After two rounds in America, the World Cup continues in Bern, Switzerland on Sunday. It has been nearly a month since the World Cup kicked off in Waterloo, Wisconsin. The second round of the World Cup took place one week later in Iowa City, Iowa. Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is often a stop on the EKZ CrossTour; Switzerland’s primary cross series. This year it plays host to round three of the World Cup.
Unlike the first two rounds of the World Cup, the Belgians dominate the start list with 18 riders. The Netherlands and France bring nine and eight riders, respectively. The home nation will have seven riders. Unfortunately for our North American fans, there are no Canadians or Americans on the start list.
Toon Aerts dominated the first two rounds of the World Cup and looks to defend his lead on Sunday. Wout van Aert sits second overall after finishing as the runner up in the first two rounds. Quinten Hermans is currently third overall after finishing fourth in Waterloo and Iowa. Noticeably absent from the rankings is Mathieu van der Poel, who skipped the first town rounds in an effort to rest. That rest has paid off as he has dominated every race he has entered and looks to be the heavy favorite on Sunday.
The course in Bern twists and turns around the largest artificial swimming pool in Europe. Roughly 90% of the course is grass, with the rest being paved surfaces. There will be short, steep climbs peppered throughout the course and it should lead to an exciting race. Race temperatures will be in the 50s and there is no rain in the forecast. Therefore, conditions are going to be dry and fast.
As previously mentioned, last years race was part of the EKZ CrossTour. For what it is worth, Marcel Wildhaber beat Simon Zahner. Zahner out sprinted Corne van Kessel leaving the podium seperated by a few seconds. While all three riders will be there on Sunday, this is a drastically deeper field than last year.
- Mathieu van Der Poel
- Wout van Aert
- Toon Aerts
Dark horse: Daan Soete