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Cyclo-cross news & racing round-up for February 2

Date published:
February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • Upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross races

    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits

    ...

    • February 3 - Krawaten Cross, Lille (Bel) C1
    • February 4 - Superprestige, Hoogstraten (Bel) C1
    • February 10 - Grote Prijs Eecloonaar, Eeklo (Bel) C2
    • February 11 - GP Heerlen, Heerlen (Ned) C1
    • February 17 - Superprestige, Vorselaar (Bel) C1
    • February 18 - Sluitingsprijs Oostmalle, Oostmalle (Bel) C1
  • Page celebrates career highlight

    US rider Jonathan Page celebrates on the podium
    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits After grabbing the United States' first-ever medal in the Elite...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits

    After grabbing the United States' first-ever medal in the Elite Men's division at the Cyclo-cross World Championships, Jonathan Page had many reasons to celebrate. The second placed Page was interviewed on Belgian TV and radio as they wondered who the relatively unknown American was.

    Page charmed the Belgian audience by saying some Dutch words and expressed that he deserved his second place. "That's the world championships, you never know what you're going to get on this day. [The Europeans] had all the pressure in the world and maybe it got to them… you have to be lucky today also," Page said.

    At the post-race press conference Page expressed his joy to the written press and pointed out that he made a huge comeback: "I'm coming back from injury and I saved my season over here. My dreams are coming true."

    After the doping control Page quickly went back home to Oudenaarde with his wife Cori and two year-old daughter Emma to freshen up before heading to his friends at the Brasserie in Avelgem. There were no huge crowds there to gather around the podium finisher, as Page just isn't one of them - he's a stranger in Belgium, but Page didn't mind. “I don't need more friends, they help me to achieve my goals and that's what's most important," Page said.

    He still wondered how it was possible to pull off what he did, but realised this performance needs confirmation. "Today my new career starts," and that's probably why Page didn't touch the famous Belgian beers…okay, that's a lie. Page did touch a couple of those Belgian beers and treated his friends to a few rounds, even serving as bar tender himself.

    Cyclingnews was there in Avelgem and also talked to some people who work with the successful American cyclo-cross rider. Former triple world champion Mario De Clercq trained with Page and coached him for many years. "His technical skills are...

  • 'Cross worlds round-up

    Start of the junior men's race
    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits Two races were scheduled on Saturday at the worlds in...

    Adams victorious, Summerhill a surprise second

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Hooglede-Gits

    Two races were scheduled on Saturday at the worlds in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium: the junior and U23 men were to battle for the world title. The low countries of the Netherlands and Belgium have been dominating the cyclo-cross worlds lately, and 15,000 spectators showed up to watch their young stars shine.

    The junior race is always unpredictable at worlds because the young men don't compete with each other often during the season, but the Belgian World Cup winner fully met expectations when he became the new world champion. Six riders remained in contention going into the ultimate lap. Eventually, it came down to a sprint in which Joeri Adams clinched the biggest win of his young career.

    Most spectators were surprised to see American rider Danny Summerhill finish second. By claiming a medal at the cyclo-cross worlds, Summerhill follows in the steps of Walker Ferguson (silver in 2000) and Matthew Kelly (gold in 1999). Ferguson and Kelly battled with Belgians Bart Aernouts (Rabobank) and Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb), guys who will both race Sunday in the elite men's category, unlike those two American heros themselves, who have disappeared from the scene. Summerhill has proven that he has talent, but the real work of his career is just beginning.

    To read the full report and results for the junior race and see photos, click here.

    Boom takes the reins

    The U23 race was dominated by Dutchman Lars Boom (Rabobank) who outclassed his competition. Leading up to the race, Boom and rival Niels Albert (Palmans) kept a media battle going in which they tried to make each other nervous. However, Albert finished nowhere near the wheels of Boom; in fact, he was over a minute down. The Dutch champion...

  • World Cup heading for US

    Sven Nys
    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Kotrijk During the presentation of the next cyclo-cross world championship in...

    By Brecht Decaluwé in Kotrijk

    During the presentation of the next cyclo-cross world championship in Treviso, Cyclingnews talked to Peter Van den Abeele about next year's World Cup. Van den Abeele, UCI cyclo-cross coordinator, said that the UCI certainly plans to have a World Cup event in the US. "We've left space during the weekend of October 6 and 7 but it's still unsure where the race will take place," Van den Abeele said.

    Cyclingnews previously reported the news about the World Cup, but the Belgian confirmed the race will be held in Providence. "It's 70% sure that the organization will be held in Providence, Rhode Island. The European top riders agree with this as the World Cup race will be combined with another big UCI-race during that week. The top 25 of the UCI will fly together to the US on a flight chartered by Sven Nys," Van den Abeele said.

    Many American riders have stated they would love to see the World Cup coming abroad. Sunday, Katie Compton, who finished second place at the world cyclo-cross championships, said to Cyclingnews, "We need to have the World Cup in the US." Compton is one of three Americans who earned silver medals at the worlds this year. The improved American performances may be the inevitable result of the increasing popularity of cyclo-cross in the US.

    US champion Ryan Trebon (Kona) was delighted to hear the news but warned the organizers. "The course in Providence is way too fast, it would end up in a bunch sprint," Trebon said.

    Both riders participated in the world cyclo-cross championships, held in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium, this weekend. Read Cyclingnews' complete coverage, including race reports, full results, and photos of the elite men's and

  • Season over for Soetens

    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cyclo-cross racer Jan Soetens has hung up his bike for the season after struggling to return from a...

    Cyclo-cross racer Jan Soetens has hung up his bike for the season after struggling to return from a shoulder injury following a crash in the World Cup race in Kalmthout in October. Soetens had a promising result in the week before the crash, taking a top ten at the opening Superprestige round in Ruddervoorde.

    Due to a long recovery period, Soetens was left off of the Belgian team for the World Championships, and, according to his Jartazi team, an illness forced him to stop racing for the rest of the season.

  • Wellens wants payback

    Bart Wellens (Belgium).
    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bart Wellens started the Cyclo-cross World Championships with a dream of wearing the rainbow bands,...

    Bart Wellens started the Cyclo-cross World Championships with a dream of wearing the rainbow bands, but his hopes were quickly dashed when a camera ATV clipped a plastic barrier, sending it careening into his path early in the race. Wellens crashed hard, and unbeknownst to the Belgian, he fractured his wrist in the fall, and now he wants the organisers of the race to pay.

    Wellens gritted out the pain to finish in fourth place, a remarkable feat for most riders with two good arms. "I could no longer lift my bicycle... but with 30,000 men shouting in the stands, you don't give up" he told Het Nieuwsblad.

    But obviously, one step off the podium wasn't where Wellens planned to finish. "They have taken a lot away from me today," said Wellens, "a beautiful jersey and a heap pennies also."

    He had a clean break in his wrist that did not require surgery, but Wellens will spend four weeks with the arm in plaster, miss seven races worth of start money and prize purses during that time. The Fidea Cycling Team manager, Hans van Kasteren intends to lodge a complaint with the UCI.

  • Vannoppen injures shoulder

    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tom Vannoppen, who is still to try to come back to top form after taking time off earlier this...

    Tom Vannoppen, who is still to try to come back to top form after taking time off earlier this season while being treated for depression, has had another setback. He crashed badly in Maldegem, hitting his face and dislocating his shoulder. But despite the injury, Vannoppen still wants to try for a good result in this weekend's race in Lille. "The muscles around the shoulder are very stiff, but I still have two days time to recuperate." Vannoppen told Sporza, "I want to try to conclude my season beautifully."

  • Nys gets consolation win in Maldegem

    Article published:
    February 02, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé in Kotrijk

    Sven Nys rebounded from his disasterous World Championships by winning a small Belgian 'cross race...

    Sven Nys rebounded from his disasterous World Championships by winning a small Belgian 'cross race in Maldegem this week. Nys finished ahead of Niels Albert and David Willemsens, and rainbow-jersey clad Erwin Vervecken was a distant sixth. Vervecken said he was tired from all the post-worlds festivities, and that he also had a sore back from the fall he had at the worlds.

    Nys may not have the rainbow jersey, but he will find some consolation in the fact that he has a strong chance of winning the overall GvA trophy and Superprestige series. With Wellens out with a broken wrist, Nys holds a lead of 34 points over Niels Albert in the GvA Trophy, and 33 point lead over Vervecken in the Superprestige. The GvA trophy continues in Lille on Saturday, and will conclude in Oostmalle on February 18. Sunday's Superprestige event will be held in Hoogstraten, Belgium, and the finale will be in Vorselaar on February 17.