Sven Nys - "I understand their decision” after both van der Poel & van Aert skip New Year's Day cross in Baal

With both Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert both set to miss the New Year's Day cross in Baal, race organiser Sven Nys has said he blames the "completely skewed" cyclocross calendar.

“I've been saying for three years that the new World Cup, which claims all Sundays, brings a concentration of competitions around New Year's. Many organizers who lost their Sunday have gone looking for other, interesting dates, and these are simply in the holiday period." Nys says. "This leads to too many competitions around the turn of the year. Wout and Mathieu have nothing to do with the rankings. So yes, I understand their decision.”

With no less than ten crosses in seventeen days during the Christmas and New Year period, there is without a doubt a need for riders to pick and choose which events they will race in. “How many riders still ride the entire World Cup? Two, three maybe." Nys questions. "The quality of the World Cup has deteriorated since the expansion.”

Regardless of their absence in Baal, the pair of rivals are set to face off on at least seven occasions this winter. When you add in the possible inclusion of World Champion Tom Pidcock to the mix it makes the coming weeks of cyclocross some of the most hotly anticipated in recent years.

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