Taking Flite in 2018
Van der Poel and Ferrand-Prévot start strong with Inflite
It was New Year’s Day at the popular GP Sven Nys, and it’s always a coming out; riders on new teams, athletes in new kits, with new sponsors. And it’s New Year’s Day. Everyone wants to start the new year with a bang.
None did more to start the year on the right foot than Mathieu Van Der Poel. Flying his new Correndon-Circus team kit, the young Dutchman steeled himself for a tough race against top competition on a rainy day delivered classically muddy conditions for the race. But he also had a new toy in his arsenal: the Canyon Inflite.
It was a powerful debut. On his first day of racing of the year, Van der Poel made an emphatic statement, with a big win. And it’s starting to become a trend.
The man they simply call “MVDP” continued the cross season in style, claiming the Dutch national championship a few weeks later. It was his fourth elite national crown—an honor that goes nicely with the European jersey he retains as well. There’s but one jersey to claim this year… the rainbow stripes of World Champion.
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is making similar waves in the women’s cyclocross field.
The Frenchwoman is known best for her cross-country mountain biking success, earning multiple world junior championships in the discipline before scoring a senior worlds title in 2015.
Yet only the most ardent fans recall that she also won cyclocross worlds that same year, making her the first and only woman to achieve dual world titles in the two disciplines. After a brief respite, Ferrand-Prévot has come back stronger than ever. She’s had to start well back in the grid in her early races, but managed to weave her way forward through the field at several UCI World Cup races, scoring podium finishes in late in 2017.
But the new year continues to send her cross trajectory skyward. In mid-January, with flag of the Brittany region flying over her head, she rolled across the finish line solo, claim the French national cyclocross title. Like Van der Poel, Ferrand-Prévot will be on the starting grid in Valkenberg, Netherlands February 3 and 4 for the UCI World Championships, flying her national colors. While each will have a target on their backs, each will also have an ace up their sleeve: the race-ready Canyon Inflite.