LARS van der Haar and Katie Compton begin the defence of their UCI World Cup crowns today on the Cauberg hillside above the pretty Limburg tourist town of Valkenburg. Van der Haar, riding on home soil, will have a total of 12 Belgian riders to battle off on the testing course overlooked by the ruins of Valkenburg Castle and his task will be a tough one. 

With the absence of Marianne Vos, who will start her 'cross season late (probably in December), Compton may have an 'easy' ride although British and European champion Helen Wyman, Sophie de Boer, Sanne Cant and Nikki Harris are not here just to race for second place.

Younger star riders Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert will be amongst those contesting an exciting under-23 race and Belgian champion Eli Iserbyt is the new Belgian prospect in the junior men's race. The two main races are live on the UCI's YouTube channel and should also play here below.

Let's hope that you are not geo-restricted - which generally means the race is being broadcast in your country.

Elite Women’s race re-run (starts at 2:30 into stream)

Elite Men’s race re-run (starts at 2:25 into stream)

NB There is short technical issue with the sound on the women's footage.

Katie Compton (USA) is the defending World Cup title holder and, perhaps, her biggest challenger World champion Marianne Vos will not start in Valkenburg.The main off-camber section on yesterday's training day.