UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup round four: Roubaix - preview

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UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup round four: Roubaix – preview

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Katie Compton (Trek) will seek to defend their leads in the UCI Cyclo-Cross world cup tomorrow.

The series moves to Roubaix after three challenging opening rounds on the Czech Republic courses of Tabor and Plzen, and, most recently, the infamously sands of Koksijde, Belgium.

Britain’s Helen Wyman (Kona) and Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) will look to build on strong starts to the season, as will Gabby Day (Rapha-FOCUS).

British champion, Helen Wyman (Kona Factory), will enter the race at Roubaix fresh from a victory over Marianne Vos in the Superprestige series

Harris was second in Koksijde, while Wyman, a disappointing fifth by her standards, bounced back immediately, beating world champion, Marianne Vos (Rabobank), into second place in a round of the Superprestige series in Gieten, Netherlands. Wyman has also won the prestigious Koppenbergcross this season.

Compton will remain the woman to beat in Roubaix, however. The reigning US national champion was triumphant in Koksijde,  and Plzen, and only narrowly lost the opening round in Tabor to Sanne Van Passen in a sprint finish.

British champion, Ian Field (Hargroves-Specialized), racing in the highly competitive elite men’s category, has finished 32nd, 35th and 29th in the first three rounds, and will seek to continue his progress.

At the sharp end of the men’s field, world champion, Niels Albert, will expect another strong challenge from Belgian champion, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-KDL), the winner in Koksijde: a record sixth victory among the strength-sapping dunes.

Nys again finished ahead of Albert at the Superprestige, Gieten, a race won by Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) who was fifth in Koksijde, where he finished ahead of team leader and defending champion, Kevin Pauwels, for the second time in two rounds. Pauwels won the opening round in Tabor, but has since struggled to show his best form.

Francis Mourey (FDJ-Big Mat) will seek to impress on home soil, while Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) will hope to continue a solid campaign that has so far netted three top 10 finishes, including fourth place at Koksidje.

Check back for full report, and a photo gallery from leading cyclo-cross photographer, Balint Hamvas.

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