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Words: Joe Hall | Photos: Jeremy Dunn
Last weekend saw the climax of the international cyclocross season when the legendary venue at Koksijde played host to the 2012 World Cyclocross Championships. Koksijde is renowned not just for its punishing sand ramps but also for the vociferous Belgian crowds. They didn’t dissapoint, perhaps not surprising given the boys in light blue dominated some of the top positions.
Of the three Rapha-FOCUS riders competing for the US team, Zach McDonald put in an impressive performance on his worlds debut, finishing 12th in a particularly strong U23s race. The title went to pre-race favourite and defending champion Lars van der Haar of the Netherlands, who pipped Belgian champion Wietse Bosmans by one second. In the Men’s Elite category, recently crowned US champion Jeremy Powers managed a creditable 26th place in a race dominated by home riders. Belgium’s Niels Albert led from the gun, taking the rainbow jersey as he lead his compatriots to the top seven positions. Rapha-FOCUS's Chris Jones, meanwhile, came home in 43rd place, a reflection, perhaps, of his relatively late selection.
In 2013, the world championships will be held on the other side of the Atlantic, in Louisville in Kentucky. It will be the first time they will be hosted in the States and as the US cross scene continues to blossom, what better place to host a world championship event than the horse-racing capital of America. The odds may have favoured the historic bloodlines of the Belgian and Dutch racers last weekend but next January’s edition will give the local Mustangs home advantage – and with it a great chance of heading the field. Rapha’s US-cross correspondent, Jeremy Dunn, paid a visit to the Louisville world championship course during the recent USGP series race and sent back these images.