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Koksijde course gets a sandy update

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Climbing in the Koksijde sand.

Climbing in the Koksijde sand.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Climbing in the Koksijde sand.

Climbing in the Koksijde sand.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Corne Van Kessel competes in the men elite category of the Koksijde cyclocross, the third race of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup

Corne Van Kessel competes in the men elite category of the Koksijde cyclocross, the third race of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup
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Sophie de Boer (Young Telenet-Fidea) en route to a 5th place result at the Koksijde World Cup round

Sophie de Boer (Young Telenet-Fidea) en route to a 5th place result at the Koksijde World Cup round
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

Riders prepping for Sunday's UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Koksijde got a bit of a surprise when they showed up to recon the course on Wednesday, according to Sporza. Already known as a challenging circuit with a healthy dose of sand, Koksijde has apparently added a steep sandy climb not far past the start line.

The challenging new stretch will require some running. The change is drawing comparisons to the famously sandy course of Superprestige Zonhoven.

"Checking out the new uphill running section in the sand: a bit of #SPZonhoven brought to #WBKoksijde!" Tweeted the Marlux-NapoleonGames team.

Klaas Vantornout, capable on-foot, seemed pleased. "Koksijde recon: new running section uphill from the start!" he said on Twitter. "Looking forward!"

Dieter Vanthourenhout was less enthusiastic. "I miss the old course," he Tweeted. "Once again changed. This tends to try to resemble Zonhoven more."

Mathieu van der Poel, winner of the most recent event on the World Cup calendar at Valkenburg last month, was one of the big names absent from the course recon Wednesday. The 21-year-old is currently training in Spain, but plans to make the start this weekend.