Cyclo-cross series gets underway in Zonhoven
The 2013-2014 Hansgrohe Superprestige was presented this week with a promise to stick to the formula which has made the eight-race series one of the most prestigious over its 31 year history.
Organiser Etienne Gevaert took a dig at the bpost Bank Trofee, which introduced a time classification and bonus sprints last season, stating, "We do not like innovations. We will not manipulate the races with an intermediate sprint", according to cyclo-cross.info.
The eight-race series gets underway next weekend in Ruddervoorde, then heads to the sand dunes of Zonhoven before moving on to the lung-busting stairs of Hamme-Zogge, the slick off-camber turns of Gavere and on to the only Dutch round in Gieten in November. The holiday race in Diegem takes place on December 29, then the series takes a break until after the world championships with its season closers in Hoogstraten and Middelkerke in February.
There will be course changes to the rounds in Gieten and Diegem. The race in the Netherlands will move to its previous location along the Nyslootsweg, ensuring a sandy course, while the organisers' attempts to create and indoor course in Hoogstraten wasn't approved by the UCI, so the course will be a flat ride through the meadow.
Expect world champion Sven Nys to battle for his 13th overall series victory. The Belgian won his 60th Superprestige race in Hoogstraten earlier this year en route to series win number 12.
There are also series classifications for juniors and U23 men, but no series overall for women.
2013-2014 Hansgrohe Superprestige
October 27, 2013: Ruddervoorde
November 3, 2013: Zonhoven
November 10, 2013: Hamme-Zogge
November 17, 2013: Gavere
November 24, 2013: Gieten
December 29, 2013: Diegem
February 9, 2014: Hoogstraten
February 15, 2014: Middelkerke
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