Bart Wellens points out obvious miscalculation in David Lappartient debate: "Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock would suddenly no longer be allowed to compete in the World Championship?"

David Lappartient issued very concerning statements regarding cyclocross in a recent interview. Among those were the possibility of not allowing riders who do not race all World Cup rounds to race World Championships. Bart Wellens, a legend of the sport, points out the very clear point that this would exclude cyclocross' main stars from competing.

“If a cyclocross rider prefers a national competition while there is a World Cup, he will not participate in the next World Cup and therefore also not the cyclo-cross World Championships," Lappartient said in an interview with DirectVelo. "The World Cup is not a competition where you can choose what you want to ride. Everyone just has to participate.” However that is not the case, neither for most seasoned pros or those who combined CX with the road - which is the case with most top male and female riders.

“I think they are panicking at the UCI," Wellens tells Wielerflits. "Then Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Tom Pidcock would suddenly no longer be allowed to compete in the World Championship? And not Fem van Empel either? Of course that doesn't make sense.” That logic is however what Lappartient pointed towards, although his goal is on paper to pressure the riders into racing the 14 rounds. The expansion from 9 to 14 rounds in recent years is one of the reasons that see riders skip races, so as to be able to take resting and training periods throughout the season.

“I think they need to understand that action needs to be taken. We've been saying it for so long; the structure of the World Cup is not well put together," Wellens tells, replicating words of other riders, such as for example World Cup leader Lars van der Haar. "It's way too busy now. We knew that from day one. Taking all those Sundays at once, that's just difficult. This year this is even more noticeable due to a number of heavy relocations. The World Cup must remain something special. But they messed that up themselves due to the oversupply. You used to be proud that you could ride in the World Cup. I don't think anyone has that at the moment.”

Instead, it has made a rather easy decision for some riders to skip rounds. The Superprestige and X20 Badkamers Trofee cups continue to have smaller schedules and are easier to follow. Bart Wellens believes that the solution is very obvious, although it is not the one the UCI has in mind. “For me the only option is to limit it. Back to eight to ten races maximum, from September to February."

"Not just during the Christmas period. For example, there is a cross every so often and then only that round of the World Cup can be organized that weekend. Then perhaps a number of Belgian organizers will drop out. That's a shame, but at the moment there is sometimes too much in Belgium. I think that needs to be thought about.”

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