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Who Is The Best Cyclocross Rider Of All Time? | GCN’s Cycling Race News Show

Who Is The Best Cyclocross Rider Of All Time? | GCN’s Cycling Race News Show

– Welcome to the GCN Racing news show. Coming up this week, who
is the best cyclo-cross rider of all time. We’re comparing the
heavyweights of the sport. (electronic beeping) Before we get into today’s show, we want to hear from you,
we love an epic montage at GCN Racing but we
want to put one together containing all of you. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this amazing bunny hop
video by Tom Meeusen on a recent game of B.I.K.E. with Jeremy. The Ice Man has always
been one of the most technically gifted riders on the circuit. He’s cleared 80 centimeters in the past, so get your clips. If you’re practicing your bunny hops and nailing them or not,
like John here in Japan, you can upload them to
the cyclo-cross section of the app or via the
uploader at Okay, onto business. The Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup took to the iconic sand dunes of Koksijde up for round five. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado took her first World Cup victory after making it into an all-Dutch leading
group that also contained Lucinda Brand, Inge van der Heijden, Yara Kastelijn, and Annemarie Worst. After a great battle with Brand it came down to minutest of details on one of the sand sections with Brand, then overcooking it and going down on a turn close to the finish. On a day of comebacks, Alice Maria Arzuffi carved her way back through the field to finish eigth after
being in 33rd position. What did we learn from the men’s race? Well, we learned Mathieu van der Poel basically doesn’t need a
favorable grid position or to have obstacles to
overcome to take victory. After a third race start and being delayed by a crash on the first corner between Nicolas Cleppe and Tim Merlier, he was in about 38th position. By the end of the first
lap he was in first and that was about it. He gave us another veritable
master class in sand riding to take his 33rd straight
cyclo-cross victory and his sixth straight win
of the 2019,’20 season. One of the rides of the day, though, was from Creafin-Fristads Tim Merlier. Dead last after his crashing in the region of 35 seconds down and
in need of a new bike, the Belgian rode champion set about making his way back through the field and was locked in a great
battle with Tom Pidcock for ninth with Merlier getting the better of the Trinity racing
man on this occasion. It’s this ride, though, that in my eyes gives Tim Merlier GCN Rider of the Week. World Cup leaders Katerina Nash and Eli Iserbyt retained their leads in the World Cup standings overall, but Nash now has Anna Kay
snapping at her heels. Iserbyt can only finish 13th on the day while van der Poel,
after missing the first three rounds but winning the last two is now in 17th spot. Next up for the World Cup is another of my favorite courses at Namur on the 22nd of December while our next live GCM Racing broadcast is the new urban cross from Kortrijk on Saturday, which is the next round of the DVV trophy. As it’s cross season, we
thought we’d poll you guys to see if you agree with our selection on who might be the greatest
cyclo-cross rider of all time. Now, when you watch
cyclo-cross these days, you’d be excused for
thinking that the dominance of Mathieu van der Poel is something new. Well, it’s not. Another wonder kid was
dominating the sport in a similar manner back
in the 1960s and ’70s. His name was Erik De Vlaeminck. Born in 1945, De Vlaeminck was from Eeklo. He had a younger brother,
Roger, who went on to be an incredibly successful road and cross rider himself. De Vlaeminck won his
first cross title in 1966 at the age of just 20 and it was the start of an incredible career that netted him seven world titles, four Belgian titles, and 201 career victories. He only missed out on the 1967 title because his bike was
damaged during the race. He led a high octane
lifestyle, to put it mildly, and it got him into a
fair degree of hot water, both on and off the bike, and there’s many an urban
myth surrounding him. Next up, it’s The Cannibal from Baal. When I first started commentating,
Sven Nys was the daddy. I’ve been lucky enough
to call some absolute belters in my career, Sven
crossed the line first in many of them. 294 wins, 500 podiums in total, a figure that seems too neat to be true. But it is, he was so consistent. Dominant, there’s that word again, but in a career-spanning 19 seasons between 1998, when he
turned pro for Rabobank, to 2016 when he finished his career, a year didn’t go by where
he didn’t win a race. His final season, it was
the Koksidje World Cup, he was a phenomenon. There goes that word again,
but he only, and only, won the world title twice. Sorry if that sounds odd, but
from his super consistency, you would have expected
him to have won more. Third rider on our list is current cross and pretty much every thing else sensation Mathieu van der Poel. His dominance, again, people say is boring or damaging the sport, I
wholeheartedly disagree. Mathieu is a breath of fresh air. He’s doing what female pros
have been doing for years, racing multiple disciplines
and being successful. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot
held the cross, road, and mountain bike titles in one season. Could Mathieu become the first
male rider to do the same? He came pretty close in
Yorkshire, the road Worlds, and he’s targeting the
Olympic mountain bike title in Tokyo, but I’m
focusing on cross here. In the 2018,’19 season he won 32 races, including the national,
European, and world championships for a second time. So far, in the 2019,’20 season he’s won seven races from seven starts including defending his European title. And let’s not forget the unbeaten streak of 33 cyclo-cross races
that he’s won in a row. He’s not lost a race since October 2018. Going on wins alone, though,
he’s got some way to go before he surpasses De Vlaeminck and Nys with 116 career wins to his name so far, but considering the
fact that he’s only 24, there’s plenty of time
for him to catch up. Understateably brilliant,
I’m including Sanne Cant. I’ve followed her throughout her career and commentated on many victories. She is a pure cross rider,
10 times Belgian champion. Before that, she was three
times junior champion. Three times world
champion and has finished on the podium six times. She has got 141 career
victories and 247 podiums. A rider who many see as
the greatest of all time, and not just in cyclo-cross, yes, it’s Dutchwoman Marianne Vos. Marianne has been at the top of the world since she was 18, really. That was the year she won her first elite European cyclo-cross title. She was junior road world
champion the year before this in 2004 in Verona. The world elite championships was hers for the first time in 2006 at 19. She also won the road
championships that season as well. She’s won that rainbow
jersey and cross seven times, in addition to four road titles so far. Because she’s still only 32. In total, she’s has 116
victories and 201 podiums. Now it’s up to you, get your
vote in for your favorite. You can do that on the GCN
app, which you can get now. This is our short list,
would there be others who you would have included or who would have made the long list? Moving away from cyclo-cross now, after the Olympic road race
course for men and women was criticized for the difference in the severity between the two, you would’ve thought
that someone might have flagged up that the
allotted places available for each race to prevent
the similar reaction. Unfortunately, no one
got that memo at UCI. For Tokyo 2020, there will be 130 men and 67 women on the start. 67, my mind is boggled yet again. As you can see in this
tweet from Kathryn Bertine, who also wrote an empassioned article for Bicycling Magazine, there are many others who are also baffled. The women’s road race
was introduced in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics. There were 45 riders on the start line, so in 36 years the sport has apparently only developed enough to give an additional 22 riders
Olympic opportunity. Let’s not shy away from this. Winning the Olympics is life-changing. It can and does set a rider
potentially up for life. So why are the women being
denied that opportunity? There are in the region of 200 spots available to be allocated. It’s time that these should be split 50-50 between the men’s and
the women’s road races. Do you agree? We’d love to know what your thoughts are in the comments section below. The Rás makes a welcome return to the UCI calendar in 2020. Established in 1953
and won by our very own Simon Richardson in 2009, the
race lost its title sponsor An Post after the 2017 race. It was kept alive thanks to a reserve fund the following year, but the
2019 edition was canceled due to a lack of funds
and no title sponsor. But it appears to be back next year, albeit in a slightly shorter format than the usual eight-day stage race. Onto some transfers and retirements. Something that seems to
becoming the norm now, Team Ineos have signed young Spanish rider Carlos Rodríguez on a four-year contract straight from Alberto Contador’s Kometa development team. He will skip the under-23 ranks, going from junior to world tour. We’ve seen this in other sports such as football for a long time, and it does mean that teams can control their race program,
monitor their development, and make sure that they’re
not being over-raced by having to battle their way through third division Conti teams. One of Great Britain’s
most respected riders, Steve Cummings, announced last week that he’s hanging up his wheels. The 38-year-old turned pro with Landbouwkrediet in 2005. Like most British riders
of his generation, he was initially a member of the team pursuit team on the track, taking silver in the Athens Olympics. And he was also a world
champion in that discipline before carving out a career
for himself on the road. He finished, having won 17
races including two stages of the Tour de France,
a stage in La Vuelta, and many more besides, including his home Tour of Britain in 2016. At 39, Italian Daniele Bennati also announced his retirement. He was one of 20 active
riders to have won stages in all three grand tours. Turning pro in 2002, he was a formidable sprinter in his day. He recorded 52 victories in total, the last of which coming in 2016. Enrico Gasparotto has changed
nationality from Italy to Switzerland in time
for the Olympic games, a practice which is not
that unusual in cycling where riders have switched allegiances, largely to open up doors of opportunity which may otherwise stay shut. It’s as old as the sport itself. The winner of the Tour of
France in 1907 and 1908, Lucien Petit-Breton, switched from being Argentinian to French at
the start of his career in an era where races
routinely lasted for 24 hours. Now, if you’re looking for
something else to watch, and if you want to know what it’s like to ride for 24 hours and if you also like seeing Hank in pain,
then you can watch him on another epic ride with Mark Bowman by clicking the link on your screen now. I know you won’t be disappointed. Before we go, if you’re
liking our limited edition Black Friday range, it’s selling fast and you’ve only got a short time to get yours at the
introductory offer price before it expires on the 4th of December. You can click the link on your screen now to order if you want to. Don’t forget, subscribe to GCN Racing, hit that bell icon so that you’re notified of our live races or when
we upload something new. Thanks for watching, have a great week. I’ll see you soon.

49 comments on “Who Is The Best Cyclocross Rider Of All Time? | GCN’s Cycling Race News Show

  1. The results suggest that Van der Poel isn't the best but my vote is definitely on him. I don't consider too much the number of wins and podiums because I think that the way he wins is unprecedented, every time I watch him race I don't care if there is no battle for the win because his riding is poetry in motion and I'm grateful I can witness it

  2. Great you highlighted the inequality of the Oly Women's RR numbers. We found this out when my wife was trying to Qualify for London 2012 for Guyana, along with Kathryn Bertine who was doing the same for SKN. Even if they scored UCI points, difficult already without a UCI team, the dice was completely loaded, as the 67 slots meant it was almost impossible for them.

  3. Get off your pc soap box already. It was annoying years ago and you guys just keep doubling down. The hard truth is women's cyclists don't pull in half as many viewers as men's and it generates a fraction as much revene if any at all. Stop asking for parity when the two sports have such a disparity in interest, revenue, viewership, ability, number of teams, fan engagement, and even general public participation. These calls for equality across the board just come off as pandering to pc politics when the two sports are so far from each other. Please stop.

  4. Hard to know the right amount regarding womans olympic cycling. They have less spots yes, they also compete in far less numbers. So how do we justify the correct number of woman to enter? by the amount of registered woman vs registered men? or by world population i.e 50/50… its not necessarily easy

  5. Men and women should be equal.. for equal jobs. But in sports… If I have the choice between a 4th division football game or a Premier League game I'm going to watch the best.. You can't compare men and women in sports, this is just politics put in the wrong place, whether it's the WNBA, the women's football world cup and now this "scandal". I just watched a cyclocross race the other day and none of the women could ride up a sand climb, 1 hour later the male riders were just flying on that same climb. It just doesn't have the same entertainment value.

  6. The Olympic RR should definatley be split 50/50 men & Women especially because there are many male World Tour riders who don't ever seem to care to much about the Olympic RR.

  7. Sven … love & hate him he pulled out close ones all over, beaten by fresh faces he'd get back to win again & against great riders.

    Give VDP a decade or two, he's the best atm by far.

  8. UCI is WRONG. Should be 50/50. I have enjoyed watching the women's races this year in all disciplines. MORE than the men's. If you love bike racing you should support ALL bike racing. GOAT discussions would only make sense if you build a time machine and have all the greats race each other in a bunch of races.

  9. Loving the cx coverage and commentary guys. MVDP gets my vote, ahead of Sven with Sanne Cant in third. Simply incredible comeback in koksijde by Matthieu.

  10. I don't know about the 100 places each for the Olympic road race. Not because I think women's cycling doesn't deserve as many places as the male but because I don't agree with the "there's only 200 places available" policy made up by either the UCI or The Olympic Committee. Why is that the maximum number of riders places at all? What is restricting them from having 300 spots or even more. The only limiting factor should be team size, say 6 per country and how many riders each country has that are good enough to make the grade required for a rider to be allowed to ride, with the same rules applying to both sexes. Seems totally mad that a sport as big as cycling is at the moment is allowed to only 200 places. Especially as its been that same number of places for ages I'd imagine and has failed to take the sports popularity in to account.

  11. That irritating presentational style again.
    Anyway, Eric de Vlaeminck without a doubt. And "hot water?" Didn't he get sent down for attempted armed robbery, or is that just an urban myth?

  12. Good to see the usual online poll performance. "If you never saw them on the telly they were rubbish"… Or no-one knows anything about CX before 2015… And yes, the case has long been made for the UCI being rubbish, not focused on the riders or the fans, and institutionally sexist. Almost as sexist as the ASO. (Short for A Sexist Organisation?)

  13. I don't think it's useful to try to evaluate GOAT status until a rider's career is over. That said, in men's cross I'd say Nys is still the guy until MvdP retires.

  14. To me it's not about who's the greatest . Every time has its heroes, but the joy is in the battles. Liboton – Stamsnijder ; Van der Poel – Van Aert ; …

  15. Sanne Cant obviously has more career wins than Vos, but Vos always enters the CX season late and leaves early because of her road ambitions. Were that not so, Vos would probably have had more than 200 victories.

  16. Hi it’s me, from the future. Van Der Poel wins nearly every race he enters, shattering every record and goes down as the GOAT

  17. I don't know who the best is, but I'll tell you that it's not Lucinda Brand. She's got a big engine, but she's honestly one of the worst bike handlers in the pro women. I need to bring that up because I keep hearing these breathless descriptions of how good she is, and she is absolutely not. The entire 777 team is more talented, and you've got young riders like van Anrooij and van Alphen that will be incredible to watch in a few years.

    Sanne is probably the most technically skilled woman of her generation. She's won a lot more races by pure finesse than pure power.

    But Marianne is the best (woman) of all time. She has impeccable technique and she's got a huge engine. The only thing that keeps her from being the best CX rider of all time is how little she actually races it. (She's definitely the best cyclist of all time, period, and I will fight you.)

  18. I can't agree with the same quota of women and men in Olympics. The gap between 100th placed man and 1st place is much less than women. If we allocate 100 places for road race for women, I bet that the last place women rider may finish at least 1 hour (if not DNF) after the ceremony is done and dust. Then why not make the women race 324 km like men if you really want to go for equality? The women marathon runner also run 42.195 km like men.

  19. Roger de Vaeminck would have you know that he consistently beat his brother at cyclocross on a road bike, while riding 1 handed, with 2 flat tyres

  20. The IOC doesn’t care about gender inequality. It’s all about money and whether or not the women’s race will net the same number of viewers as the men.

  21. Imagine if an employer anywhere said we can only employ half as many women as men. They would be out of business post hasted

  22. UCI controls the Olympic event.they need to make that call to equal things on the gender platform. All the other sports have done it already, athletics being the best example on this equality element.

  23. It wouldn't be fair to say the UCI, the Olympics and ASO don't care about women's cycling. It's worst than that. They actually go out of their way to harm it.

  24. Vos, Vos, Vos! Still, this type of poll should be done when careers are over.
    And, btw, as much as I like the idea, Marianne has got 3 road World titles and not 4 😉

  25. Typical. The start of this vid had an image of the great Marianne Vos, and you touch upon the lack of equality in racing, BUT most of this video is about MEN's racing! What a joke. About 3 minutes of womens racing, then all men. There are people like me, who have actually dropped mens racing to watch as it has had so many scandals over the years with drugs, sexism etc, and from my opinion, the womens racing has been far more entertaining and even cut throat for the last 5- 10 years.
    You start as if this will be an all round, equal video, then low and behold, the sexism comes back with a bang. Appalling from the directors of this. If the video is 20 minutes, break it down or it's not worth interacting with. The Netherlands has beach races going on NOW, as well as tours around the globe for women and men. Be the global cycling channel, not the Global cycling channel about mens racing.

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