1. Zdenek StybarÂ has yet to start his season, but considering his ability to dominate, it’s hard to move him from the top spot – even if it’s just predictive.
2. Kevin PauwelsÂ took the win in Belgium’s first cross race of the season, at Steenbergcross last weekend. A fine start to the season for the youngster.
3. Sven NysÂ will have to watch out for Pauwels throughout the season, but if anybody can hold off a hardcharging youngster it’s the influential uncle of Belgian cyclocross, who’s capable of winning from September clear through February.
4. Bart WellensÂ started his season off with several wins in North America. While they don’t show what he can do against the European racing circuit, his wins accumulate UCI points – those will help him to a front row start in early important races.
5. Neils AlbertÂ – his season’s debut was a bit of a disappointment, with a mechanical taking him out of competition and forcing him to settle for fifth.Â
6. Klaas Vantornout came out of the gate strongly at Steenbergcross with a podium finish. He struggled to find wins last season – will this year be more successful?
7 & 8.Â The Vanthourenhout Cousins.Â Â Dieter and Sven took 4th and 6th at Steenbergcross.
9. Tom Meeusen is one of Belgium’s talented up-and-comer. His race at Steenbergcross started strongly but faded. I wouldn’t take my eyes off of him, though.
10. Rob PeetersÂ – like Wellens, Peeters is starting his season in the States, though with a bit less luck: Wellens and Christian Huele have confounded his winning intentions. Peeters has still managed a couple podiums, but we’ll see what effect the points he’s earning have on his European season.