As the cyclo-cross season steps up a gear with the first round of the World Cup in Valkenburg, world champion Sven Nys (Crelan KDL Cycling Team) has called for the sport to copy Formula 1 motor racing and allow the use of video cameras on riders helmets, race radios and the creation of cyclo-cross paddock, where teams can hosts VIP guests in special motor homes.
"Why can’t I wear a helmet camera? Or use earpieces to communicate with the mechanics?" Nys asked in his weekly column in the Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper, Sporza reported.
"This season all the World Cup races are live on YouTube. That's important for the U.S. market," he added, calling for the sport to innovate and evolve.
"These things (cameras) have become so small that you hardly feel that you are carrying it. In Las Vegas Sven Vanthourenhout was asked to wear one but the UCI wouldn’t allow it.”
"And if I compare our sport with the F1 there’s lots we can do. Why are there no race radios to communicate with the mechanics? Those conversations could be then used during the television broadcast."
"The sport can be more professional in many ways. It’d be good to have team trucks where riders can prepare but where VIPs can be welcomed too.”
Nys will wear number one in the opening round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Valkenburg in the Netherlands, wearing the rainbow jersey as world champion.
Fifty-five riders from 16 countries will line up for the start in the Elite men’s race. Also in action is 2012 World Cup winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah) who won the final round of the last season. He finished second behind Nys in Ronse last weekend and so is on form. Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist) represents the USA.
World Champion Marianne Vos (Rabo Women Cycling Team) is the favourite in the Elite women’s race. She will be looking for a victory at home before taking a break to undergo minor surgery. She will be challenged by the 2102 World Cup winner Katherine Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) of the USA.
Mathieu van der Poel is the favourite in the men’s Under 23 race. He won the Junior men’s road race world title in Tuscany last month but beat his Under 23 cyclo-cross rivals in Ronse last weekend. His father and former cyclo-cross legend Adri van der Poel designed the course for the World Cup in Valkenburg.