Back at Houffalize

The cross-country World Cup circus is already back in action, this time in the classic venue of Houffalize in Belgium. The course has been changed, featuring some sharp climbs but also keeps some typical section of the old course. There was some rain during the week and they forecast some more for sunday, it might have a role in the outcome of the races.

The race also marks the return of Martin Gujan who spent a big chunk of the off-season recovering from an injury.

Favorites? I'm thinking Julien Absalon will be back on top for some reason but expect the top riders to be pretty much the same from last week. Nino, Burry, Naef, Fumic, Fontana, Hermida... Hopefully, Geoff Kabush recovered from the crazy trip to Dalby and the illness he was hit with this week and can get a better result than last week.

In the women's race, Irina should still be one of the favorites but I expect the canadians to improve. Catharine Pendrel and Marie-Hélène Prémont were both strong and fast last week but lost way too much time at the start, Prémont being stuck behind a crash. Lene Byberg also had a slow start but is showing strength and speed.

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