Welcome to a special edition of the Cyclingnews podcast brought to you in association with Shimano.
This is our first in a series of podcasts in which we are partnering with Shimano, and for our first episode we headed to Hoogerheide for the final round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. We hear from several of the main protagonists, including Wout Van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, and his father Adri, Katie Compton and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado as we sample and soak up the atmosphere at one of the biggest 'cross races of the year.
We also talk components and kit, while for your amusement, we even send a cyclo-cross novice, editor in chief Daniel Benson, around the elite course to test out the latest gear from Shimano.
The weekend saw the final installment of the World Cup, and in the women's race Alvarado held a slender five-point lead over Annemarie Worst. The pair went head-to-head, and with Lucinda Brand and Sanne Cant also in the mix the race came down to a thrilling finale. We hear from Alvarado both before and after the race and capture her emotions.
We ride the course and put a combination of gravel and cyclo-cross kit through their paces, while we also speak to Adri on how race equipment has evolved in the past few decades. The 60-year-old rolls out some anecdotes involving Pascal Richard and pedals, before we settle back to watch Mathieu van der Poel put in another masterclass performance in the men's elite race.
There's also time to speak to one of Belgian's most respected cycling journalists, Ann Braeckman, while we also catch up with Katie Compton and Wout Van Aert and his Jumbo-Visma mechanic.
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Founded in Osaka, Japan in 1921, Shimano has been dedicated to helping people get closer to nature by bicycle for almost 100 years. That comes with the desire to create outstanding cycling products and apparel.
With decades of experience in creating internationally renowned bicycle components, Shimano is proud to have developed products that continue to take countless athletes to victory and provide the means for limitless global bicycle journeys.
Those athletes include superstars such as Chris Froome, Egan Bernal, Julian Alaphillipe, Tom Dumoulin, Mathieu Van Der Poel and many more.
From sun-soaked Grand Tours to wet and windy spring Classics and everything in between, Dura-Ace is powering these riders to victory. Professionals riding, testing and winning on Shimano all year round, proving the technology for you to use.
For more on Shimano’s elite components and apparel see bike.shimano.com.