Cyclocross racing, with its drop bars, skinny tires and lycra-clad racers, might seem like a distant cousin to mountain biking, but the two disciplines have more in common than you might think. For example, have a look at some of this video of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup stop in Namur, Belgium this past weekend. I guarantee that course would be more than challenging for most fat-tire lovers. Yet the men and women racing on Sunday crushed it with fully-rigid bikes sporting tires no wider than 33mm.
2014/2015 UCI Cyclocross World Champion Mathieu van der Poel from the Netherlands took the win for the elite men on Sunday, as well as the previous day at the Scheldecross in Antwerp. Finally recovered from an injury that hampered his performance last season, van der Poel is on fire recently, taking several wins ahead of current world champion, Wout van Aert.
We had the good fortune to spend some time pouring over van der Poel’s Stevens Superprestige cyclocross rig before his win along the sandy river banks in Antwerp, Belgium. The Stevens Superprestige, named for the famed cyclocross series in Belgium, features a full carbon fiber frame and fork, with hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain.
A long-standing Pennsylvania tradition, Bilenky Cycle Works has hosted a… unique cyclocross race each winter through a salvage yard. There are no UCI officials measuring tire widths, the barriers are not to spec, and #handupsarenotacrime.