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Gallery: Superprestige Gavere from the pits and the race

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A frites van and beer tent loom out of the fog the day before Sunday's Superprestige race at Gavere

A frites van and beer tent loom out of the fog the day before Sunday's Superprestige race at Gavere (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Meanwhile, back in the giant beer tent things were getting lively as the well-lubricated crowd settled in for a long night of celebrating

Meanwhile, back in the giant beer tent things were getting lively as the well-lubricated crowd settled in for a long night of celebrating (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Most definitely Belgian fans

Most definitely Belgian fans (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Joeri Adams comes unstuck on the descent, crashing just after the giant inflatable barrier

Joeri Adams comes unstuck on the descent, crashing just after the giant inflatable barrier (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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British National Champion Ian Field has been riding strongly on his Specialized Crux this season

British National Champion Ian Field has been riding strongly on his Specialized Crux this season (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Jonathan Page looking committed on his Fuji

Jonathan Page looking committed on his Fuji (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Vanthourenhout descending at speed

Sven Vanthourenhout descending at speed (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Even Sven Nys needed a flailing leg to cope with the treacherous slope

Even Sven Nys needed a flailing leg to cope with the treacherous slope (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Belgian Champion Klaas Vantornout led down the descent on lap 2, pursued by Dutch champion Van der Haar

Belgian Champion Klaas Vantornout led down the descent on lap 2, pursued by Dutch champion Van der Haar (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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As soon as the riders had passed, there was a charge to the bike wash area to clean all of those machines before the riders reappeared

As soon as the riders had passed, there was a charge to the bike wash area to clean all of those machines before the riders reappeared (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Almost every rider changed bike every lap at the top of the tough climb

Almost every rider changed bike every lap at the top of the tough climb (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Swiss Champion Julien Taramarcaz and US Champion Jonathan Page negotiate the gloop

Swiss Champion Julien Taramarcaz and US Champion Jonathan Page negotiate the gloop (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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As so often, Van der Haar got the hole shot and had an impressive lead on the first section of mud

As so often, Van der Haar got the hole shot and had an impressive lead on the first section of mud (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Whether to keep the crowd back, or the riders in, before the start, any wobbly course marker posts were hit with a very big hammer

Whether to keep the crowd back, or the riders in, before the start, any wobbly course marker posts were hit with a very big hammer (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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World Champion Sven Nys warming up before the start

World Champion Sven Nys warming up before the start (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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In the largest of the beer tents, the party started well before the 3pm elite race

In the largest of the beer tents, the party started well before the 3pm elite race (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Nys leads German Champion Philipp Walsleben through the pits on the final lap

Nys leads German Champion Philipp Walsleben through the pits on the final lap (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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There's no doubt who these kids are supporting as Sven Nys begins the final slippery descent

There's no doubt who these kids are supporting as Sven Nys begins the final slippery descent (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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This BKCP Powerplus supporter couldn't get enough of the mud

This BKCP Powerplus supporter couldn't get enough of the mud (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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These bins near the finish were an indicator of the good time had by all

These bins near the finish were an indicator of the good time had by all (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Shimano cantilevers complete the totally Shimano specification

Shimano cantilevers complete the totally Shimano specification (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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An aluminum PRO PLT stem and carbon PRO Vibe handlebar

An aluminum PRO PLT stem and carbon PRO Vibe handlebar (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The result of using muddy gloves on your bars and levers

The result of using muddy gloves on your bars and levers (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven's preferred perch is a Prologo Nago Evo with Tirox rails

Sven's preferred perch is a Prologo Nago Evo with Tirox rails (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Mud from under half of a lap until the finish

Mud from under half of a lap until the finish (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven's Dura-Ace 11 speed chainset with 46 outer ring and what looks like a 36 inner, but one of those arm finishing pieces isn't a good fit

Sven's Dura-Ace 11 speed chainset with 46 outer ring and what looks like a 36 inner, but one of those arm finishing pieces isn't a good fit (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Nys's winning bike after the race was a Colnago Prestige with cantilever brakes

Nys's winning bike after the race was a Colnago Prestige with cantilever brakes (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Vanthourenhout's mechanics tried out this neat guard, fashioned from a piece of plastic bike number, which was clamped between mech cage and jockey wheel bearing cover to try and shave mud from the chain and prevent jamming

Sven Vanthourenhout's mechanics tried out this neat guard, fashioned from a piece of plastic bike number, which was clamped between mech cage and jockey wheel bearing cover to try and shave mud from the chain and prevent jamming (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The majority of spectators present had come to see Sven Nys

The majority of spectators present had come to see Sven Nys (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Superprestige Gavere elite men's podium (L-R): Philipp Walsleben, Sven Nys and Klaas Vantornout

Superprestige Gavere elite men's podium (L-R): Philipp Walsleben, Sven Nys and Klaas Vantornout (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Nys dispatched Walsleben easily in the final sprint to win

Nys dispatched Walsleben easily in the final sprint to win (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A remote controlled camera on a wire across the huge pit area gives superb views of the action

A remote controlled camera on a wire across the huge pit area gives superb views of the action (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The fact that frites cost more than beer goes some way to explaining the unique atmosphere of Belgian cyclo-cross races!

The fact that frites cost more than beer goes some way to explaining the unique atmosphere of Belgian cyclo-cross races! (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Rabobank development team had an impressive setup

The Rabobank development team had an impressive setup (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Crelan-Euphony's Sven Vanthourenhout runs a Shimano Di2 setup, along with many riders, leaving the top tube cable stops a little surplus to requirements

Crelan-Euphony's Sven Vanthourenhout runs a Shimano Di2 setup, along with many riders, leaving the top tube cable stops a little surplus to requirements (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Amongst the assorted Edco wheels and Ridleys, we spotted these wheels, which may just be unbranded Edcos, or maybe something new…

Amongst the assorted Edco wheels and Ridleys, we spotted these wheels, which may just be unbranded Edcos, or maybe something new… (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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It's yellow Ridley X-Night heaven in the Telenet Fidea area

It's yellow Ridley X-Night heaven in the Telenet Fidea area (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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To put the scale of Belgian cyclo-cross in context, these are the camper vans and support vehicles for almost all of three teams

To put the scale of Belgian cyclo-cross in context, these are the camper vans and support vehicles for almost all of three teams (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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An array of Edco carbon tubulars shod with Dugast rubber

An array of Edco carbon tubulars shod with Dugast rubber (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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After one warm-up lap, this Ridley X-Night shows just how sticky the course is, and how much filth is already building up above the rear brake

After one warm-up lap, this Ridley X-Night shows just how sticky the course is, and how much filth is already building up above the rear brake (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The back of this camper is a cyclo-cross mechanic's Aladdin's Cave. Note three track pumps and a Bosch portable inflator

The back of this camper is a cyclo-cross mechanic's Aladdin's Cave. Note three track pumps and a Bosch portable inflator (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The bike relies on the wide/narrow chain ring and specific chain for retention as there's no chain guide

The bike relies on the wide/narrow chain ring and specific chain for retention as there's no chain guide (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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An under 23 Telenet Fidea rider's bike was sporting a SRAM Quarq power meter, with Wolf Tooth Components XX1-type 42 tooth ring

An under 23 Telenet Fidea rider's bike was sporting a SRAM Quarq power meter, with Wolf Tooth Components XX1-type 42 tooth ring (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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An inventive way of hanging a spare bike

An inventive way of hanging a spare bike (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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European Champion Helen Wyman surged past compatriot Nikki Harris on the final lap to take 2nd place, and was one of several women racing disc brakes

European Champion Helen Wyman surged past compatriot Nikki Harris on the final lap to take 2nd place, and was one of several women racing disc brakes (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Axelle Bellaert warms up one of her Zannatas before the early women's race

Axelle Bellaert warms up one of her Zannatas before the early women's race (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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This super slippy descent is one of this course's main challenges

This super slippy descent is one of this course's main challenges (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Vanthourenhout's Colnago Prestige has this stem faceplate-mounted front brake cable hanger rather than a headset-mounted one

Sven Vanthourenhout's Colnago Prestige has this stem faceplate-mounted front brake cable hanger rather than a headset-mounted one (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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With a long stem, the angle created by the cable hanger looks unconventional, and by adding another flexible element to the front brake, can't help fork judder

With a long stem, the angle created by the cable hanger looks unconventional, and by adding another flexible element to the front brake, can't help fork judder (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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It's not all beer and frites, but they help

It's not all beer and frites, but they help (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Unquestionably

Unquestionably (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Van der Haar's tyres were printed as Vredestein, although the tread was clearly Dugast Rhino

Van der Haar's tyres were printed as Vredestein, although the tread was clearly Dugast Rhino (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Van der Haar's rear hub is also badges SP12, and both feature 140mm disc rotors

Van der Haar's rear hub is also badges SP12, and both feature 140mm disc rotors (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A clean, smooth bottom bracket area looks very stiff, and less likely to collect mud

A clean, smooth bottom bracket area looks very stiff, and less likely to collect mud (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Unlike the production Giant TCX machine, Van der Haar's race bikes stick with standard quick release skewers, rather than a front Thru Axle

Unlike the production Giant TCX machine, Van der Haar's race bikes stick with standard quick release skewers, rather than a front Thru Axle (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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As one of the smaller riders on the circuit, Van der Haar's PRO stem only just has enough room for the Di2 control unit

As one of the smaller riders on the circuit, Van der Haar's PRO stem only just has enough room for the Di2 control unit (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Lars van der Haar has been the only elite male rider to race disc brakes in every race. Shimano are clearly not ready to release these hubs yet, as they're labelled Prototype SP12,and feature large angled flanges for the straight pull spokes

Lars van der Haar has been the only elite male rider to race disc brakes in every race. Shimano are clearly not ready to release these hubs yet, as they're labelled Prototype SP12,and feature large angled flanges for the straight pull spokes (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sunweb-Napoleon Games turned an outdoor basketball court into a team corral

Sunweb-Napoleon Games turned an outdoor basketball court into a team corral (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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When you've won the Superprestige series 12 times, you get the biggest motorhome in the parking area

When you've won the Superprestige series 12 times, you get the biggest motorhome in the parking area (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A mechanic changing the chainrings on one of Sven Nys's bikes

A mechanic changing the chainrings on one of Sven Nys's bikes (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Shimano's cantilever brakes are preferred on this machine

Shimano's cantilever brakes are preferred on this machine (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A busy bottom bracket area containing Dura-Ace chainset with the pro's favoured 39/46 tooth rings, a chain catcher and Di2 battery

A busy bottom bracket area containing Dura-Ace chainset with the pro's favoured 39/46 tooth rings, a chain catcher and Di2 battery (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Vanthourenhout uses a Prologo Zero II saddle with CPC silicone grip sections

Sven Vanthourenhout uses a Prologo Zero II saddle with CPC silicone grip sections (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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These are another pair of Shimano carbon rims that are unnamed and wider than previous models

These are another pair of Shimano carbon rims that are unnamed and wider than previous models (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

One of the biggest tech stories of the current cyclo-cross season has been the gradual appearance of hydraulic disc brakes within the ranks of the elite men. Lars van der Haar won the first two World Cup rounds using them, and recently Niels Albert, Sven Nys, and now Philipp Walsleben have all dipped their toes in the water, testing them out at the races.

One of the main arguments for using discs is their advantage in very muddy races, and consistent braking, especially on tough descents. So at the Superprestige Gavere, one of the muddiest courses of the season so far with a long technical descent, we expected to see even more discs on the grid. Instead, apart from Van der Haar, they were conspicuous by their absence in the men’s race, although the women racers seemed more willing to embrace the technology.

Otherwise, for the riders, it was mud tyres all round, and the main focus was on trying not to jam the bike up with mud and rip the rear derailleur off, something that Gavere has become known for. For the spectators, it was an enormous party, with raucous dancing and singing as darkness fell.

Click here to view the photo gallery from Gavere.

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