No Belgian women at the US World Cup: 'Almost no one needed that investment'

No Belgian women at the US World Cup: ‘Almost no one needed that investment’

No Belgian woman in US finals: ‘Almost no one needed that investment’

an interview

Cyclocross World Cup without Belgian women at the start. This can be called unique. Until now cycling flash I managed to find it, never since the Women’s World Cup was introduced in 2002. This weekend in Waterloo and next week in Fayetteville, it really is.

In the (provisional) starting list for the World Cup in Waterloo, America, we find nine Dutch women, as well as a French, fourteen American, eight Canadian, German and Irish. Crossland Belgium shine in the absence. La Saint Cant, La Marion Norbert Ribrol, La Alicia Frank, La Ellen Van Looy, La Laura Verdonchot…

National team coach Sven Vanthornhout says it was the choice of the riders themselves. “No one was really interested in riding the World Cup there,” he says in a conversation with him. cycling flash. “Lots of ladies have traveled in recent years, but you also have to see the return. That didn’t really exist for the ladies in previous years. You invest 4,000 to 5,000 euros per person, and if you see what you get in return, for most ladies, it wasn’t A necessity to do America.”

“They are mainly looking forward to the World Cup close to home and at the same time trying to finish the competitions here in Europe, but for almost all the ladies there was no need to invest in the flight,” Vanthornhout says. .

Are you still trying to get women to go or do you understand their choice?
“I get it. It’s not clear either. Some riders are professional and some are not. And if we look at the young people, there are those who still go to school. I understand their point. It’s a shame for the international cyclo-Cross, because in terms of the number of countries, The list of peloton participants is dwindling. It’s unpleasant to see that.”

National coach Sven Vanthornhout – Photo: Kur Vos

What does it say about American crosses that Belgium, a cycling country, doesn’t send women to the World Cup?
“It’s tough. All these riders are investing. Some are now in Spain, some will be riding in the Netherlands next week (GP Oisterwijk on Sunday, October 16, editor). It’s not that they want to drive, but it’s basically a financial issue.”

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“The guys will manage financially. They can all ride the top 10 or the top 15 which makes them financially out of it, or they get some support from the team. But it’s different with the ladies. If you can’t ride the top 15 or the top 20, it becomes very difficult. No. They should get a profit from that, but if they feel like they don’t have any profit return It … also costs you two weeks of energy, which is jet lag. You have to think about it. Then I understand some of their options. It’s a shame, because you want a wider range of participants and that’s not the case now.”

Sunny Kant said the main reason for this was sporting reasons for her, as she was having a hard time handling the jet plane.
“Sanne has always been a pioneer, she took her responsibility in the past to travel to America. She also invested in it when she was the world champion. But now she’s thinking about whether it was worth it. She never came back well from America, so she has now chosen not to make the trip. anymore. I totally accept that.”

Then I also assume that these choices have no bearing on the choices for the upcoming World Cup?
“Not at all. I respect and understand that. And if they ask me if it’s worth thinking about, I’ll answer honestly. If I see it doesn’t make someone better, I’m honest about it. And so should I.”

Have you asked any ladies advice on trip America?
“Alicia Frank was such a person, but also Keonna Krabi and Marth Troen…also racing on the road wondering if it was interesting, yes or no. This was also the case with Jens Adams (it’s missing from the US guys, editor). He also asked for my opinion. I am impartial about it, and think with them what is best for them. Then we come to the conclusion that there is no added value.”

Alicia Frank asked for advice from the national coach – Photo: Kor Vos

Is there also a role for the Belgian Federation? Because this discussion will return next year and continue for years.
“Anyway, I’m glad that twelve men are still working on behalf of Belgium. That’s almost as far as possible. The day some of them say, ‘It’s not worth our investment,’ I don’t think it will end well.”

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But you notice that America lives with men. It’s a decision they make. They also know that now is the time. When Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock return to the field, it will be even more difficult for them. They are taking advantage of their opportunity now. But if those three guys completely disappeared from the field, I think a lot fewer riders would also go to America. Then the World Cup in America is doomed…”

By the way, you are not in the US yourself. Is this a conscious choice?
“That’s right. Suppose the guys are active there too, my role is more valuable. Now all the riders are there with their team or on their own initiative. I can mean a little union. I can do scouts just to see how everyone is doing. But I don’t have to travel to America from Yeah. I’m following it from here.”

“I’ve been there a few times and it’s always a great experience. The experience there is different than it is in Europe. At the same time it takes time and there’s a financial picture attached to it. It’s also true that here in Belgium I’m busy with the national youth training courses, which are starting over.” The trip means I’m also missing two weeks of that. So, it makes sense for me to stay here.”

The annual World Cup trip to the United States is often discussed a lot. It’s an expensive trip for all commercial teams, between 4,000 and 5,000 euros per person. Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal sends out four passengers and those riders pay in part for the ride. “We really want to ride those crosses because we have the classification ambitions at the World Cup, but I doubt if cyclo-cross would be better,” said coach Jürgen Mittbiningen. Newspaper.

The Roodhooft brothers’ teams choose not to allow the riders to pay, but on the other hand it was agreed that the prize money earned belonged to the team. Thomas Sneers says from HNB. “As a team we want to be there, but for our partners these are not exactly the most interesting matches.”

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On behalf of the Netherlands, there are nine women on the starting roster for the World Cup in Waterloo: Celine del Carmen Alvarado, Manon Bakker, Denis Betsima, Lucinda Brand, Verl Goossens, Maud Kapthijns, Inge van der Heyden, Wim van Impel and Annemarie the worst.

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