By Peter Hymas
The third round of the World Cup heads to the Netherlands after venturing to Belgium and the Czech Republic for the two opening events. A full schedule is in store for spectators at the Dutch venue with the elite men and women contesting their third World Cup race while the U23 and junior men compete in their second round.
Niels Albert, second in Kalmthout and first in Tabor, is the new elite men's World Cup leader. In only his first elite-level season of cyclo-cross, the 22-year old Albert's stirring start to this season's World Cup rewards him with the right to wear the leader's white jersey at the start of a World Cup event for the first time. Sven Nys, no stranger to sitting atop the World Cup standings, will look to rebound from a crash-marred race in Tabor to challenge once again for the victory and overall series lead. Nys has won the Pijnacker World Cup on three prior occasions and looks to put his experience to work on Sunday.
The Netherland's Lars Boom, Pijnacker's defending champion, won both his first World Cup and first win in the elite men's ranks last year and he's surely looking to excite his home nation's crowd with a repeat performance. Boom's current World Cup campaign has started slowly for the world champion with only a tenth and ninth place finishes to date and his status as the sport's phenom is undergoing a strong challenge from Niels Albert.