World Cup kicks off holiday 'cross-fest

Sven Nys leads the World Cup

Sven Nys leads the World Cup (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The seventh round of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup takes place this Friday on the grounds of the Circuit Zolder motor racing track in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, site of the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix on 10 occasions in the 1970s and 1980s and also the location of Mario Cipollini's 2002 road world championship. This round of the World Cup will see the Elite men compete for the seventh time, Elite women for the sixth time, while the U23 and Junior men race for only the third time. Friday's World Cup also kicks off an intense block of post-Christmas 'cross racing in Belgium which offers eight races in the ten-day span from December 26 to January 4.

Sven Nys, leader of both the World Cup and UCI cyclo-cross rankings, doesn't need to score a single point to maintain his World Cup lead over Bart Wellens going into the eighth round in Roubaix, France. The ever-consistent Nys, however, will undoubtedly be looking to please a partisan Belgian crowd and extend his 81 point lead by trying to attain his third World Cup victory this season. Wellens, fresh off his first World Cup podium of the season last weekend in Nommay, France, looks to be coming into good form with a late-race charge in Nommay coming up just short of Nys and race-winner Lars Boom.

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