dan seaton | cycling writer & photographer, solar physicist

Superprestige Hoogstraten 2014

The Superprestige series neared its finale with a dramatic penultimate round in a muddy field in Hoogstraten, Belgium on Sunday.

The move to a new venue this year was necessitated by the lack of facilities available at the old venue. For two years in a row, organizers had to call in tractors to extract cars from the race parking — in muddy fields — and VIPs who found themselves mired in the muck after paying a fortune for their race experience complained loudly enough to bring about change. But the new venue lacked the character of the old one. Both are flat, muddy fields, but the old venue featured some elaborate earthwork obstacles that kept things interesting. The new venue delivered a tiny, compact course in a near-swamp at the edge of Belgium’s biggest fruit wholesale market. It had more in common with small-scale amateur and masters races in Belgium than one of the world’s biggest cyclocross series.

Still, the racing was difficult and the fans were enthusiastic. There weren’t too many surprises, but I doubt too many spectators went away disappointed. Sven Nys won in the elite men’s race and Nikki Harris won among the women. American Jonathan Page had another very good late-season race. Everybody finished up completely filthy. Here’s my look at the elite men’s race.

Superprestige Hoogstraten - Sven Vanthourenhout

Picture 2 of 23

Sven Vanthourenhout reaches out for his number one fan, his son, before the race's start.

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