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Ride through the mud with CX legend who reckons Milton Keynes could host World Championships

Cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys says the course in Milton Keynes that hosted Saturday's round of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup would be ideal for the World Championships. With a Shimano camera mounted front and rear on one of his bikes, this video shows the course up close in all its muddy glory.

It provides a fascinating view of the chaotic first lap melee into an off-camber corners, with racers pinballing in all different directions in the sloppy mud.

The jet washers got plenty of use with the racers regularly swapping bikes, and we get to see Nys performing a swift bike change while the one with camera is hung on the rack. And towards the end you catch site of him passing British champion Ian Field.

Nys said after the race, where he finished eighth bhind compatriot Kevin Pauwels after dropping his chain early on, that Campbell Park was “definitely … a venue where you can hold the World Championships,” reports the Milton Keynes Citizen.

“It has everything to have an exciting and hard race, where you need to have a lot of skills. I’m really happy they decided to bring the World Cup here.”

The women's race was won by Sanne Cant of Belgium in a tight sprint finish with Katie Compton of the United States. Nikki Harris of Great Britain was third and she too believes the course is of World Championship standard.

It’s unbelievable, there was support all around the course," she said. "I never thought I’d experience in my cyclo-cross career a World Cup race here so that was such an honour to take part. I’m so happy to have got a podium finish.

“This really is a World Championships course and Simon Burney and the whole gang to have made this a spectator friendly course where they can see nearly everything, it’s an amazing course.”

Great Britain has hosted the Cyclo-Cross World Championships on three occasions, but the last of those, in Leeds in 1992, wasmore than two decades ago. Previously London in 1973 and Birmingham in 1983 hosted the event.

Helen Wyman, who took bronze for Great Britain in this year's World Championships, finished eighth in Milton Keynes.

Earlier this week, she published an open letter in which she urged young cyclists to embrace cyclo-cross as a valid career choice, rather than focusing on the road or track.

Recounting her own experience of the sport, and what it is like to ride in front of big crowds week-in, week-out, Wyman added: "I have insider knowledge and know that equality in ‘cross is just around the corner for women."

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.