From the archive
February 4, 1990
David Baker (centre) struggles to keep up as he races to 12th in the heat of Getxo, Spain. Baker was the British squad’s highest finisher, one place ahead of team-mate Steve Douce. The course was dry and fast and the race was eventually won by Henk Baars from the Netherlands.
It prompted David Taylor, writing in Cycling Weekly, to ask: “What must we do to improve standards? The answer must be harder, faster racing at home with courses laid out accordingly.” Well, Britain’s current crop of world-class cross riders and a rapidly growing domestic scene would seem to indicate Taylor’s wish has been fulfilled.
Pictured to the right, just in front of Baker, is Adri Van der Poel, father of Mathieu Van der Poel, who has spent this season dominating World Cup races. It was primarily to soften up Adri’s rivals for the sprint that eventual winner Baars had attacked from the front group. Only when Baars realised no one was willing to chase him down, least of all his own teammate, did he ride for the line with “his face lit with joy as he threw his arms aloft in triumph”.