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Photo gallery: UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup, Milton Keynes

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Photographs: Timothy John

It was tempting to describe Milton Keynes’ hosting of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup on Saturday as without precedent. This, however, would be wide of the mark.
Five months earlier, the world’s biggest cycling event had received a similarly British makeover, with Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive, Gary Verity, making good on his promise to deliver the grandest Grand Départ the Tour de France had ever seen.
Simon Burney and his team repeated the trick in Milton Keynes, impressing even the Belgians on the first foray of the ‘cross World Cup outside mainland Europe. Double world champion and multiple World Cup winner, Sven Nys, the reigning Belgian champion, was among those to Tweet his impressions, describing the event as “cyclo-cross at the highest level”.
It’s important to recognise the scale of Burney’s achievements. In selling ‘cross back to the Belgians (though ‘sell’ might not be the appropriate phrase for a discipline as defiantly grass roots as ‘cross), he has equalled Verity’s masterstroke of July.
All eyes will turn this weekend to the Olympic Velodrome and the return of world class racing at Lea Valley Park for the first time since the London Olympic Games in 2012. Matching the atmosphere and excitement witnessed on Saturday in Campbell Park would be some achievement.

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