Hexia Cyclo-cross Gullegem ME – Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The Course

Being outside of any cup and in a heavy racing period we find ourselves tomorrow in the outskirts of Kortrijk for the Hexia Cyclocross Gullegem where we should have an exciting race that is filled with technical features.

The track in Gullegem will be dry and that will mean we will be seeing high speeds and also more opportunities for riders to recover along in the several straight patches of the circuit that they will find, however despite being a mostly flat track with no mud there will still be plenty of obstacles and those will come in the form of several patches of stairs in the early part of the course, a set of barriers just after an S turn and countless 180º degree turns that will make it a very explosive race when combined with the several little artificial banks created along the course. 

Video: 2021 course, which only has some minor changes related to this year’s course, in the 2nd half of the track

The Startlist

1.Quinten Hermans 2.Corne van Kessel 3.Vincent Baestaens 4.Daan Soete
5.Niels Vandeputte 6.Tom Pidcock 7.Kerry Werner 8.David van der Poel
9.Felipe Orts 10.Anton Ferdinande 11.Lander Loockx 12.Michael VD. Ham
13.Gianni Vermeersch 14.Joran Wyseure 15.Caleb Swartz 16.Tim Merlier
17.Diether Sweeck 18.Lorenzo Masciarelli 19.Théo Thomas 20.Gerben Kuypers
21.Dario Lillo 22.Matt Leliveld 23.Cameron Jette 24.Hugo Brisebois
25.Jules van Kempen 26.Yannick Mayer 27.Arne Vrachten 28.Yentl Bekaert
29.Grégory Careme 30.Joachim v. Looveren 31.Tyler Cloutier 32.Tommy Servetas
33.Lucas Janssen 34.Andrew Giniat 35.Finnegan O’Connor 36.Sam Gaze
37.Nicholas Lando 38.Sam Brown 39.Kyle Johnson 40.Vin Hludzinski
41.Julian Siemons 42.Jens Gys 43.Mathijs Wuyts 44.I. Uytdewilligen
45.Robin Alderweireld 46.Elio Clarysse 47.Toon Sluydts 48.Kenny Roelandt
49.Wouter Goosen 50.Corentin Dejardin 51.Ferre Geeraerts 52.K. van Compernolle
53.Lukas Vanderlinden 54.Maxim Laverge 55.Jonas Quartier 56.Floris Van Tricht
57.Senne de Meyer 58.Klaas Groenen 59.Ryder Uetrecht 60.Nathan Knowles
61.Greg Bruynseels 62.Rory Jack 63.Dries Bruynseels 64.Nicholas Tabares
65.Frederick Junge

The Favourites

Off the back of a heavy racing period and not being a part of a cup, this race will provide an opportunity for some riders to take an important win as some of the big names are missing. It won’t be easy to create meaningful gaps here, with the lack of climbs on the track the riders should remain rather close to each other with the differences being set on how well they can tackle the more technical sections and then accelerate out of them.

The Belgians will be looking at Tom Pidcock with a bad eye tomorrow surely, in what is an opportunity for many to take a very special win, they find themselves alongside last week’s winner in Hulst that ends up being the rider with the big favouritism. Having a shorter CX season than most around him, Pidcock seems to be riding a condensed schedule and has a big opportunity to net another win, the explosive and technical course will suit him very well but he’s going to need his best day nevertheless to take the win as he doesn’t have the climbs to really put on the hurt on his rivals tomorrow.

The Tormans team come hard at tomorrow aswell sparing no weapons to try and get that rare win, Corne van Kessel will likely be struggling from his recent crash but Quinten Hermans is perhaps the name who can most likely challenge Pidcock, also a good track for the Belgian’s skills. Alpecin will bring a heavy approach, lacking the winner of the last 3 editions but having Niels Vandeputte as a good card, Tim Merlier aswell although I’m unsure if he’s already having his technique dialed in as well as he needs to to condent the podium, they will be challenged by the likes of Felipe Orts but mainly the Deschacht rider Vincent Baestaens and Daan Soete for these positions.

Prediction Time

1st– Tom Pidcock

2nd– Quinten Hermans

3rd– Vincent Baestaens

4th– Tim Merlier

5th– Felipe Orts

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Tomorrow’s race has prizes of at least €200 and an entry fee of only €5. Make good use of your knowledge!

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Rúben Silva

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