The UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup gets underway on Saturday with the first round in Iowa City, with another warm, dry, fast race set to crown the first leaders of the 2019-2020 series.
Defending champion Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) is the hot favourite, leading a host of Belgian talent that includes former U23 world champion Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout and Laurens Sweeck.
With world champion Mathieu van der Poel focussing on the Road World Championships and Wout Van Aert injured, the race will be wide open, with the Dutch team led by Lars van der Haar and Corne van Kessel.
The US is led by national champion Stephen Hyde and Pan-American champion Curtis White.
The men race at 3pm local time, with the women following at 4:45pm with another wide-open race stacked with talent.
Mountain bike star Jolanda Neff (Trek-Segafredo), teammate Evie Richards, Pan-American champion Maghalie Rochette, Ellen van Loy (Telenet-Fidea) and Katerina Nash (Luna) lead an international contingent with US champion Katie Compton, Katie Keough and Ellen Noble heading up a deep field of Americans.
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