Skip to main content

Muddy Worlds course good for Belgians

Image 1 of 46

Belgium's Niels Albert leads US U23 team member Zack McDonald on a Worlds course recon.

Belgium's Niels Albert leads US U23 team member Zack McDonald on a Worlds course recon.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 2 of 46

Deep ruts in the mud greeted the riders for the preview

Deep ruts in the mud greeted the riders for the preview
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 3 of 46

The frozen mud was quite slippery, riders found

The frozen mud was quite slippery, riders found
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 4 of 46

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) gets a good look at the St. Wendel course

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) gets a good look at the St. Wendel course
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 5 of 46

Defending world champion Marianne Vos hoses down her bike

Defending world champion Marianne Vos hoses down her bike
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 6 of 46

Lars van der Haar (The Netherlands) previews the course in St. Wendel

Lars van der Haar (The Netherlands) previews the course in St. Wendel
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 7 of 46

The Belgian team looks to be the strongest in the race.

The Belgian team looks to be the strongest in the race.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 8 of 46

American U23 champion Danny Summerhill gets some training time in on the world championship course one day prior to the U23 race.

American U23 champion Danny Summerhill gets some training time in on the world championship course one day prior to the U23 race.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 9 of 46

British champion Helen Wyman will be a contender in the women's world championship on Sunday.

British champion Helen Wyman will be a contender in the women's world championship on Sunday.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 10 of 46

Belgian U23 team member Vinnie Braet pre-rides the course one day prior to his world championship race.

Belgian U23 team member Vinnie Braet pre-rides the course one day prior to his world championship race.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 11 of 46

One of Spain's 'cross Worlds team members pre-rides the course on Friday.

One of Spain's 'cross Worlds team members pre-rides the course on Friday.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 12 of 46

"You go first...No, you go first."

"You go first...No, you go first."
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 13 of 46

Members of Spain's world championship team look for the best line down a rutted descent.

Members of Spain's world championship team look for the best line down a rutted descent.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 14 of 46

Stan Godrie (Netherlands) will compete in the Junior men's championship on Saturday.

Stan Godrie (Netherlands) will compete in the Junior men's championship on Saturday.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 15 of 46

Riders tackle a rutted descent on foot one day prior to the opening day of the 'cross world championships.

Riders tackle a rutted descent on foot one day prior to the opening day of the 'cross world championships.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 16 of 46

Belgian U23 champion Joeri Adams is a picture of concentration.

Belgian U23 champion Joeri Adams is a picture of concentration.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 17 of 46

Belgium's Laurens Sweeck, winner of the Junior men's 'cross World Cup, pre-rides the St. Wendel circuit.

Belgium's Laurens Sweeck, winner of the Junior men's 'cross World Cup, pre-rides the St. Wendel circuit.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 18 of 46

Belgian U23 team member Vincent Baestaens runs the stairs.

Belgian U23 team member Vincent Baestaens runs the stairs.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 19 of 46

Riders tackle a flight of stairs during Friday's training session.

Riders tackle a flight of stairs during Friday's training session.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 20 of 46

American Jonathan Page trains on the St. Wendel, Germany world championship course.

American Jonathan Page trains on the St. Wendel, Germany world championship course.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 21 of 46

Belgian champion Niels Albert is a strong favourite for Sunday's elite men's world championship.

Belgian champion Niels Albert is a strong favourite for Sunday's elite men's world championship.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 22 of 46

Belgian champion Sanne Cant pre-rides the St. Wendel circuit.

Belgian champion Sanne Cant pre-rides the St. Wendel circuit.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 23 of 46

Germany's Hanka Kupfernagel seeks her fifth 'cross world championship on Sunday.

Germany's Hanka Kupfernagel seeks her fifth 'cross world championship on Sunday.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 24 of 46

Zach McDonald, a member of the USA's U23 squad, negotiates a section of frozen mud.

Zach McDonald, a member of the USA's U23 squad, negotiates a section of frozen mud.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 25 of 46

Belgium's Tom Meeusen pre-rides the course.

Belgium's Tom Meeusen pre-rides the course.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 26 of 46

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) will defend her world championship on Sunday.

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) will defend her world championship on Sunday.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 27 of 46

Riders check out a tricky descent.

Riders check out a tricky descent.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 28 of 46

Belgium's Joeri Adams, a medal contender for the U23 race on Saturday, speaks to the press.

Belgium's Joeri Adams, a medal contender for the U23 race on Saturday, speaks to the press.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 29 of 46

Belgium's Laurens Sweeck is a favourite for the Junior men's event on Saturday.

Belgium's Laurens Sweeck is a favourite for the Junior men's event on Saturday.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 30 of 46

Belgium's Wietse Bosmans will vie for the U23 men's championship on Saturday.

Belgium's Wietse Bosmans will vie for the U23 men's championship on Saturday.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 31 of 46

Cold temperatures have frozen the mud on the St. Wendel circuit.

Cold temperatures have frozen the mud on the St. Wendel circuit.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 32 of 46

Deep ruts have frozen into the mud on the world championship circuit.

Deep ruts have frozen into the mud on the world championship circuit.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 33 of 46

Switzerland's Lars Forster, the Junior men's European 'cross champion, is one of the favourites for Saturday's Junior men's championship.

Switzerland's Lars Forster, the Junior men's European 'cross champion, is one of the favourites for Saturday's Junior men's championship.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
Image 34 of 46

Map of 2011 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships course in St. Wendel, Germany

Map of 2011 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships course in St. Wendel, Germany
(Image credit: UCI)
Image 35 of 46

Sven Nys is aiming to take home the rainbow jersey.

Sven Nys is aiming to take home the rainbow jersey.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 36 of 46

The Spanish team train on the course.

The Spanish team train on the course.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 37 of 46

Difficult conditions will face the riders on Sunday.

Difficult conditions will face the riders on Sunday.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 38 of 46

Bart Aernouts has arrived in St. Wendel.

Bart Aernouts has arrived in St. Wendel.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 39 of 46

Tom Meeusen is ready for the Worlds.

Tom Meeusen is ready for the Worlds.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 40 of 46

The distinctive colours of the Belgian national team.

The distinctive colours of the Belgian national team.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 41 of 46

Kevin Pauwels will be in the mix on Sunday.

Kevin Pauwels will be in the mix on Sunday.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 42 of 46

Niels Albert talk to the media.

Niels Albert talk to the media.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 43 of 46

Niels Albert at the Belgian team's pre-race press conference.

Niels Albert at the Belgian team's pre-race press conference.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 44 of 46

Bart Wellens has two world titles to his name already.

Bart Wellens has two world titles to his name already.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 45 of 46

Niels Albert (Belgium) is the man on form for the Worlds.

Niels Albert (Belgium) is the man on form for the Worlds.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
Image 46 of 46

Bart Wellens will be a key figure in the Belgian line-up.

Bart Wellens will be a key figure in the Belgian line-up.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)

Lots of mud in Sankt Wendel, Germany, would be good for the Belgians at the UCI cyclo-cross world championships this weekend, according to the national coach.

Belgian national coach Rudy De Bie checked out the course. “There is a lot of water,” he told HLN.be. “That makes it pretty muddy in some places. Really great for us Belgians as it is now.

“But it may well change. For the weekend, they are calling for heavy freezes. If that happens, the conditions will be different. On a fast track, we will have fast races, but if the sun comes out, it may be quite slippery in the afternoon. Wait and see.”

The current weather forecast calls for overnight temperatures of -4° to -5° C over the weekend, with sun and highs of 1° C.

Belgium, which has won eight of the last ten world titles, is again sending the favourites to the race. Niels Albert has had a stellar season in which he stands atop the UCI rankings, won three World Cup rounds en route to the overall title and captured his first Belgian elite national championship. Sven Nys, who won his one elite world championship in Sankt Wendel in 2005, can never be counted out, particularly in muddy conditions, and Kevin Pauwels has come on strong at the end of a consistent season.