Words: Ian Cleverly
You may, like us, be considering a visit to Hoogerheide for the cyclo-cross Worlds in February. In which case, I warn you now, probably best not to watch the official promo film.
Mention of the Spanish Inquisition early on over a stirring slice of Prokofiev, by a voiceover artist clearly resting between Hollywood horror gigs, sets the tone. It goes rapidly downhill from there.
Petrified priests, retreating Spaniards, cowering Germans – all crop up in this incredible four minutes of filmic nonsense. You have to feel sympathy for Adri van der Poel and Marianne Vos, who were obviously conned into making guest appearances. Bet they’re regretting it now.
By the time dreadful, hairy, flute-wielding Dutch rockers Focus are assaulting your ears to images of local industry and assurances that the “living is easy” in the vicinity of the Wall of Brabant, you may well have vouched never to visit Hoogerheide or its environs. Entirely reasonable.
The Spanish Inquisition is too good for the makers of this film. Come to think of it, never mind Truth and Reconciliation committees on drug use. Brian Cookson should be asking questions about this nonsense. If UCI money was involved in its making, demand a refund.