Essen, Belgium was a delicious, sloppy mess. Lots of 180s, some barriers, hills, stairs, flyovers, and some complex, undulating terrain made this a spectacle. And by spectacle I mean awesome.
Be gentle—this is my first time GIFing this haard. Still playing with the frame rates and color dithering. Most of these are sped up by a few frames to decrease size. Plus, the Benny Hill effect is hilarious in some of these clips. Also, this post was supposed to include Namur. Lastly, captions are completely ignoring the laws of CSS. No time to fix…
Wout van Aert rides steady proving Mathieu van der Poel can be beat. VDP also managed to beat himself on several occasions during the ras.
Wout van Aert getting his swerve on.
“I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE. SVEN WILL CRASH RIGHT HE…”
I hope they know this stands voor Wout.
Sanne Cant and Helen Wyman battled mightily with Cant finally taking the game of back and forth in the sprint.
Sanne Cant and Helen Wyman make voor epic battle.
Cant again with the wicked move. Timed to perfection.
The eternal sprint of Essen. Cant can’t lose now.
Sanne Cant Salute? Yes, yes she can.
Zdeněk Štybar made his first start of the CX season in Essen. He was a protagonist from the green but refrained from putting anyone into the barriers voor de sprint. Sven Nys looked unstoppable, until… Kevin Pauwels continues to ride incredibly strong.
I’ve always thought the start of the Essen Marathon was breathtaking.
Purists, look away now—driveside and stepthrough in the lead.
Stybar sensing danger, moves into prime achtervolging position.
Gaap heads down the path of inevitability. Stybar and Pauwels teaming together to chase Nys.
Sven extends his lead well into nog 5 ronden…
Until disaster strikes.
Annnnd, of course he dropped the chain, because road components.
Shut up pains.
As Nys comes to grips with the startling pain of mortality, Pauwels says, “MIJN!!”
Stybie makes gaap chasing Pauwels down.
Thijs van Amerongen decides to confuse all by not stepping through.
Stybar’s Shiv looks fantastic.
After a brief half-ronden chase, look who’s baack…
Incredibly, Nys is back in the hunt settling in behind Stybar with Amerongen and Vantornout just ahead.
Okay, scratch that. ¡Nys es en fuego!
Laatste ronde exuberant golf claps voor Kevin.
Sven doing what Sven does best: make Niels sad.
Overwinnings voor Kevin Pauwels.
Huge lead killed by an epic crash followed by an epic chase ending in a close second. Not bad Sven, not bad.