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Belgium's Niels Albert leads US U23 team member Zack McDonald on a Worlds course recon.
Photo gallery: Nys, Albert and company arrive in St. Wendel
Lots of mud in Sankt Wendel, Germany, would be good for the Belgians at the UCI cyclo-cross world championships this weekend, according to the national coach.
Belgian national coach Rudy De Bie checked out the course. “There is a lot of water,” he told HLN.be. “That makes it pretty muddy in some places. Really great for us Belgians as it is now.
“But it may well change. For the weekend, they are calling for heavy freezes. If that happens, the conditions will be different. On a fast track, we will have fast races, but if the sun comes out, it may be quite slippery in the afternoon. Wait and see.”
The current weather forecast calls for overnight temperatures of -4° to -5° C over the weekend, with sun and highs of 1° C.
Belgium, which has won eight of the last ten world titles, is again sending the favourites to the race. Niels Albert has had a stellar season in which he stands atop the UCI rankings, won three World Cup rounds en route to the overall title and captured his first Belgian elite national championship. Sven Nys, who won his one elite world championship in Sankt Wendel in 2005, can never be counted out, particularly in muddy conditions, and Kevin Pauwels has come on strong at the end of a consistent season.