Von Hof Cyclocross Bikes in Belgium
It's true what they say. Cyclocross in Europe is a different sport. The hills are punchier, the mud is deeper, and the sport is on a different level.
Kathryn Cumming, a Von Hof-equipped rider on the Cyclocross Magazine Racing Team, has now tested our bikes on three continents since September, not a bad stretch for only three months. She reports that racing in China is about a celebration everywhere you go, America is a social event filled with comradery, and Belgium it is all about business.
Much like they've been doing for most of the season in the United States, our riders showed up in a single vehicle ready to get some training in under the open sky. For this race, they did bring along an extra wheelset. The conditions in Koksijde are usually sandy and dry for file treads, but the forecast showed plenty of rain, so they brought a backup of mud tires. The equipment of the other, bigger European seemed almost surreal.
The corridor of vans and RVs in the picture goes on for over the length of an aisle you'd find in a supermarket, but there are only two teams shown above. Behind this photograph, the Golden Palace team nearly doubles the length of the teams shown here. Fans gather to take photos, and if they're lucky, they get rider cards signed. Even the day before the World Cup, when there is no racing, fans line up to watch riders much like people do during spring training warm ups for baseball.
As for the racing, Kathryn Cumming was able to finish well-within the lead lap of the now World Cup leader, Sanne Cant, who is currently one of the most prolific cyclocross racers in the world. The mud and sand of Koksijde is one of the most mechanical-inducing combinations in the sport, but we were excited to learn that Kathryn's Von Hof bike survived one of the most brutal courses without issue!