agility, poise, and power. For the duration of the race, riders are on the absolute limit. It demands the utmost from them and their equipment. Sprinting into and out of corners, rattling down hills and attacking up inclines, it’s a race of constant shifting and braking in muck and sand. Every single time, the riders’ bikes have to work perfectly. When it all comes together, it’s a beautiful thing. 


2. From Apeldoorn to Valkenburg

The Valkenburg Cyclo-cross World Championships is the 8th time the Worlds’ takes place in the Netherlands since the inaugural edition in 1950. The first time in the Netherlands took place in Apeldoorn in 1971, where Erik de Vlaeminck (elder sibling of Roger) won his fifth of seven rainbow jerseys. Other Dutch editions took place in Oss (’84), Gieten (’91), St Michielsgestel (’00), Zeddam (’06) and Hoogerheide (’09 and ’14). 


3. Van der Poel

In 1996, Adrie van der Poel became the third Dutchman to win the gold at the CX World Championships in Montreuil, France. Now, during Valkenburg 2018, his son Mathieu is at good odds to win his second gold medal, and become the second to do so on home turf (Richard Groenendaal was the first, winning in the orange jersey in St Michielgestel in 2000).


The pre-eminent cyclo-cross rider of his generation, arguably of all-time, Sven Nys had mixed fortunes at the World Championships. He won twice, in Sankt Wendel, Germany in 2005 and in Louisville, United States in 2013. After the Louisville victory, Nys said that his career was complete. By then he was 36, and a new generation of riders were making their presence felt. The winner of the bronze medal in the Under-23 race on that cold, snowy day was Wout Van Aert. Throughout his illustrious career, Nys has been supported by Shimano and he continues to work with Shimano in his new role as team manager for the Telenet Fidea Lions.

5. Disc Brakes

Two years ago saw the introduction of disc brakes in the CX peloton. Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Mathieu van der Poel both immediately took home the gold with this more powerful, precise alternative to conventional brakes equipment, giving them more maneuverability and being able to brake later than their opponents on the hilly course of Tabor.

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