Worlds Blog #5 - Zolder Worlds - Jr. Men - U23 Women - Mike Albright Photography

UCI CYCLO-CROSS WORLDS - JR MEN & U23 WOMEN

The Heusden-Zolder circuit is a well-used race car track, even holding F-1 races in the past.  They currently race cars about 15 times per year, but the grounds is also home to the 2015 UCI BMX World Championship track (located just off the far left of this map.  I also noticed a RC race track, dirt jumps for bicycles, a dirt rally-cross course and more.  The cyclocross course is stretched out from side-to-side, as you can see on the map, which makes it difficult for photographers and spectators to see the whole course.

Team USA's pit area was impressive.

Team USA's pit area was impressive.

The UCO set up a faux podium outside so fans can take their own shots.

The UCO set up a faux podium outside so fans can take their own shots.

The Cross Crusade from Portland, Oregon was there to cheer on all riders.

The Cross Crusade from Portland, Oregon was there to cheer on all riders.

Team USA Junior men racers just before call-ups.  There's a ton of nervous tension here.

Team USA Junior men racers just before call-ups. There's a ton of nervous tension here.

Seppe Rombouts (BEL) leads out Thijs Wolsink #7 (NED), Jens Dekker #5 (NED), Mitch Groot #6 (NED) BONNET Thomas #33 (FRA) and Gage Hecht #17 (USA) at the start of the Junior Men race.

Seppe Rombouts (BEL) leads out Thijs Wolsink #7 (NED), Jens Dekker #5 (NED), Mitch Groot #6 (NED) BONNET Thomas #33 (FRA) and Gage Hecht #17 (USA) at the start of the Junior Men race.

Belgian fans go all out for their sport, and with an estimated 70,000 tickets sold I was bound to run across a lot of this action.

Belgian fans go all out for their sport, and with an estimated 70,000 tickets sold I was bound to run across a lot of this action.

Seppe Rombouts (BEL)

Seppe Rombouts (BEL)

Spencer Petrov (USA)

Spencer Petrov (USA)

Jens Dekker (NED) powering up the hill that many ran up.

Jens Dekker (NED) powering up the hill that many ran up.

Jakob Dorigoni (ITA) almost at the top of the run/ride-up.

Jakob Dorigoni (ITA) almost at the top of the run/ride-up.

Jens Dekker (NED) cruises to the finish to claim his Junior Men World Championship.  I like these from-behind finish shots as they have many different components, a rider's point of view, finish timing, spectator reactions, media action with the Sporza booth to Sporza videographer on a boom over the track to all of the photographers.  Then we have red vests on the track to the right and yellow vests on the left stuffed onto some scaffolding, all getting pretty much the same shot.

Jens Dekker (NED) cruises to the finish to claim his Junior Men World Championship. I like these from-behind finish shots as they have many different components, a rider's point of view, finish timing, spectator reactions, media action with the Sporza booth to Sporza videographer on a boom over the track to all of the photographers. Then we have red vests on the track to the right and yellow vests on the left stuffed onto some scaffolding, all getting pretty much the same shot.

The Inaugural Under 23 Women World Championships

Chiara Teocchi (ITA) leads out Ellen Noble (USA) at the start of the very first Under-23 CX World Championship event.

Chiara Teocchi (ITA) leads out Ellen Noble (USA) at the start of the very first Under-23 CX World Championship event.

It's Evie Richards' (GBR) turn through eh off-camber on lap #1.  Evie was the eventual winner.

It's Evie Richards' (GBR) turn through eh off-camber on lap #1. Evie was the eventual winner.

A slideshow of images take at the off-camber section, lap #1

Ellen Noble (USA) fliers through the start/finish area

Ellen Noble (USA) fliers through the start/finish area

Evie Richards (GBR) with a huge lead in the middle of the race.

Evie Richards (GBR) with a huge lead in the middle of the race.

Femke van den Driessche (BEL), probably the most well-known cyclocross racer for all of the wrong reasons.  Right about the time of this photo one off her bikes was found to have a motor in it and she (and the Belgium Cycling Team) is facing disciplinary action from the UCI.  We have exclusive, full-length and unedited audio of the press release with UCI President Brian Cookson and links posted below to many stories written about this situation so far.

Femke van den Driessche (BEL), probably the most well-known cyclocross racer for all of the wrong reasons. Right about the time of this photo one off her bikes was found to have a motor in it and she (and the Belgium Cycling Team) is facing disciplinary action from the UCI. We have exclusive, full-length and unedited audio of the press release with UCI President Brian Cookson and links posted below to many stories written about this situation so far.

Evie Richards (GBR) with a huge lead in the middle of the race.

Evie Richards (GBR) with a huge lead in the middle of the race.

Alice Maria Arzuffi (ITA)

Alice Maria Arzuffi (ITA)

Sina Frei (SUI)

Sina Frei (SUI)

Ellen Noble (USA)

Ellen Noble (USA)

Chiara Teocchi (ITA)

Chiara Teocchi (ITA)

Nadja Heigl (AUT)

Nadja Heigl (AUT)

Kiyoka Sakaguchi (JPN) splashes through the backside area.

Kiyoka Sakaguchi (JPN) splashes through the backside area.

Hannah Arensman (USA)

Hannah Arensman (USA)

Francesca Baroni (ITA)

Francesca Baroni (ITA)

Evie Richards (GBR) gets cheered on by a friend, family member or coach.  The race is nearing the end.

Evie Richards (GBR) gets cheered on by a friend, family member or coach. The race is nearing the end.

Evie Richards (GBR) crosses the line for her world championship victory as a family member or coach celebrates with others, watching on one of the many monitors placed around the venue.

Evie Richards (GBR) crosses the line for her world championship victory as a family member or coach celebrates with others, watching on one of the many monitors placed around the venue.

I caught @Laura Verdonschot (BEL) just after completing in her 1st world championship cyclocross race at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. The riders funnel into a covered chute after the finish line where they can get interviewed by local and national media and I remember thinking at the time, "perfect lighting"

I caught @Laura Verdonschot (BEL) just after completing in her 1st world championship cyclocross race at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. The riders funnel into a covered chute after the finish line where they can get interviewed by local and national media and I remember thinking at the time, "perfect lighting"

Evie Richards (GBR) was so excited and happy on the podium she was beaming, and it was infectious .  The best story I heard was her remark after getting asked for her autograph,  "I don't think I have one yet"

Congratulation Evie!

Yes, it was very wet for the Jr Men and U23 Women races.  Many photographer's pro camera bodies were getting destroyed by the wetness, but at about this time the UCI was dealing with the first found case of 'mechanical doping' in Femke's bike. 

Below are some links to news and reactions to these findings.  The disciplinary committee has yet to release their findings When they do, I will update the links here.

UCI President, Brian Cookson, conducts a press conference the morning after

Femke van den Driessche's bike was found to have a motor in it for the Under 23 Women's race.  Full Audio link below.

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