Bpost Bank Trofee – GP Mario De Clerq kicked the fo’ realz Euro CX season off in Ronse on Sunday. And by kicked off I mean, EPIC MUDFIESTA. The rain and wind turned what was essentially a grass crit laatste jaar into an adult slip-n-slide with epic mudbutt as the consolation prize.

The U23 CX wereld shuddered and the Juniors breathed a sigh of relief as wunderkind, Mathieu Van Der Poel, upgraded and subsequently crushed the U23 field. Good luck with that, dudes.

Elite Vrouwen

The ladies race was dominated by the late Amy Dombroski’s teammate, Nikki Harris. In what turned out to be a fitting tribute, Nikki crushed the field honoring Amy with her victory post. A fantastic last lap from Helen Wyman gave her second ahead of Sanne Cant to round out the podium.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Nikki pushing haard.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Nikki navigating.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Nikki shouldering on one of the many nasty hellingen

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Helen Wyman puttin’ in werk at the front of the achtervolgers.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

“A” voor Amy. Nikki Harris’ tribute to Amy Dombroski. – Image: Cyclephotos.

Elite Mannen

The pro men had the distinct honor, as they always do, of racing a course well worn by 3 previous fields. At this point it was complete slop; rutted and shredded with giant pools of poo-colored water.

Kevin Pauwels decided to get the party started in style by throwing himself down the big brown slide and into the barriers. Kevin knows how to party haard.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

K-Pauw setting things off! – Image: Cyclephotos

All this brown cray continues voor awhile, so I’m going to jump ahead a few rondes to where the winning begins.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Klaas looking goed leading the field in the België tricolor.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

SVEN DOWN!! SVEN DOWN!! Wait, wut?

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

After remounting and restarting the chase, Sven fux this mini-hellingen and has to dab. WTF?!

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Miraculously, Sven has caught the leading groep precisely as Niels Albert decides to shred the gnar.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

So, in less than one ronde, Sven has recovered from his craash/daab sequence.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Nys pushing it here. Elastic clearly stretching as Klaas clings to Sven’s wheel.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

The moment the winning gap was created. Klaas pits as Nys rides, shaking his head as he exits. He knows…

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Sven slowly adds to lead by doing the little things right. Catching this rut, voor example.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Which Meeusen, obviously, did not.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Niels dismounts as Bina powers the rise and gets a gap. 2nd and 3rd decided here.

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

<Distinct sound of buttcheeks clenching>

Weekend CX Ronden: Rinse After Ronse

Nothing but brown on these wereldkampioen stripes.