Another weekend and another round between the two favorites. The king of cross is being challenged by the prins of cross yet again (just wondering if belgians know what prince albert means). Last weekend Nys took what was his. Maybe the King had some help from lady Fortuna who made Albert get tangled to the banner on first lap and had to get back to the head of the race from the last spot.
Tomorrow the course is quite different from Koppenberg with less climbing which seems to favor Albert. Especially if the weather stays nice and dry, it should be Albert's race but if you add little bit of rain in the mix, the tables might turn. If the weather is fast there is also a chance that someone like Stybar might get away early on and hold off others till the end. However if Nys wins tomorrow, it will be his 50. victory in Superprestige so he won't give up the win easily that's for sure.
Albert is my favorite for the race but I would really like to see Stybar and Pauwels try to go at it. Stybar has been up there at every race and Pauwels has been doing really well too. So far the pure strength of Nys and Albert have made it impossible for anyone else to snatch the victory. Being a fan of underdogs, I would really like to see some new faces on the top ladder.
Quick search of online betting agencies shows that both Nys and Albert have odds at around 2, Albert having lower odds with most bookmakers. Stybar has third lowest odds at around ~10 with most bookmakers. My money would go to Albert and Stybar...maybe 5€ for Stybar and 10€ to Albert.
VT4 will broadcast the race live starting at 14:00 CET. The race should be live right here, but if it changes, I'll try to post the change ASAP.
About the European Championships. Belgians are the favorites in juniors and U23. In Women's race there are other strong riders as well.
Superprestige Hoogstraten start list:
Belgium: Niels Albert, Sven Nys, Klaas Vantornout, Sven Vanthourenhout, Kevin Pauwels, Bart Aernouts, Erwin Vervecken, Rob Peeters, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Jan Verstraeten, Ben Berden, Wim Leemans, Kendric Van Grembergen, Mike Thielemans, Quentin Bertholet, Tom Van den Bosch, Jan Soetens, Tim Van Nuffel
Netherlands: Gerben de Knegt, Wilant van Gils, Thijs Al, Eddy van IJzendoorn, Thijs van Amerongen, Bram Schmitz, Jerry Kallenfels
Czech Republic: Zdenek Stybar, Radomir Simunek, Petr Dlask, Lukas Kloucek, Martin Zlamalik
Slovakia: Milan Bareyi, Martin Haring, Robert Glajza
Italy: Enrico Franzoi, Marco Bianco
USA: Jonathan Page
Poland: Mariusz Gil
Great Britain: Ian Field
Luxemburg: Gusty Bausch
Germany: Philipp Walsleben
Hungary: Tislan Zoltan