The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships head to Bogense, Denmark for the first time. The tiny seaside community, a tourist attraction in summer with its charming city centre and picturesque marina promises true cyclo-cross conditions in February, with rain, near-freezing temperatures and wind sure to play a factor in the final outcome.
The racing begins on February 2 with the Junior Men's event, where Great Britain have won the past two titles. Ben Tulett will be back to defend, but will be up against a host of talented rivals, including UCI rankings leader Witse Meeusen, Belgian champion Ryan Cortjens and the up-and-coming son of a cyclo-cross legend, Thibaut Nys.
In the U23 ranks, defending champion Eli Iserbyt and Briton Thomas Pidcock remain the favourites.
In the absence of last year's winner Evie Richards, who is out with a knee injury, the U23 women's event should be a real battle between Dutch rider Ceylin del Alvarado, last year's runner-up, Fleur Nagengast, and Inge Van der Heiden with potential infiltration by American Clara Honsinger.
The elite women's race is impossible to predict, with so many different riders excelling depending on the course this season. Seven-time champion Marianne Vos has come back with a vengeance to seal the overall World Cup this season. Defending champion Sanne Cant struggled with the overall increase in the level but has been consistently in contention.
The course, without the extreme elevation gain of last year's Valkenburg course, can suit Lucinda Brand well, and one can never count out impressive up-and-comers like Annemarie Worst, Denise Betsema or Katie Keough, or stalwarts Eva Lechner and Katie Compton.
Then there's the elite men's race, and a season during which Mathieu van der Poel crushed the competition on a regular basis. His luck at Worlds after winning in 2015 has been terrible, and Wout van Aert has been superb. This year Van Aert seemed lacking in comparison, but always prepares meticulously for the championships.
Toon Aerts and Michael Vanthourenhout have been the only other riders in the frame this season.
Saturday February 2nd 2019
- 11:00 AM Junior Men
- 1 PM Under 23 Men
- 3 PM Women Elite
Sunday February 3rd 2019
- 11 AM Women Under 23
- 3 PM Men Elite
UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships 2019