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Cyclo-cross News & Racing Round-up, Monday, February 21, 2011

Date published:
February 21, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Pauwels and Nys head-to-head into last GvA round

    Racer winner Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)
    Article published:
    February 06, 2011, 11:52 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Stybar might get in the mix to get his PlayStation back

    After the penultimate round of the cyclo-cross GvA Trophy the decision about the overall win is far from decided as three riders are theoretically still in the run for glory. Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) trails Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) by only two points, while Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) will play a role of importance too as he is twelve points behind Nys.

    At the last round in Oostmalle, the winner can take 25 points while a second is good for 22 points, then 19, 17, 16 etc. At the intermediate sprint after two laps there are respectively three, two and one point at stake. Pauwels was winner of the penultimate round in Lille on Saturday afternoon which was a blow for leader Nys, who finished third in the spectacular sprint.

    “I can still win it but I'll have to do everything I can,” Pauwels said. Last year Pauwels helped team-mate Zdenek Stybar to the overall win in the World Cup and then he received a PlayStation from the Czech. “Maybe he can do something back for me this year. I'm not going to ask him for help. I expect that he knows what to do,” Pauwels said.

    World champion Stybar didn't need time to think about helping his teammate, even though they will be in different teams next season. “Of course I'll help if I can. Two points is nothing. We'll talk about it. It would be great for Kevin. Maybe he can give me a PlayStation too,” Stybar said.

    “The overall ranking is not important for me. I can still finish second but winning is not really possible. Because of that I can start the last round with no pressure. I don't have to calculate and can...

  • Nys toasts tenth Superprestige series victory

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) shows how many Superprestiges he's won
    Article published:
    February 06, 2011, 18:33 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian again teaches his young rivals a lesson on success

    If there were ever doubts about Sven Nys’ ability after the Belgian turning 34, they have been blown away by yet another super season in the mud.

    The Belgian once again tops the UCI-rankings, leads the list of the number of victories, with 13, and on Sunday afternoon he won in Hoogstraten, crossing the line with ten fingers in the air. The victory secured Nys his tenth overall victory in the important Superprestige Series. How significant is that number? Well, second on the all-time Superprestige winners list is Hennie Stamsnijder, with 'only’ four wins.

    “I don’t often say that what I do is special but this time I can say that this record won't be equalled some time in the near future,” Nys said.

    “I think Stybar and Albert are the riders who could be my successors but they'll have to win the series every year for ten years in a row if they want this record. By the way, I'm not going to rest on my laurels. My next goal is winning number eleven. I want to remain as competitive as I can until the end of my career in 2014.”

    The list of total race victories in the Superprestige is unsurprisingly also led by Nys with 54 wins currently on his palmares. Next on the list is the legendary Roland Liboton.

    Nys explained why he rates the Superprestige Series as high as he does.

    “Simply because it is the cyclo-cross series with the longest history. It's the only competition in which you can compare with the big names from the past. I'll never be like Liboton at the world championships [a five times world champion], although I already finished seven times on the podium [including one win]. Only big names have won this competition, like Liboton, Stamsnijder, Daniele Pontoni and Richard Groenendaal. In the series you can show you...

  • Page secures sponsorship for 2011-12 'cross season

    Jonathan Page finished in 14th
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 23:45 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    American will help run cyclo-cross training centre in Madison

    American cyclo-crosser Jonathan Page has secured funding from former sponsor and owner of Planet Bike, Bob Downs, who is working on the details of a new sponsorship agreement for the 2011-12 season. Downs hopes to continue financially supporting Page, without the aid of Planet Bike, by running a summer cyclo-cross training centre.

    "He is committed to being the sponsor for next season," said Page. "Right now I'm still riding under Planet Bike and later on we will figure out what the name of my team will be. Our vision is to commit to running some cyclo-cross camps. Cyclo-cross is his passion."

    "Bob owns land outside Madison and is thinking of buying a little more to make a cyclo-cross training centre in order to run those camps out of the Madison area," he added. "I would be running the program, doing technique work and talking about training. We will bring in some trainers, sport scientists and mechanics to help run the cyclo-cross camp."

    Page is no stranger to leading cyclo-cross training sessions, having provided a clinic prior to the Planet Bike Cup event in Madison two years ago. He also ran a cyclo-cross clinic prior to Star Crossed and Rad Racing events in Oregon last September.

    "It was fun for me and a big turn out," Page said. "I never imagined myself being much of a teacher but I can do a pretty good job of teaching cyclo-cross, so that's nice to know."

    In November, Page announced that Downs would sell Planet Bike and effectively end all sponsorship for the cyclo-cross team, including himself and US National Champion Katie Compton. However, Downs approached Page with a new offer following his 12th place at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships held on January 30 in St-Wendel, Germany.

    "It's not just a sponsorship, it's like being involved with a family," Page said. "Bob is a very good friend to me and my family."

    Page will continue his equipment sponsorship agreements with Blue Bicycles, Enve...

  • Vanthourenhout to join Nys in Landbouwkrediet cyclo-cross team

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) shows how many Superprestiges he's won
    Article published:
    February 11, 2011, 3:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team incorporates young riders of KDL-Trans

    The Landbouwkrediet cyclo-cross team of Sven Nys will be expanded to include Sven Vanthourenhout as well as incorporate the amateur KDL-Trans squad for juniors and under-23 riders, the team announced today.

    Nys extended his contract through 2014, and will act as a mentor for the young riders, imparting his wealth of knowledge of cyclo-cross to the sport's up and coming talents.

    Vincent Baestaens, the former Belgian u23 champion and winner of two World Cups this season, is expected to transition to the elite Landbouwkrediet team from KDL-Trans for the 2011-2012 season, while Vanthourenhout and one more elite rider will fill out the team.

    The KDL-Trans team will include the UCI's number one junior rider, Laurens Sweeck, along with his two brothers Diether and Hendrick.

    Luc Versele, Landbouwkrediet CEO, said that the team extended its contract with Nys in December, but that it was only a small part of the larger cyclo-cross project which Nys will help develop.

    "Sven will share his invaluable experience and knowledge with the espoirs and juniors, and will seek to develop young talents. Toward this, we have an ideal partner in the KDL Trans team, which in recent years has had an outstanding juniors programme, and in Jan Verstraeten a driven and ambitious team manager."

    For Nys, having a team will be a novel concept, as he has been mostly a lone wolf since leaving Rabobank in 2008. "This is indeed a new challenge," said Nys. "Until now I have had no real team around me.

    "I'm glad I can contribute to the development of young riders on this group, but I must warn them: I have always set the bar for myself very high."

    The team will have its formal presentation in May.

  • Video: Helen Wyman at the Hoogerheide Cross World Cup

    Helen Wyman and Ian Field train in France prior to the penultimate World Cup.
    Article published:
    February 11, 2011, 20:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    British rider looked forward to racing in the mud

    Helen Wyman is Britain’s most successful cyclo-cross rider, and in 2010 won the prestigious GVA Trofee Koppenbergcross race.

    In this video, shot at the final round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup at Hoogerheide on January 23, 2011, the British National Champion describes her hopes for the race on the muddy course.

    The video shows highlights of the race, and afterward, despite feeling the effects of illness, she finished eighth, and she reflects on her performance and looks ahead to her hopes for a top 10 finish in the 2011 Cyclo-cross World Championships. She describes her winter, including just missing out on that goal, in an exclusive blog for Cyclingnews.


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  • Vantornout salvages season with Superprestige finale victory

    Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Revor) takes an emotional victory in the Superprestige finale.
    Article published:
    February 12, 2011, 21:37 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian takes first win of season

    For Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) the soon-to-be-completed 2010-2011 cyclo-cross season has been an exercise in frustration. The 28-year-old Belgian has carried the load for the troubled Sunweb-Revor team's season while co-leader Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Revor) was unable to live up to the high expectations from team manger Jurgen Mettepenningen.

    On Saturday afternoon, with only a couple of races left this season, Vantornout soloed to a well-deserved victory, his first of the season, in the Superprestige finale at Middelkerke, Belgium..

    An emotional Vantornout was overjoyed with his victory. "Actually this comes as a surprise to me," said Vantornout. "I was very motivated for this 'cross race on home soil and I made it happen.

    "It hasn't been a smooth season, to say the least. There have been ups and downs...too many downs. The few times I came close to a victory there was always somebody else just a little bit stronger.

    "Today I was better than the rest. This makes up for a lot...for everything: a victory in a big 'cross race in front of my home crowd."

    Next season Kevin Pauwels, currently with Telenet-Fidea, will join Sunweb-Revor and take some of the pressure away for Vantornout. "Having Kevin in the team is a positive step," Vantornout told VT4. "If I'm not going well all the pressure used to come on my shoulders and with him [here] that should become easier."

    Team manager Mettepenningen was a happy man as he watched Vantornout race to victory. He cheered on his rider on the finishing straight when he passed by during the closing laps and after the finish he was the first to give him a high-five.

    "Finally. It's a well-deserved win for Klaas," Mettepenningen said.

    Before the season Mettepenningen stated that the team...

  • Astana tackles Etna, makes first Giro d'Italia selection

    Astana riders on their way to the snow-covered Etna
    Article published:
    February 14, 2011, 12:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Kreuziger confirmed as team leader

    Team Astana has held its first training rides up Mount Etna in Sicily in preparation for the Giro d'Italia. The Kazakh team has also made its first Giro pre-selection, confirming Roman Kreuziger of the Czech Republic as the captain.

    Last week team manager Giuseppe Martinelli took ten riders to Etna, where they trained for six hours. "This is a very difficult stage, and if we have warm weather in the next Giro, it will be a massacre!"

    “I think this stage will be very strategic and there are some who may lose valuable minutes in the general classification, so there will be plenty at stake "

    Martinelli also took the opportunity to asses the riders. “They worked very well, they are in good conditions, but the Giro is still far from now."

    Kreuziger, who turns 25 the day before the Giro starts, will lead the team in Italy. Martinelli also said that he will count on Paolo Tiralongo, Francesco Masciarelli, Evgeni Petrov, and Fredrik Kessiakoff “who will be our strength in the next Giro.”

  • Nys wins mind game from Pauwels and GvA Trophy

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) passes by in a blur
    Article published:
    February 21, 2011, 1:23 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian gets revenge for 2004 loss

    It's been a very long time since cyclo-cross had a direct duel between two riders until the last round of one of the major series. In Oostmalle, Belgian veteran Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and young wolf Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) faced each other in the last round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy. Going into the eighth and last round Pauwels trailed Nys by only two points, while 28 points were at stake in Oostmalle. One hour later Nys jumped into the arms of his soigneur.

    "This is a revenge for what happened in Pijnacker back in 2004. My defeat there gave me so much adrenaline today," Nys said. During the final sprint of that World Cup race Nys was suddenly passed by almost all of his so-called Belgian team-mates, making him lose out on the overall win in the World Cup. "This was the same situation and this time even in the lion's den. It was me against the rest. Nobody could ride away except if it was tactical. I couldn't allow Pauwels and another Fidea-rider ahead of me," Nys talked tactics before explaining he wanted to come out winning more than anything else. "This wasn't about the price money at stake but about the honour of winning. I've won two series this year so I'm supper happy," Nys said.

    A few metres further back Pauwels was left fuming about the tactics used by the 'cannibal' from Baal. "I tried everything I could but the way Sven rode... I'm pissed. He rode flat out on the straight sections and then as slow as he could in the corners. It was very annoying to ride like that. I couldn't do anything. If I were him I would not have ridden like that," Pauwels said.

    Nys didn't understand the annoyance from his timid compatriot and explained that he simply used the weapons he had against the Telenet-Fidea army. "I didn't make any mistakes and led the group when I had to lead it; in the sand nobody could overtake me anyway. I think it was a...