One year after riding the UCI Cyclocross World Championships on home turf in Bieles, Luxembourg, Christine Majerus prepares for a different kind of home race in 2018. With both the team sponsors based in South-Limburg, Majerus expressed during the team presentation on Wednesday January 31 that she feels the 2018 ‘Cross World Championships are again like a home race.
Valkenburg, the Netherlands, will be hosting the 2018 UCI Cyclocross World Championships this weekend, only kilometers from both our sponsors' headquarters. The venue has offered spectacular World Cup races in the past, but a whole new course has been set out for 'Cross Worlds.
“I have heard that’s it quite different from when the World Cup was held there in October of 2016,” Majerus said. “But that's a good thing, because I have pretty bad memories of the World Cup. It was pretty fast back then, so I hope for a slower race and a harder race. And everything I heard or read about it was going into that sense, so I hope I can confirm that soon."
Majerus travels to Valkenburg from the Van der Valk Hotel in Heerlen on Thursday to see the course for herself for the first time. “If I feel the need, I might go back on Friday, but if not, I’ll just to a road training and race on Saturday,” said Majerus.
The Luxembourg champion is confident about her form going into ‘Cross Worlds, feeling better in shape for the event than ever before. “It’s the first time actually that I go into Worlds with a pretty good shape,” she said. “Last year, I had already hit my peak form and tried to keep that steady, but this year I kind of improved over the last three weeks. That should be something positive for Saturday, but obviously it stays a one-day race. It just depends on whether you have a good day or a bad day. But if I have a good day and bring my shape of the last two weeks, then I should be confident.”
Despite her confidence now, the run-up to the ‘Cross Worlds was anything but straightforward or easy. “I had a pretty complicated winter actually,” explains Majerus. “So January, especially the beginning of the month, was pretty rough, because I had a lot of people around me who were ill and I was tired of the racing block I did at the end of the year.”
“I kind of felt like I had something going on the week before nationals,” Majerus continued, “and I actually spent a lot of time in bed just sleeping. It was only the week after nationals that I started feeling better in the races. I don’t necessarily feel like I’m in the greatest shape ever while training, but that’s okay as long as the races are going well.”
For Majerus, the World Championships close off her 2017-2018 cyclocross campaign. “Obviously cyclocross season continues for another few weeks, but this will be my last cross race of the year,” she said. “If I need to prepare for road season, it doesn’t really fit in the plan to continue longer. And my team have also had three pretty tough months, so I think they’re happy to see the season finish as well. ”
The 2018 World Cyclocross Championships women’s elite race takes place on Saturday February 3, at 3pm CET. The race will be live to watch via NPO 1 in the Netherlands and via Sporza/één in Belgium. More info about the championships event can be found at limburg2018.com.