Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - European Domination of Cross
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11-05-03, 04:56 AM
Questions: Why do the Europeans dominate this sport? Not even their top rider comes over here and puts the smack down on our best riders (Vervecken's win in Portland recently). We have our current national champion (Page) over there in Europe this season and I have not even seen a top 10 finish for him. Not dissing Page or anything, I know he is doing the best he can and I fully support him. But what is it that the Euros are doing differently? What makes them so fast? I long for the day to see a Velo news front page say: "American Rider (name here) Wins UCI Cyclocross World Title". Does anyone see this happening anytime soon?
11-05-03, 07:02 AM
cyclo-cross is deeply ingrained in belgian and dutch culture and society. it's a normal mainstream sport that attracts 30,000 spectators to major races. kids start doing it when they're pre-teens.
in north america, it's still a very, very marginal sport. you have to remember that cycling itself is marginal here and, aside from a couple of stars [armstrong and hamilton], north american cyclists are pretty much outmatched across the board. that's even true in disciplines -- like mountain biking -- that were actually invented in north america.
competitive cycling as a whole will have to become a big sport over here before a specialist discipline like cyclo-cross has a hope of matching the euros.
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