Friday’s downpours made the historical racing field in Silvelle extremely heavy and muddy. Six European titles will be assigned on Sunday in the Elite, Under 23 and Junior categories. Four-hundredths masters competing for the Continental champion’s jerseys on Saturday
The wait has come to an end: the UEC Cyclo-Cross European Championships have officially started on Saturday November 9th with the Masters’ competitions in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Padua, Italy). The first day of the continental event has already set a record, as the 406 registered riders over 15 categories (between men and women) hit a new historical mark for the European Cyclocross Champs.
The fans’ anticipation is already focused on Sunday November 10th, when the big guns will clash for six continental titles in the Elite, Under 23 and Junior categories. The program will open at 9.00 CET with the first time of the Junior Women’s category, followed by Junior Men (9.50), Under 23 Women (11.00), Under 23 Men (12.20), Elite Women (13.50), and finally the Elite Men (15.20). Saturday’s races were enlightened by a mild sun, and the forecast is encouraging also for Sunday’s showdown. Nevertheless, Friday’s downpours left a big mark on the course: mud and heavy terrain over the 2.900 mt of the Silvelle’s loop forced the riders to get off the bike often, even on straight stretches. Such technical aspect is sure to have a significant effect on the story of Sunday’s races.
Useless to say who the cover guy is: wonder-boy Mathieu Van der Poel goes for his third straight European CX title after Tabor 2017 and Rosmalen 2018, and looks to add another jersey to a collection that also features the European MTB Championships’ one from Brno 2019.
Looking to upset the Dutchman’s plans will be the Belgian National Team, with Eli Iserbyt who dominated the early part of the season, as well as Toon Aerts and Laurens Sweeck. Young Brit Tom Pidcock (class 1999) also stand out among the most expected names, as another multi-discipline talent who is capable to shine both on and off the road.
An exciting battle is expected also in the Women’s race, with three teammates of the 777 Team featuring among the favorites – with the jerseys of two different National teams: defending champion Annemarie Worst and Yara Kastelijn will lead the charge for the Dutch team, whilst Italian Alice Maria Arzuffi is the most expected rider of the Azzurri team. Sanne Cant, the three-time World Champion Belgian, can’t obviously be overlooked, as well as Italy’s Eva Lechner.
Long-time cyclocross fans will be enticed by the return of some family names – in addition to Van der Poel’s one – that wrote unforgettable pages in the sport: Thibau Nys, son of the great Sven, will be the top favorite of the Junior Men’s race, Lucia Bramati, the talented daughter of Luca, has a legitimate shot for the Junior Women’s title. Joining this field is Kevin Pezzo Rosola, son of two-time MTB Olympic Champion Paola Pezzo and former road professional Paolo Rosola, also competing in the junior ranks.
A big international event makes its return to Silvelle, the small town of the Padova’s province that has become the Italian cyclo-cross cuddle in the last 40 years, after the glorious days of the Superprestige stages from 1994 to 1999. A reward to the Cyclo-cross passion and tradition here in the land of Radicchio, the most characteristic product of this part of Veneto, also celebrated in the Silvelle’19 logo.
Sunday’s races will be aired live in all Europe on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport Player. In addition, the races will be broadcast in Italy by RaiSport and RaiPlay, in Belgium on Eén and Sporza, in Denmark on TV2/Play and TV2 Sport, and on NPO1 in the Netherlands. The Eurovision’s TV production will count on 12 cameras on the course, covering every moment of the action.
Along with the sports and technical goals, promoting sustainable tourism is another remarkable focus of the Silvelle’19 European Championships. The offroad fans will be able to seize the chance to discover some hidden gems of the Veneto countryside, whose beauty can be enjoyed at its best by the extensive cycle paths crossing the area. From the Valle Agredo to the Strada del Radicchio, passing through historical cities like Venice, Padua, Treviso and Asolo, there are plenty of alternatives to enjoy some special days in Veneto.