By Brecht Decaluwé
Even though the cyclo-cross season is far away the cyclo-cross riders are already training to build up to their most important months of the season. At the start of the Tour of Belgium (a 2.1 UCI stage race) riders like Tom Vannoppen, Niels Albert, Sven Vanthourenhout and Davy Commeyne were on the line. A lesser known cyclo-cross rider, Christophe Roodhooft, was unable to use his technical skills during the first stage to avoid a crash, he suffered some bruises and a possible concussion.
Peter Van den Abeele - the UCI cyclo-cross coordinator - was also in Oostende and talked to Cyclingnews about the upcoming season and more specifically about the World Cup event in the USA. "We signed a declaration of intent with the organization in Providence but we're still suspicious," Van den Abeele said.
He pointed out that it was unclear if the race would be held or not. "We're encouraging the organizers as much as we can. Right now the goal is to charter a plane with the best European riders for a World Cup race on Saturday and another non-UCI race on Sunday. Some other races in Belgium received another date on the UCI-calendar because the best Belgians are away. What I fear is that there will be a gap in our UCI-calendar if the World Cup won't be held, and that would be a shame," Van den Abeele explained.