Feature photo courtesy of “photoNews @getty sport” others as indicated…some info translated from the Sporza website

Photo of Sporza TV

The 2021 course is 2.9 km (1.8 miles) and divided into different sections.
Grass: 1.3 km (0.8 miles)
Cinder: 404 m (1.325 feet)
Sand: 565 m (1.853 feet)
Bridges: 400 m (1.312 feet)
Asphalt: 205 m (672 feet)

Photo of yesterdays condition in Oostende (photo of Sporza TV)

The weather forecast for the Belgian Coast: SATURDAY: unpleasant, “heavy” weather!!
A wet day with rain that can turn to snow during the day and Cold: 1-2 ° C
Fairly strong, cold wind from North East and the bridge could be slippery
the bridge could be slippery
SUNDAY: dry with nice clearings of the sky
In the morning it will freeze, during the day we will go to a degree of 2° C
A gentle breeze from the East

ELITE WOMEN starts on Saturday at 15.15 (British time 14.15) The Dutch flag will fly, but I don’t dare to say who will be at the top, Denise Betsema slightly better on the sand, but last weekend Ceylin Alvarado was very strong and Lucinda Brand will sell her skin very dearly for a first title. Even though I am just pushing Betsema forward on this course. UNDER 23 WOMEN starts on Sunday 13.35 (British time 12.35) Belgian National coach Sven Vanthourenhout told the media>> I am particularly curious about the proportions and where our ladies stand in this category, this World Cup is part of the learning process. Where are we at the international level … It is discovering where we stand, for the participants and for myself. Also in this category, the Netherlands can occupy the entire podium,  6 Dutch medals for women: that is certainly possible, last weekend Manon Bakker acted very strongly, but Orange also has Puck Pieterse and Fem van Empel, among others, the Hungarian Kata Blanka Vas? A top talent, but a little less in her element on this sand course<<

ELITE MEN Sunday starts at 15.15 (14.15 British time) The largest sand specialist: Van der Poel ??
Van der Poel won 11 of the 13 crosses that Van der Poel and Van Aert have ridden against each other in the sand (since 2016). The Dutchman is, therefore, without doubt, the largest sand specialist of the two, but there is one thing not to be overlooked: the sand in Oostende is of a completely different quality than in dune crosses such as Koksijde. “You cannot compare this with Koksijde,” says specialist Niels Albert. “You can drive a track there with your technique. It’s really pushing pedals here” (Stampen in Flemish)
“This is not about: can you drive well through the sand?” Sven Nys remarks. “Well about: can you deliver very high power for a long time by walking or cycling? Then there is a difference in Van Aert’s advantage, just look at Dendermonde.

Last years U23 Champion Ryan Kamp (NED) Photo Hugo Van Doren

UNDER 23 MEN starts on Saturday at 13.35 (12.35 British Time) The top favorite is the outgoing world champion, Ryan Kamp, although the Dutchman has not always had the best result in recent weekends. The Belgians have certainly taken steps. They could compete with him, it will be adjusted on Saturday because now the U23 finally racing a separate race. They have to make the race and that has not happened this season. It is different from starting in row 3, 4, or 5 and as long as possible. try to follow. Now you have to take the initiative!!

READY TO GO (Photo Sporza TV)