One of cyclo-cross's most important series, the Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee, just ended it's 25th year with the finale in Oostmalle this weekend, and despite the newspaper dropping from title sponsor to secondary backer, the Trofee will continue in the next season with a new title supporter soon to be announced. In addition to a new name, the rules of the series will undergo sweeping changes.
In a novel concept for cyclo-cross, the overall standings will be based on the total accumulated time of a rider rather than the points gathered by placings in each of the eight races.
Although the top riders in this year's series - Kevin Pauwels, who broke Sven Nys's seven year winning streak this season, Zdenek Stybar and Nys - would likely have had the same positions with these new rules, Pauwels didn't like the idea.
"For me this is not such a good thing," Pauwels said to cyclo-cross.info. "Normally I'm not too good in the heavy, muddy 'cross, and in the future will be the biggest differences there. It becomes harder for me to win the overall. It is also makes every cross a fight for every second."
The time losses will be limited to five minutes, according to Sporza.be, with bonus time awarded for the finish and intermediate sprints.