Chris Manarts has been staying at where the men and women will race on ice this afternoon since last Friday.
The Mannaerts and Flanders Classics did a balancing act for a week: finding the balance between a solid circuit to maintain speed and not too hard to become an ice rink.
“Working in this environment is a dream,” says Manerts in the Italian mountains. “Cycling as an Olympic sport is an ultimate dream, but that’s getting a bit soon.”
“You can feel everyone here is very curious. The course has a lot of power cuts guys with big motorcycles like Wout van Aert will have fun.”
“On the other hand, everyone is afraid to wait and see what happens tomorrow. We are lucky with the weather, because Saturday’s conditions – during formal training – will also become today’s conditions as well.”
“The guys who trained on Saturday will experience the same thing. I expect the course to remain the same: not difficult, no ice rink.”
“We don’t slide all the time here, but there’s a little layer where you’re diving in and it’s going to be very heavy. You have to push to keep your speed.”
Crossing on snow or ice: isn’t it dangerous? Nuances Chris Manarts: “I know by far the most dangerous circuits.”
“Wednesday it snowed and we managed to hit that snow really well. Now it’s dry, but it could have been different and more dangerous.”
In Flanders classics, there’s definitely some pressure on the kettle, they admit. The bigger picture is getting cyclo-cross on the IOC’s Olympic agenda. Val di Sole must be a promotional image.
“It’s an important game, yes. We’ve been working on this for a long time. We had the first conversations 2.5 years ago and we’re finally here.”
Is it now or not? “This is tough. The timing is right to work on internationalization. For example, Besançon was a great newcomer a few weeks ago. We want to confirm that.”
Follow the cyclo-cross World Cup tournament in Val di Sole this afternoon on our website/app and on Radio 1. Around 5pm you will receive a comprehensive summary of One.
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