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Cyclocross Legends: Bart Wellens & The Pro Team

Cyclocross Legends: Bart Wellens & The Pro Team

– Okay, so we’re here at
the Koppenberg Cyclocross, one of the most iconic
cross races in the world. Today’s the first race of the DVV Trophy. I’m here with a friend, Bart. – Hi. – Well, the two-time Belgian champion, two-time world champion. Bart, thanks for coming out. – You’re welcome. (metallic whooshing) (dreamy electronic music) (cheering in foreign language) – Bart Wellens is the kind
of badass cyclocross racer that fans around the globe loved. Bart’s results, personality, and character transcended generations in
Belgian cyclocross lore. Even today, he is as popular as ever. His infamous duels in
the heyday with Sven Nys are still talked about in the sport today as one of the most intense
rivalries amongst friends that the sport has ever witnessed. His talent on the bike and
his fast-paced lifestyle attracted a myriad of
wild and crazy supporters that followed him to
events week-in and week-out and made him one of the Kings of Cross. Bart retired from pro racing in 2015 and has since been
working within the sport doing what he loves. Currently, he is the director
of the Creafin-Fristads team and the women’s powerhouse program, which is home to Yara
Kastelijn, Annemarie Worst, as well as Alice Arzuffi. Bart let us run around
with him for the day to understand not only
everything that he puts into the program, but what
goes into having success at the highest level. (dreamy electronic music) We are here today with
the women’s team and we’re going to follow you around as you talk about the girls. You give them tips. You give them pointers. You’re in the pits. What is your role with them now? What do you do? – I do almost everything. I show the sponsors before the season but in the season especially,
we give team trainings. We give my advice to the ladies. On the track, like today, pressure. Which profiles they need to ride, how to take corners running, riding. All that stuff. – And you give them probably
a lot of motivation. They’re out there, it’s
a lot to think about. You’re at the race, there’s people, there’s things going on, press, fans, the track conditions are changing, you see something. You’re here to help them with all that. – That’s the reason why I’m here and I’m running like 40,000 steps a day when it’s a race day, but that’s my job and I love it. – All right, we’re going
to follow you around. Thanks for having us today. – Okay. – [Jeremy] The Koppenberg
is a seriously steep cobbled climb located
in the Flemish Ardennes and is one of the most
historic and famous climbs in all of Belgium. The venue is drenched in cycling
history from over the years and is widely known for its inclusion in the Tour of Flanders classic road race happening each spring. Now, every November, the cobbled climb in its seriously sloped
hillside transforms into one of the most treacherous
and difficult race courses on the cross season every season. The 777 squad, as it’s known to its fans, is a professional
all-women’s cyclocross team consisting of Dutch riders Yara Kastelijn, who is the current European champion, Annemarie Worst, who is currently
ranked first in the world on the UCI rankings, and Alice Arzuffi, who last year famously won the
SuperPrestige round in Gavere and this year in Boom. The program is in its second year and has become one of, if not the best, women’s professional
cross team on the circuit. – Hello, I’m Annemarie Worst, I’m coming from the Netherlands,
and I’m 23 years old. – Hi, I am Alice Marie
Arzuffi and I am 25 years old. – My name is Yara
Kastelijn, I’m 22 years old, and I come from the Netherlands. (dramatic music) – Ready, Bart? Oh, your phone’s ringing. Do you need to take it? – Okay, yeah, let’s give me the phone. Camille? (dramatic music) And on your own tempo. Not whopping, all right? You will be a lot of, not boom, boom, boom in the beginning. Your tempo. (speaking in foreign language) (dramatic music) (speaking in foreign language) – All right Bart, so what has happened? It’s been already a super intense day. – Yeah, yeah, yeah. In the last moments, I think
three minutes before the start, Annemarie called that she had a flat tire and her spare bike was not already yet on the start.
– At the right pressure. – Yeah, so– – Busy. – Bit hectic. So on that moment, Alice
asked that she’s stressed because the pressure was
not good in the tubes (laughing) on five minutes! – Okay, a lot of problems. You have to put the fires out. – Yeah and count down them and it was a bit of a problem
for our mechanic maybe. – [Announcer] Reigning
American national champion with everybody loving you, Katie Compton! Let’s start them (speaking
in foreign language) – (speaking in foreign language) – [Announcer] (speaking
in foreign language) – [Narrator] Watch the lights, as we go straight up the Koppenberg, the pretty brutal start to this one and we are off and racing, Lechner! That’s a good start there,
the Italian champion first. (intense pop music) Beth Crumpton, Anne K,
we’ve got good starts here. (announcing in foreign language) Yara Kastelijn again, she
had a great breakthrough. (intense pop music) (cheering) – C’mon! (shouting in foreign language) Kastelijn and Lechner, Lechner
again the last few weeks. 777 again, looking good. Annemarie Worst comes through here. – Okay Bart, so you got two
riders in the front right now. – Yeah. (laughs) – This is the first time
that this track is muddy. – [Bart] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. – [Jeremy] The new track. – [Bart] The new track. – For a couple years
now, it’s been like this. – Yeah, yeah, yeah and now, this morning, it was also a bit dry, but
now it’s not really raining. It’s like–
– [Jeremy] Slick! – [Bart] Yeah, yeah, yeah. – [Jeremy] Really slick. – It’s because the underground is hard and just the top of it,
it’s yeah, a bit mud and it’s so slippery. Even with the (murmurs), it’s so slippery. – What do you think about
Yara Kastelijn off the front and Annemarie, what are you saying to them when they’re in this position? – Just still at focus, nothing more. I can help them riding fast, but I can say surge the green lines
because it’s so important on a track like this. There is the grass,
there you have the grip, there you can ride. So, and mostly when they ride,
it’s like just in the front and I hope that I can
teach them to say them on the green lines. – Yes, yeah.
– It’s my best thing to do, to confirm them and
then also stay to the ground. – Staying on the grass. You have to stay where there’s traction. – Yeah, where the traction is
and still focus on this track. Focus. (upbeat electronic music) – [Narrator] Here’s your
chase-up, Annemarie Worst of 777, so this team, what a start
to the year they have had a (speaking in foreign language) Alice Marie Arzuffi gets
back onto Ava Lechner. Oh, Kastelijn slides out. – Bart, you got
interesting situation here. You got your two riders are in the front. Annemarie Worst, Yara Kastelijn,
what are we thinking about? What is your sense right now? You’re obviously, it’s not tactical. – No, no, no, it’s heart-to-heart. It’s also a classification here on time, (mumbling) is with time classifications, so she need to ride for every second, and Yara and Annemarie, but the best thing is
also Alice’s on three, so it can be possible that
we have one, two and three for the first time this season. So, I’m real stressed now. (laughing) – Yeah, I understand, I understand. And what do you besides that, what are you thinking about
when see Annemarie Worst chasing down Yara Kastelijn? Do you say something to
them or is it not tactical like that because they’re
in the first three? – No, because they’re
fighting women to women, they might to need to ride both full gas. – Okay. No tactics today. – No tactics, no, no, no
especially not with this– – This type of track. – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. If it’s flat and with a group, there’s no group anymore.
– Okay yeah. – So, this heart-to-heart and
it’s a time classification, so they ride for every second, all three. (upbeat electronic music) – [Narrator] Worst tries to
close the gap of the (murmurs), shortens it very slightly, Yara
Kastelijn takes the victory here in the Koppenbergcross. Another phenomenal
victory comes to a halt. At the top, totally
exhausted, Worst takes second. Accelerators going to be a
777 podium, Alice Arzuffi. (dramatic cinematic music) – (speaking in foreign language) – [Jeremy] You had your
teammate, Annemarie, was chasing you from behind. Did you think at any point
maybe something with that? – She’s faster and better in
the downhill technical paths, but I think I’m stronger in the uphill. So, I had some seconds before the uphill. I was like, okay, I can do that. It was our dream. – [Jeremy] Okay, perfect,
okay, congratulations. – Thank you. – We were starting with five minutes to go and I was feeling that I had flat tire and then I get bike, but the
pressure was way too high for this track and then
in first mechanical, soon I have to switch my bike, so then I lost a little
place because everyone was still close together. I’m happy with my ride. I think I closed the gap
in last really (mumbles) for still maybe at the
end, 10, 15 seconds. So, I’m really happy with it yeah. – [Jeremy] Okay, all right, thank you. – (speaking in foreign language) (dramatic cinematic music) (upbeat jazz music) – Bart, you guys tore it up out there. One, two, three, it has to feel good! – Yeah, honestly, we are
one, two, three and four because we have the Creafin – Fristads too with Eva Lechner, so it’s a bit, it’s a big day, great day today. – Yeah, I think you guys go home. There’s probably not a lot to talk about. You’re just like, hey everybody, good job. Rest up because they’re
racing again on Sunday. – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So now it’s recover for them. For us, it’s the big work now. There are some bikes who are broken, so we need to fix them up tomorrow. – Okay. – So, I got to do also some
scooter training with some guys. So, it was also be a fully Saturday. – Yeah, yeah. And so obviously, today
went really well for Yara. Small problems for Annemarie, but these things happen in racing. – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. – That’s normal. – In cycle cross, nothing is 100%. – Never.
– And sometimes, it’s improve something on
that moment myself, so. It was a perfect day for everybody. Also, with Annemarie with
the pros with the women, it’s perfect day. – What do you have coming up? What is now the big focus for the team? – We want to do the
whole season a great job, but that’s not easy for
every week to be the best. On this week, on this moment
every week is the best, but we will see. But now, it’s first in two days, (mumbles) and then we have the
European Championship, what’s important for Annemarie to events, but (mumbles) or big
opponents, so we will see. Also, Alice in home in
Italy, but we will see. First, European and now we
will see, we probably go also on trainings camp with the
ladies and also some guys. – A lot of organization stuff.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. – A lot of being the ship boat captain. – Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– Steer it in the right direction! – For sure. – I want to thank you so much
for your time, appreciate it. If you guys like this video,
please give it a big thumbs up. If you guys want to leave a comment, tell us how much you like Bart. Give that down below. If you want to check
out other great content, check it out right over here.

53 comments on “Cyclocross Legends: Bart Wellens & The Pro Team

  1. My goodness, J Pow and GCN are turning into the world's best cyclocross ambassadors. I mean who thought watching mud biking could be so much fun.

  2. I’m just amazed at the explosion in CX content this year – blown away by effort GCN are making to grow the sport. For legends how about Hanka Kumpfenagel ( spelling will be wrong) , John Atkins ( UK legend) and PFP/ Voss? JPow a great addition – how about more cx skills with Ollie from Donny …take him to Namur when it’s muddy!

  3. Eventhough I'm fat, inspired by you guys, I attempted riding 100km straight on a FAT BIKE!
    Please show some love!
    Go watch the video and have fun!

  4. Awesome, thank you so much for the content! I bought a CX bike and started riding cross this year because of J-Pow and GCN 🙂

  5. Wasn't going to watch it as it had potential to be a really bad vid, but well done to GCN, excellent production and presentation.

  6. That was a great watch. Best is when Wellens is answering the emergency calls to fix the girls' bikes. Beauty to be able to witness how stressful situations are handled on these events.

  7. Good showing of the cyclocross culture, I applaud the approach. Few riders showed as much emotion in their careers as Bart Wellens. It was way before media training. The enthousiasm of these woman also show that.

  8. This was my favorite JPOW cross video, yet! But one of those English blokes needs to teach him how to pronounce "myriad". ☺

  9. Wow wow we wu
    Such a legend show
    Keep up the great work !
    Best Cross season ever thanks in part to GCN CX content, and the ladies CX racers

  10. Best GCN video to date, in my humble opinion. Had me enthralled and entertained from the first second to the last. Bart Wellens and his squad of killer ladies, J-Pow fanboying along with the rest of us? Unbeatable.

  11. What’s with all this CX content? It’s even on GMBN. Can you guys not make a new specific channel for CX? Take the vegan stuff there as well. Please.

  12. Never heard anybody pronounce "myriade" (say "me-ree-ad" !) like "my-raid". And thanks for having Annemarie Worst saying her own name, because it's "wohrst" and not "wirst" (not to mention, she's certainly not "the worst"). Next time also have a closer look at the team's gorgeous Stevens bikes!

  13. bart wellens is so wonderful. i adore his enthusiasm, and i'm happy he has this experienced role on the team. thank you gcn

  14. I LOVE IT! WELL DONE JPOW — Bart, Great job, your Team ROCKS, stay strong during the season. JPOW, thanks for spreading your cheer & energy to the folks you interact with, keep it up !

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