The calendar congestion in men’s pro cycling can be frustrating – having to choose between races to watch, trying to hedge your bets to decide which might offer the most entertainment, or using several devices at once in an effort to keep on top of all of the action.
Fear not – I’ve got you covered. Under the Radar will be a sporadically occurring, enthusiastic and all-encompassing tour around the cycling calendar to bring you memorable moments, exciting victories or general oddities that you otherwise might not have had the chance to experience. writebikerepeat: reaching the spots that other cycling news outlets may have missed!
Cyclocross is back!
Occupying the awkward crossover period where the road season is still in full swing, the first few dates of the cyclocross season understandably go by the wayside in terms of media attention. This week, the action came from Beringen in Belgium and it was none other than GCN’s initimable Rob Hatch on comms. He reliably proceeded to inform viewers that the course, only two years old in cyclocross terms, was in fact, built on top of a rubbish dump. Not adding to the glamour of the sport, there, especially without its most beloved sons MVDP and Wout van Aert involved until later in the season.
Pocket rocket Eli Iserbyt took the win, his second in two weeks, with good showings for Lars van der Haar and Laurens Sweeck, whose slightly unsettling fanclub were out in force, see below pictoral evidence and judge for yourselves…
Jasper Phillipsen! Winning! A Lot!
With fixture congestion all up in our grills what with the mountain biking and the World Championships, lovely little one day races like GP de Denain, featuring ACTUAL SECTIONS OF THE PARIS-ROUBAIX COBBLES, sadly fell by the wayside.
Those who watched such nuggets of cycling perfection were treated to a masterclass in sprinting by former Tour de France bridesmaid turned Bride Extraordinaire, Jasper Philipsen. No, he didn’t wear a white dress but he did raise his arms for the third time in the space of five days, the Alpecin-Fenix sprinter in scintillating form taking victories in the GP de Denain along with wins in two other countries, the Kampionschap van Vlaanderen and Eschhorn-Frankfurt. We’re still waiting for him to throw the bouquet and find out who’s the next sprinter in line for a run of form. Hint: it’ll probably be one of his teammates, as they’ve taken LOTS out of a possible LOADS of sprint wins in races they’ve participated in in 2021. Spectacular form (also, can I have a statto, stat!).
Leo Hayter is really good!
Flying well under most radars, not least because of the lack of coverage of the races he was competing in, was the success of Team DSM Development rider Leo Hayter. Hayter The Younger triumphed in the U23 version of Liege-Bastogne-Liege last week and this week he’s riding high at the Tour de Bretagne, where, not to be outdone by his brother’s recent Olympic medal and Tour of Britain successes, he stormed to a stage victory and sits 14th in the overall standings.
There is a lot to be excited about in the Hayter family right now, not least their absolutely startling gene pool. and after his recent admissions about his struggles and disillusionment with the sport, it’s great to see Leo out there performing at the top of his game.
The brothers are set to join the Nibalis, Sagans, van der Poels, Pidcocks and van Poppels and cause double trouble on the Pro Cycling scene in years to come, and with his latest showing, Leo proves that the Hayters will be a force to be reckoned with in future seasons.
Deceuninck doing Deceuninck Things!
The Wolfpack know how to dominate races and with their incredible strength in depth, they proved over the weekend they can do it on multiple fronts, with Alvaro Hodeg and Jannik Steimle taking stages and holding on to the overall jersey for a while at the Tour de Slovaquie and Joao Almeida bossing the GC in Luxembourg with Mattea Cattaneo taking a stage win.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, the Primus Classic played host to their classics all-stars. Despite Mathieu van der Poel going on the attack, it was Deceuninck’s day as they piled their one-day firepower into controlling the race, and the team could have won from any number of riders. It was Florian Senechal who raised his arms in the end, but with DQS riders making up an impressive 50% of the top ten, it really was the day of the wolf.
Belgian Team Staff Especially Tender!
The most touching moment of the week was this lovely moment following the junior men’s world championship time trial in Flanders. After his valiant effort to take the bronze medal, Belgian star of the future Alex Segaert laid in the road and his soigneur gently placed a towel under his head so he could recline with comfort. If this isn’t nurturing young talent, I don’t know what is, so bravo that man.
Headlines that didn’t quite make the cut but are worth mentioning nonetheless:
Sagan wins in Slovakia!
An American wins the XCO mountain biking for the first time in 30 years!
Patrick Lefevre spouts misogynistic nonsense!
And the award for most inappropriate rumour of the week goes to… the potential launch of a UAE Team Emirates Women’s Team!
Join me again for ‘Stuff You Might Have Missed in other Weeks Where There’s Too Much Cycling On’ otherwise known as UNDER THE RADAR. Back… whenever there’s too much cycling on.
writebikerepeat, over and out.
SUBSCRIBE to writebikerepeat below to be notified when new posts go live – go on, it’s just a little email now and then, I promise not to flood your Inbox.
Alternatively (or additionally, why not) you can support my writing endeavours by buying me a coffee – Ko-fi link here https://ko-fi.com/katymadgwick